Gainesville, TX Flood, Jul 1903

Dozens Lives Lost And A Million Dollars’ Damage From Big Storm In Texas

Night of Terror in Gainesville Caused by Rising Waters; Situation Improves Somewhat After Daylight.


Dallas, Tex., July 3.-Train No. 6, northbound on the Santa Fe road, went through a bridge ten miles south of Gainesville during last night’s storm. Engineer John Boyce was killed and several passengers are reported hurt.

Dallas, July 3.-The storm situation over Texas is still serious, but not so bad as yesterday and last night. The flood at Gainesville and vicinity that started about midnight in a series of cloudbursts in the Red and Trinity River valleys, has subsided beyond the danger point. A number of houses in the vicinity of Gainesville were wrecked, but all the occupants were rescued by firemen, policemen and citizens without the loss of a life.

Night of Terror at Gainesville.

Gainesville at an early hour this morning was reported under four feet of water. Thousands of people took refuge on housetops. The city was in total darkness. Two creeks which flow by the town, one of them passing through its center and the other on the west side, were each a mile wide.

The cries of terror-stricken people were heard in every direction. All around the depot and along the main street of the town the water was so deep that even the horses were compelled to swim.

Rumors of Train Wrecks.

It was reported that a Santa Fe passenger train had been ditched three miles out of Gainesville on account of washed-out tracks.

A report has just reached Dallas that a passenger train on the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe road between Gainesville and Valley View was turned over from the tracks into a body of water. It is not known whether the passengers have been rescued.

Dozen Lives Are Lost.

The loss generally over the State to railroad and other property damaged amounts to millions of dollars. Nothing new of conditions in southwestern Texas has been received today, but it is known a dozen or more lives were lost, nearly all Mexican farm hands.

Reports of terrible loss of life at Beeville were received early in the evening, but a roundabout telephone connection was secured with Beeville from Dallas. The Beeville operator said that some buildings were damaged there, but no lives had been lost.

The San Antonio telephone office reported that there is a strip of country between there and Beeville in which all wires are down and it has not been possible to hear from. The storm was most severe in that section.

Salt Lake Telegram, Salt Lake City, UT 3 Jul 1903