Union, MO Cloudburst Drownings, July 1929

SEVEN OF FAMILY DROWN IN CREEK NEAR UNION, MO.

CLOUDBURST, CAUSES SUDDEN WALL OF WATER WHICH CARRIES CAR AWAY.

FATHER ALONE ESCAPES DEATH.

ST. LOUIS COUNTY FAMILY HAD CAMPED ON CREEK BANK FOR NIGHT.

Union, Mo., July 14. -- MRS. MARIE BECKMAN, 28, of St. Louis County, her four children ages 15 months to 15 years, her mother and brother, were drowned in Strattman Creek, a stream emptying into Bourbeuse River six miles from Union on Highway No. 66, at 3 o'clock Sunday afternoon when a cloudburst struck the northern section of Franklin County.
The dead are:
MRS. MARIE BECKMAN, 28.
VIRGIL BECKMAN, 7.
MARIE BECKMAN, 5.
IRENE BECKMAN, 2.
BERNICE BECKMAN, 15 months.
LAWRENCE TIGGES, 15.
MRS. MARY TIGGES, 51.
MRS. TIGGES was the mother of MRS. BECKMAN. TIGGES was her brother.
WILLIAM F. BECKMAN, the father of the children, was saved. The family were on a Sunday outing, and were drowned when BECKMAN attempted to tow an automobile, owned by another party of picnicers, from a point near the stream where the water was fastly rising.
Apparently the family had no warning before a wall of water 10 feet high swept down from the nearby foothills of the Ozarks, carrying both machines down the stream more than 50 yards.
Rain had begun falling shortly after 2:30 o'clock, so picnicers along the creek had taken shelter either in their automobiles or under the trees skirting the stream. As the creek began to rise, the owner of a car discovered his motor would not function, and he walked to a filling station some 250 yards away to request the assistance of a towing car.
Meanwhile BECKMAN had taken notice of the predicament the owner of the other car was in and decided to use his towline to take the endangered machine out of the path of the rising stream. Then the cloudburst occurred, causing a rise in the creek, according to other picnicers near by. Both machines were carried down the stream.

Jefferson City Post-Tribune Missouri 1929-07-15