1884 Flood in Dayton



February 15, 1884  

This doomed little city is experiencing a sad state of affairs.  Two-thirds of it is under water and over half the population.  There is untold suffering throughout the place, and the relief is coming in a very discouraging manner.   Houses in the inundated districts present a frightful looking appearance.  Some are cracked in two, while more have been completely upset by the current.  The large residence of Mr. John Trapp will probably be carried down by the current.  The life-saving crew are rendering a valuable aid to the distressed of this city.  There was a wild rumor current yesterday to the effect that the cattle pens of L. O. Maddux had washed away, but it proved to be untrue.  Mrs. Wells’ residence is turned over, and several homes that have left their foundations have been anchored to prevent them from floating away.  Numerous accounts and incidents occurred during the day, and the people are in a terrible suspense for fear that all the houses in the flooded district will be swept away.  General Finnell is getting quit a number of donations for this place.  

February 16, 1884  

This picturesque little city is now a scene of desolation, destitution and desecration.  Mr. Kellon, Chairman of the Relief Committee, reports four hundred houses under water, and seven hundred people are obtaining relief from the Relief committee every day. And the demand is gradually growing.  It will require an expenditure of $75,000 to replace the property that has been damaged by the flood, and probably more.  The demand for coal in the past two days has caused a big drain on the relief Committee’s funds, and they were not prepared to meet it.  A barge of coal will be purchased for the place as soon as possible, and will be distributed.  The Relief Committee is working faithfully to prevent a famine in fuel or coal, but it is somewhat discouraged by the slow manner in which people respond.   The Relief Committee still continues to work hard and have declared war on the river pirates.  Comparatively speaking, Dayton has suffered as much as any town on the Ohio River.  

February 17, 1894  

All is quiet at this little burg under the present flood of circumstances, and the people are experiencing no suffering, as the Relief Committee have been meeting with increased success, yet to prevent a fresh outbreak of the suffering there must be a continued stream of relief.  There has been some trouble about the special police employed out of the relief fund, but this has all been amicably adjusted.  This place will probably receive $1,000 from the appropriation made by the State, and is deserving of it.  General Finnell is also working hard for donations for the place.   The St. Francis Church is badly damaged by the flood.  The floor is raised and the altar is seriously damaged.  It will cost $2000 to repair it.  


Coverage of the 1884 flood from the Cincinnati Enquirer on February 15, 16, and 17, 1884.