Gravelly Coolee, MT Flood, Jun 1938

North Montana Flood Takes Nines Lives

TRAIN SERVICE IS BEING HAMPERED

MILK RIVER RISING AND FURTHER LOSS MAY BE SUFFERED; DAMAGED IN HAVRE DISTRICT IS TO BE HEAVY; LITTLE COMMUNITY, GRAVELLEY COULEE, HIT HARD BY HIGH WATER.

Havre, June 23.---(AP)---Nine persons were drowned and a baby was reported missing tonight in flood waters that poured down northern Montana coulees in torrents after cloudbursts swept the area.

Eight bodies were recovered late today from the gravelley coulee near Laredo, 12 miles south of here. One had washed 10 miles down the coulee.

The bodies recovered were those of:

EMIL De HAAN, his wife and three daughters, age 2, 5, and 8 years CHARLES PRATT.
HERMAN WENDT.
JAMES BROWN, of Duluth, Minn., employed recently on the De Haan farm.

The De Haan baby, about a year old, still was missing.
FRED TILLGHMAN, 60, of Hogeland, drowned near Zurich.

Fred Tillghman, 60, of Hogeland, drowned near Zurich, 16 miles east of Havre, when floodwaters surged down Fifteen Mile creek and trapped him in the house where he resided with Swanson Moore. Tillghman and Moore were employed on a farm security project. Moore, Sheriff C. B. Reser of Chinook said, attempted to rescue Tillghman but was unable to bring the 250 pound man through the swirling waters to safety.

Out of Mesa

The floodwaters that washed down the Gravelley coulee had originated in the mesa country to the north. Buildings in the coulee farming area were washed eight to 10 miles down the valley.

One of De Haan's sisters was married in May to Anthony J. Fokker, Jr., of Amsterdam, Holland, son of the airplane designer. His other sister is Mrs. Andrea A. Briester of Douglastown, Long Island, N. Y.

The residents of the Gravelley coulee were first reported missing by W. M. Ball of Havre, chairman of the Hill county Board of County Commissioners and chairman of the Hill county Red Cross.

Twenty-two other persons who lived in the Gravelley coulee were homeless, Bailey said. They are members of the D. E. Couch, Frank Earl and Wilfred Tow families.

All Farmers

The families in Gravelley coulee were engaged in wheat and livestock farming.

The Helena Independent, Helena, MT 24 Jun 1938

--------

GRAVELLEY COULEE VICTIM'S FUNERAL

BODY OF INFANT STILL MISSING

Havre, June 24.---(AP)---Funeral services will be held here Tuesday for the five members of the Emil de Haan family, victims of the cloudburst flood on Gravelley coulee near Laredo.

The sixth member of the family, and infant, was still missing tonight.

Funeral arrangements have not been completed for Charles Pratt and James Brown, formerly of Duluth, Minn.

The body of Herman Wendt, eighth flood victim, will be taken to Green Bay, Wis., for burial.

The Helena Independent, Helena, MT 25 Jun 1938

--------

Searchers still had been unable to locate the body of Elaine de Haan, 3, missing since the cloudburst flood swept down Gravelley coulee in the Laredo area. For three days residents of the neighborhood and volunteers have sought the body.

At a coroner's inquest here today, a verdict of accidental drowning was returned in the eight deaths in the Gravelley coulee flood.

Funeral services will be held here next week for five members of the De Haan family. Bodies recovered were those of EMIL de HAAN, 36; Mrs. De HAAN, 31; and three of their four children, DONNA, 7; EMILY, 5, and FLORA, 19 months.

Relatives Sought

Authorities here have been unable to locate relatives of James Brown, 25, a former Duluth, Minn., resident. Other flood victims at Laredo were CHARLES PRATT, 49, and HERMAN WENDT, whose body will be taken to Green Bay, Wis., for burial.

The Helena Independent, Helena, MT 26 Jun 1938