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Bear Creek Canyon, CO (other areas) Cloudburst Floods, July 1896

Bear Creek Canyon Flood Damage 1896.jpg

A COLORADO CALAMITY.

FIFTEEN TO TWENTY LIVES BELIEVED TO BE LOST.

SWEPT BY CLOUDBURST.

WATER CAME DOWN IN A SOLID WALL. SWEEPING EVERYTHING BEFORE IT -- A PARTY OF CAMPERS IN A CANYON LOST, EXCEPT A LITTLE GIRL WHO WAS RESCUED
-- THREE LIVES LOST AT GOLDEN, COLO., AND IT IS FEARED THAT LATER NEWS WILL SWELL THE NUMBER OF VICTIMS.

Leadville, Colo., July 24. -- A special to the Herald-Dispatch from Morrison, Colo., says:
A cloudburst in Bear Creek Canyon, bust above here, at 8 o'clock tonight, brought down a solid wall of water ten feet high which not only did great damage to property but caused the loss of from fifteen to twenty lives. The known dead are:
MRS. MILLER and three children.
A party of campers, fifteen or eighteen in number, who were living in a small house just below town.
VIOLA FOSTER, a little Denver girl, who was with this party, was saved at a point half a mile below their camp by people who heard her cry.
This much has been learned on this side of the creek, but as all bridges are gone and the water is still high and swift, nothing can be learned from the other side. Searching parties are out on both sides of the stream looking for bodies of dead and injured.
It is feared that there has been more loss of life, as there were scores of people camping along both sides of the creek, both above and below town.
Wires are down in all directions except the telephone line to Leadville, and heavy storms between here and there threaten to break that.
The names of the dead so far as learned are:
MRS. MOSES MILLER and three children, HARRY, LONIE and an infant.
MRS. A. B. PROCTOR and three children, ROBERT, MARGARET and EDITH.
MRS. T. F. TRACEY.
MRS. HARRIS and four children, EUGENE, MABEL, JOSEPHINE and CARL.
JIMMIE, EDITH, MAMIE, MAURICE, EMMA and CLARA CASEY.
The MILLER family were residents here, but the others were Denver people spending the summer here. Nearly all were small children.

The Salt Lake Tribune Utah 1896-07-25

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A FEARFUL DEATH LIST.

TWENTY-NINE VICTIMS OF THE COLORADO FLOODS.

CAMPERS WASHED AWAY.

MORRISON HAS A SECOND CLOUDBURST, WORSE THAN THE FIRST, BUT AS THE PEOPLE WERE ON THE LOOKOUT IT IS NOT BELIEVED ANY LIVES WERE LOST, EXCEPT POSSIBLY THOSE OF RESCUERS -- ELEVEN OF THE MORRISON VICTIMS CARRIED TO DENVER -- THE EASTERN FLOODS.

Denver, Colo., July 25. -- As far as ascertained up to 8 o'clock this morning the following is a list of persons whose lives were lost in the great floods that swept down upon the towns of Morrison and Golden in the foothills near Denver last night:
Dead At Morrison:
MRS. MOSES MILLER and two children, and a child of J. C. LONGNECKER of Morrison.
From Denver:
MRS. A. S. PROCTOR.
ROBERT JAMES PROCTOR, aged 5 years.
GRACE PROCTOR.
EDITH PROCTOR, 2 years.
MRS. T. F. CASEY.
JAMES CASEY, 10 years.
EDITH CASEY, 8 years.
MAMIE CASEY, 5 years.
ANNA CASEY, 7 years.
MRS. ANTHONY HERRES
EUGENE HERRES
MABEL HERRES, 2 years.
CAROLINE HERRES, 4 years.
THOMAS McGOUGH, 25 years old, Dayton, O.
Cousin of MRS. CASEY.
ANNIE HANSEN, 20 years old, servant of the PROCTORS.
Fatally Injured:
Child of J. C. LONGNECKER.
Dead at Golden:
A. A. JOHNSON.
MRS. J. F. EDWARDS.
The Denver people who perished were out camping. There were many more camps in that vicinity, and some reports say that when Bear Creek canyon is fully explored it will probably be found that no less than fifty perished in the flood. Great anxiety is felt by many families of this city, members of which were camping in the mountains.
The PROCTORS were the wife and children of A. A. PROCTOR, president of the Denver Tent and Camping company.
The torrents which rushed down the canyon upon Morrison and Golden and other mountain towns were caused by a terrific mountain storm which extended a hundred miles or more from Boulder, where the damage was slight.
All down the range west of Denver almost to Pueblo, the storm swept destruction before it.
At Morrison and Golden the torrents tore away buildings, uprooted trees, washed out long stretches of railroad tracks, swept off bridges and spread annihilation through the towns. The work was brief, as the warnings they gave were inadequate, and almost before the citizens knew what had happened the floods passed, leaving only wreck and devastation everywhere. All that could be done in the darkness and confusion was done by rescuers. Men, women and children were released from dangerous predicaments, taken down from the roofs of floating houses and helped out of trees.
It is feared lives may have been lost at Central City and perhaps other points in the mountains. There is great difficulty in obtaining accurate information of the extent of the devastation because of the wires being torn down and railroad tracks swept away. All communication with Denver is cut off or interfered with. The Gulf and South Park railroads suffered most severely in the loss of track and bridges. There are also washouts on the Santa Fe, the Denver & Rio Grande and the Florence & Cripple Creek railways.
Eleven bodies recovered from the flood at Morrison were brought to Denver tonight. They include the PROCTOR and HERRES families and three of the CASEY children.
HORACE M. WARREN of the firm of Acheson & Warren, was driving in Mount Vernon canyon, midway between Morrison and Golden, last night in company with his wife, MISS JOSEPHINE HOLME, daughter of Richard Holme, president of the Denver Union Water company, and MISSES DELIA and MARY HORNER, daughters of Judge J. W. Horner, when the cloudburst occurred and the stream quick became a torrent. There was no way to stop the carriage, which was swept away by the flood and the four women drowned. MR. WARREN, bruised and bleeding, lodged in a tree and was rescued several hours later.

ANOTHER DELUGE.
Denver and Surrounding Country Has a Second Visitation.
Denver, Colo., July 25. -- The cloudburst in the foothills west of Denver last night, resulting in floods in which twenty-nine persons are known to have been killed, was followed this afternoon by another terrible storm, which has seldom been equated in this vicinity. About 1:30 p.m. dark clouds gathered in the northwest and rapidly rolled toward the city. A little before 2 o'clock rain and hail began to fall furiously. According to Weather Observer Brandenburg, .70 inches of water fell in ten minutes, beating all local records. The downpour continued with somewhat diminished severity for half an hour and it rained at intervals all the afternoon. The storm was accompanied by frequent severe flashes of lightning, but so far as yet known there was no loss of life in this city, and the damage was confined principally to the breaking of window lights and the destruction of growing crops. The storm played havoc with flowers and shrubbery at the city park and various greenhouses throughout the city suffered severely.

Salt Lake Tribune Utah 1896-07-26



article | by Dr. Radut