1913 Flood in Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana

Map showing river obstructions 1913 flood

April 3, 1913 map from an April 8, 2013 post by the Genealogy Centeron Facebook : Cynthia found this cool map showing obstructions in the rivers that contributed to the effects of the Great Flood of 1913 here in Fort Wayne. It is in one of the big boxes of flat maps here in The Genealogy Center if you would like to take a closer look.

Over 120 photos in a 1913 Flood search, over 100 photos Fort Wayne Flood 1913 search, and over 40 photos in a Ft. Wayne Flood search results in the Allen County Public Library Digital Collections at the Allen County Public Library.

1913 - 2017 photo comparison

A 1913 flood photo compared to a 2017 photo of the Combs Street bridge at Edgewater Avenue, on the east (right) side of the map above. Yellowish photo on the left is labeled 1913 Flood at Tecumseh Street and Edgewater Avenue in the Allen County Public Library Digital Collections at the Allen County Public Library.

Fort Wayne Through Time Leftovers: Dan Baker and I spent 15 months putting together our book, Fort Wayne Through Time, and ended up with more photograph comparisons than we could use. We’ve chosen some of our favorites of the leftovers to share with you until the book comes out November 1. March/1913: Combs Street Bridge at Edgewater Avenue. Fort Wayne has been the recipient of three devastating floods (and dozens of nearly so) during its recorded history. The first documented was in 1790, followed by the famous 1913 Flood, and then the 1982 Flood which resulted in us being dubbed “The City That Saved Itself”. The 1913 Flood washed out many parts of Fort Wayne resulting in 5,500 homes incurring damage and over 15,000 citizens left homeless. During the night of March 26th, water breached the dikes adjacent to Lakeside on both the St. Joe and Maumee River sides. In this image, building materials litter the intersection of Tecumseh and Edgewater at the north end of the bridge. As can be seen, several of the houses in this view are still in use 105 years later. (Image Courtesy Harter Postcard Collection/ACPL). Photo from an archived closed Facebook group June 30, 2018. This same location can be seen on Google maps Street view.

Report to the Fort Wayne citizens' flood prevention committee by Grosvenor, Asa W. [from old catalog] Publication date 1913 on Archive.org

Flood of 1913 premiered May 21, 2021 by ARCH, Inc on YouTube
ARCH ( Architecture and Community Heritage) has been a leading force for preservation in Fort Wayne and Northeast Indiana since 1975 with monthly programs and more on their website: https://archfw.org/. Recordings of ARCH, Inc. programs are premiered on YouTube.

Several flood videos from The News-Sentinel newspaper

Now and then, the Flood of 1913 published March 13, 2013 by The News-Sentinel newspaperon YouTube

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Flood Letter published March 19, 2013 by The News-Sentinel newspaperon YouTube

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Headwaters Park published March 5, 2013 by The News-Sentinel newspaperon YouTube

Bob Kennedy on the latest flood-control improvements in Fort Wayne published February 19, 2013 by The News-Sentinel newspaperon YouTube

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Betty Stein's account from the 1913 flood from The News-Sentinel published on March 5, 2013
Betty Stein, 96, remembers her mother's relief work during the flood of 1913.

