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The most destructive early day flood that hit Hamilton was on the night of June 30, 1899. Mrs. Mary Looney was drowned, houses, livestock, and other property washed away. According to the Herald of July 5, 1899.

"In the afternoon about five o’clock a heavy rain fell for about two hours continuously raising Pecan Creek until citizens began to get uneasy. The rain then slackened, and the waters began to subside. But the elements were preparing for another and a great downpour. The black clouds, boiled up angrily in the darkness, lighting up the scene every few seconds with a flash that dazzled the eye, accompanied with frequent bursts of thunder, and this continued until nearly 12 o’clock. By this time Pecan Creek was a raging river, bearing upon its turbid bosom trees, bridges, houses, wagons, trunks, chairs, stoves, beds, fencing, and everything moveable, leveling rock fences, rushing outside its banks, swirling and tearing through the live oak thickets where the huge timbers of the demolished bridges creaked and groaned and sometimes snapped like pipestems or were smashed into splinters by the force of the current and all the tremendous momentum of the drift wood that came down from above.

A new house built in the south part of town by W. J. Whitley was washed down the creek and lodged on the H. R. Boynton block.

Mrs. Looney’s house stood about 100 yards further down he creek. She lived alone, and refused to leave her home that night, though urged by neighbors. John E. Taylor, member of a searching party, found her body the next morning. She was buried at Gentrys Mill, where her son Thomas J. Looney, lived.

Water stood 21 inches deep in H. R. Boynton’s furniture store, and much of the stock, including furniture, mattresses, mattings, etc. was damaged.

Water flowed like a river on the east side of the square, flowing into Collier’s shoe shop, France Baker’s store, the Journal-News office, and Durham’s store.

Back water in Johnson’s wagon yard almost drowned his horse, and washed away wagons belonging to J. J. Durham and Him Barnes.

Rev. A. P. Smith had two horses and two calves washed away, but he recovered one horse and one calf.

The bridge near Judge Main’s built that year in West Hamilton was carried away and the foot bridge at Parson Smith’s went with it.

E. E. [Erastus Ebebezer] Doggett’s new well curb was demolished and the well filled with water and mud.

The bridge on the Hico road and the one north of the Iron livery stable were destroyed, so that Hamilton was literally bridgeless.

The new mill was flooded and a wagon load of mill machinery was washed away.

Water stood 15 inches deep in Sparkman & Baker’s photograph gallery and 1,300 negatives were ruined.

J. J. [John Jefferson] Durham’s and A. M. Edmiston’s good on the north side were slightly damaged.

Farms of Will Tippie, Squire Loyd, Lee Snell, and Applewhite, below town, were badly damaged.

The next morning Misses Lizzie, Lottie, and Hattie Boynton, attempting to drive across the creek just below the dam, had their buggy bogged down and their horse sunk in a deep hole which the flood had washed out. Miss Lizzie leaped into the water about waist deep and floundered over to a large rock, on which she perched for safety. Hattie sprang out the other side where the water was shallow and reached safety. Lottie still held the reins. J. L. Spurlin and Will Standifer came along and rescued them.







Friday, June 24, 1938

W. F. Billingslea, Publisher, Hamilton County, TX


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People and Places: Gazetteer of Hamilton County, TX
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Copyright © March, 1998
by Elreeta Crain Weathers, B.A., M.Ed.,  
(also Mrs.,  Mom, and Ph. T.)

A Work In Progress