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Thirty-nine People Drowned

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Dubuqiie, Iowa, July G. - Ou tlie uight of the Fourth tlio littlo hamlet of Itockdale, 3 mües southwest of the city was swept away as with the besom of destruction. Every building in tho little town save the Catfish Mili was washed froin its foundation and torn into a wreek that defies description. Tho dozen buildings - all that were located on the bottom lands of the Catfish save the mili - were carried off as if they wero so niany cookleshells, and whirled adown the surging and boiling current, crushing them into fragmenta. Thirty-nine human beings were swept hurriedly from life into the great rnaelstrpin of death. Men, women and children to that number, were drowned, and their stift' bodies - those of the thirty that have been reacued up to fhis hour - were ranged side by side along the shady side of the mili awaiting the last Rad _ funeral rites. In one insttrace we saw an entire family of four all lying dead ; in another every member of the family but one lay dead. The bodies ef some wero found in the debris of the crushed buildingE near the scène of their death, while others, and the greater part of them all, were found along the banks from a few rods to a mile down tiie stream. Some were almost entirely hid from view by the floods of mud that had been swept along by tho maddened waters, with perhaps a hand only exposed to sight, or a foot or a portion of the face, or perhaps only a small portion of their elothing. A large number of little children, boys and girls, ranging from 3 to 12 years old, were the victima of the dread avalanche, and altogether the scène was a most sickening one. Through the day the people of the village had joined more or less in the festivities of the Centennial Fourth. In the evening the rain began to fall, and all took shelter in their homes or at the stores or saloons. At about half an hour after midnight the Catfish was discovered to have become so swollen that the stieets were overflowing, and escape to the surrounding highlands cut off. Higher and higher rose the rushing waters, while the storm kept pitilessly on. Down rolled the surging water in great waves several feet high, and the smaller buildings were swept away. At about 1 o'clock a portion of the dam gave way. Now the stream had grown to 2,000 feet wide and fully twenty feet deep. As the buildings were swept into wrecks, the inmates were hurled into the surging torrent, their voices erying out f or help amidst the roar of thunder and storm and crash, while lurid lightnings flashed every minute, lighting o$ the dreadful scène for an instant, and leaving it blacker than before. THE DEAD, Joseph Becker, Ellen, his wife, and two children ; James Pearce, Emma, his wife, and two children ; Peter Becker and fivo children, also his housekeeper and two children ; Mrs. Oarey and tv , r-iiiVir.'ii ,To]m Klassen, wife, and five children ; Peter Kapp, wife and four children ; Mrs. Kiugsley, Thomas BJenkiron, Oliver Blenkiron, William Bradbury, and Richard Burke - thirtynine in all, of which thirty-two have been recovered. Altogether, the scène was one te touch a heart of stone. Thousands of people have visited it during the day, and people are going and coming constantly. The neighbors, with kindly alacrity, opened their doors to such of the afilicted as remain.ed, and afforded every comfort in their power. The bodies of the dead were washed by kind hands, and many of them taken into the dwellings near by. The members of the Board of Supervisors wero early on the ground, working like Trojans to recover the dead and give care to the living. IiATEIt. Thirty-one bodies of the drowned have been recovered. Further search will be continued until all are found. William Watters, William Coats, and the Board of 'Oounty Supervisors, labored with uniring industry to aid the sufferers and ,o recover the dead.


Old News
Michigan Argus