Friday, August 12, 2011

Clarksdale Flood of 1897

Clarksdale Flood of 1897

Patsy Hamilton found a letter that was written to a Mr. N. E. Offenheiser of the Yazoo-Miss. Delta Levee Board. The signature on the letter can't be made out. I will be putting the entire letter up on the website soon. This is a small part of the letter which deals with the flood.

On April 4th 1897 about eleven A.M. The Rev. W.B. Murrah stepped before the congregation and made a the announcement that he had a telegram from Tunica advising that the Levee had broken at Flower Lake. The Mayor Mr. Walter Clark, requested all men present to meet him down at the bridge over the Sunflower River at 2nd St. All the men ran from the Church to the River. They started plowing Sunflower St with Oxen and all the men used shovels and hoes to pile the dirt as high as they could all the way down Sunflower to protect the town. 

The men continued to work and it began to rain. The town had enough water from the rain to ride in boats all over town. The town ran out of whiskey. All the men pooled their money and Howell Hopson called B.J. Semmes in Memphis and asked him to send down two barrels of whiskey on the Kate Adams to Friars Point.

The following morning Hopson got into a boat he had tied to a sycamore tree at the top of Cutrer hill. Hopson went to Friars Point for the whiskey, and returned that afternoon about 4 P.M.They rolled out and placed the barrels on the side walk. Each man had his tin cup ready and had a wonderful celebration.   

The water from the flood reached the levee they had erected but not up against it. The town was not washed away.         

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