Gainesville, TX Flood, Jul 1903

Horses Swim In Main Street

And Train Is Ditched by Washout-Engineer Fireman and Messenger Missing.

Gainesville, Tex., July 3.-The flood situation was serious early today.

The water rose rapidly and it was feared that a still greater flood is coming down from the direction of St. Joseph. All around the depot and along the main street of the town the water was so deep that even horses were compelled to swim.

It is reported that a Santa Fe passenger train has been ditched three miles out on account of washed out tracks.

The engineer, fireman and express messenger on the wrecked train are reported missing. A relief train has been sent out.

Omaha World Herald, Omaha, NE 4 Jul 1903


Gainesville’s Peril.

The City Is Experiencing the Greatest Flood in Its History-Details of the Fearful Storm.

Special To The News.

Gainesville, Tex., July 2.-It started raining here today about 10:30 a.m. in a slow drizzle, until about 6:30 p.m. and then again started to pour down. It is the greatest flood known there in many years, in fact many old settlers say they never saw its equal. No accurate estimate can as yet he learned as to the damage done by the waters. The streets resemble flowing rivers rather than streets of a city.

At this hour (12 o’clock midnight) there is no abatement in the steady downpour of the rain. Also a fierce electrical storm has been raging for the last half hour.

Pecan Creek, which flows through the city, also Elm Creek, is past its highest mark and rising rapidly. Numerous houses along the banks are in great danger of being momentarily washed away. The distress signal has been sounded through the town and numerous parties are striving to reach and aid those pressed by the waters.

The entire fire company has come out but can do little good for the fact that all culverts and some sewers are washed away, which makes it impossible for the heavy wagons to reach those needing aid.

Around the Santa Fe and Katy depots the water is flowing to the depth of six or seven feet. Tyler & Simpson’s large wholesale house is in danger of being flooded. One thousand sacks of flour have been carried there and are being stacked around the store in an effort to keep out the water. If the water should break into the store thousands of dollars worth of property would be damaged if not destroyed. The streets are crowded with barefooted and rubber-booted men running here and there ready to do what they can against the water. All those residing in the town have been compelled to leave their home on account of five feet of water flowing through the houses.

Telephone messages from adjacent town report a flood equal to the one in Gainesville.