Mary Gunn Tells of Flood
Contributed by Inez Erwin


1986 Morrow County Chronicles, Volume V
Page 6-7
Morrow County Historical Society

    Pretty little Mary Gunn tells Detroit Free Press how herself and other Gunn children escaped from the flood and of the drowning of her parents:  "It was all so terrible and so sudden that we could scarcely realize what was happening.  Father and mother and we children, except Belle, were in the house when the flood came.  A heavy storm of rain and hail with peals of thunder had just passed over the town, and it appeared that it was nearly over.  Suddenly the noise increased and father looked out of the window.  Our house was on the corner of Main and Church streets and diagonally across Main street was the house of Mr. Redfield.  As father looked out of the window he saw Mr. Redfield's house moving directly toward him, and it was then half across the street.  He saw the water surging about the street, and he realized at once what had happened. He quickly called for us to run for the hills."

    "We got out of the house through the back way and started on a run back from the street.  We children were ahead.  Behind us were our father and mother and a young woman and her baby sister a year old who were making a call when the flood came.  Father had the baby in his arms, and behind him and almost up to him we could see the waves and the debris of torn-up houses.  Back of our house was the church and right at the church door mother fell, apparently exhausted from running.  With the baby in his arms, father stooped to assist her, when the heavy body of water rolled over them and buried them beneath it.  We were but a block and a half ahead on higher land, and had they reached where we were they would have been safe.  We had barely kept in advance of the flood, it being knee deep in some places."

    "Belle was at the home of a neighbor farther up on higher ground and was at no time in danger.  Our house was swept away and totally demolished, and for two blocks in width through the entire town, 200 houses were torn away, including all the best residences."

(This story probably came from a Heppner paper, dated 1903.  It was found in Inez's Chronicles notes and we feel sure she intended for it to be printed.  Ed.)

Copyright 1986 Morrow County Historical Society 

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