  1. The City of Fort Wayne has a Flood Control Department whose vision is to see minimal property damage and no loss of life during flood events. They have a chronological Historical Flood Data pdf back to January 1828.
  2. 1910-1919: THE INDUSTRIALIZATION ERA Help give orphans a fitting memorial Heroism, tragedy color story of Fort Wayne's worst flood in 1913 by Andrew Jarosh in the original version of The News-Sentinel newspaperarchives discusses the flooding of the Allen County Orphan's Home and loss of life of two young girls, Alice Mannen and Kittie Wise, who didn't receive tombstones until July 1999 in Section U of Lindenwood Cemetery. Four names are posted for Fort Wayne in a Revised List of Known Dead in the Ohio Valley Floods in a Find A Grave post with Kittie Wise.
  3. Flood of the Century A Look Back At The Flood of 1913 And How It Changed Fort Wayne - from The News-Sentinel newspaperhas links from their 2 day series of 2013 stories providing the following highlights:
  4. Good Friday, March 21, 1913 - it started as a storm with winds clocked at 60 mph tearing up Fort Wayne.
  5. Easter Sunday, March 23, 1913 - a steady rain prevented women from turning out in their Easter bonnets, and the Easter parade was canceled.
  6. Monday, March 24, 1913 - wind reached speeds up to 52 mph, was over in a matter of minutes. 2.76 inches of rainfall over 24 hours caused the rivers to rise 12 feet in one day. By Monday evening, water surrounded 42 houses on Wagner Street, Baltes Avenue and Prospect Avenue.
  7. Tuesday, March 25, 1913 - water began flowing into Lakeside at 8 a.m., at the foot of the Tennessee Avenue Bridge. Floodwaters seeped into water-pumping stations, overflowing rivers, flooded streets, now the city faced a water shortage. The south-side reservoir didn't contain enough water to sustain the city for even a day. An iconic photo titled High Water Along St. Joe Blvd. Lakeside Ft. Wayne, IND March 25, 1913 from the The News-Sentinel newspaperRoto section dated April 4, 1964 shows sandbags along St. Joseph Boulevard shared November 17, 2022 on True Fort Wayne Indiana History on Facebook stating: Surveyors often deal with storm water run-off and are involved in FEMA programs like the Flood Insurance Rate Maps or FIRM Maps where they rate properties on the likelihood of flooding. My grandfather graduated from Purdue in 1913 and I’m sure he clipped this picture. of a November 17, 2016 post by Hofer and Davis, Inc. Land Surveyors on Facebook stating: For "Throwback Thursday" we share this photo taken along St. Joseph Boulevard in the Lakeside area on March 25, 1913. This photo is from The News-Sentinel Roto dated April 4, 1964. Captioned is "Spectators view the high water during the 1913 flood."
  8. Wednesday, March 26, 1913 - the Allen County Orphan's Home, situated in a bend of the St. Marys River west of Foster Park with about 60 children and their caretakers had moved to the second floor of the building. Four girls drowned during rescue attempts. Three more city people would drown before it was over.
  9. Thursday, March 27, 1913 - a rumor that the big dam at St. Mary's, Ohio, had given way sent residents of Fort Wayne into a fresh panic. Meanwhile, the Maumee River dropped 3 inches, and all parts of the city that had flooded saw substantial drops in the water level.
  10. Friday, March 28, 1913 - floodwaters had dropped about 18 inches, and the city felt a collective sense of relief that the worst was over.
  11. Saturday, March 29, 1913 - as conditions grew steadily better throughout the city, the 1913 flood claimed one last life.
  12. It wasn't until the next great flood, in 1982, that government really got serious about creating comprehensive solutions. Condensed from 6 deadly days: How the Flood of 1913 devastated Fort Wayne City's worst deluge left thousands homeless, caused millions in damage and killed 7 by Cindy Larson of The News-Sentinel newspaperMarch 20, 2013.
  13. High-water mark Flood fears temper push to develop city’s riverfronts March 17, 2013 - This week marks the 100th anniversary of the Great Flood of 1913 that destroyed large swaths of Indiana and Ohio and remains one of the worst floods in Fort Wayne’s history. That flood resulted in more than $110 million worth of damage in today’s dollars and at least seven deaths.
  14. Flood of the century A Look Back At The Flood of 1913 And How It Changed Fort Wayne - Part 1 by Cindy Larson of The News-Sentinel newspaper.
  15. Flood of the century How the Flood Shaped Fort Wayne - Part 2 by Bob Caylor of The News-Sentinel newspaper. Covers the flood control projects along the 3 rivers up to 2008.
  16. From the archives: Headstone, service memorialize orphans Latest News The girls died in the flood of 1913 by Darnell J. Compton of The News-Sentinel newspaperMarch 20, 2013. Originally published July 12, 1999 the story is about Girl Scout Cadet Troop 199 conducting a memorial service at Lindenwood Cemetery and dedicating a headstone at the graves of Alice Mannen and Kittie Wise, two girls who died trying to flee the Allen County Orphan's Home during Fort Wayne's flood of 1913.
  17. Readers share family stories, photos from Flood of 1913 Compiled by Sheryl Krieg of The News-Sentinel newspaperpublished March 20, 2013.
  18. From the archives: Current owner of house damaged in 1913 glad for city's flood control by Emma Dawson of The News-Sentinel Wednesday, March 20, 2013, originally published July 11, 2003.
  19. News-Sentinel Flood of 1913 photos They state: Since 1833, we've covered every major event in Fort Wayne's history. For several days in 1913, stories about the flood and photos filled the front pages of The Daily News and The Daily Sentinel. These photos are from the archives of The News-Sentinel. They also have archived photos from Reader-submitted Flood of 1913 photos and The Fort Wayne History Center.
  20. Fort Wayne photographer's legacy: A visual record of 1913 flood by Kevin Kilbane published March 21, 2013 in The News-Sentinel newspaper. A snippet from a longer article states: Many of the photos you see in The News-Sentinel's coverage of the 100th anniversary of the Flood of 1913 were snapped by one man — Norman P. Standish. Here is a little about him, drawn largely from 1976 News-Sentinel stories about the man and his work, and from Craig Berndt, development services program manager for City Utilities, who has a collection of Standish photos: Born in 1877 in Jackson, Mich., Standish already had established himself as a photographer when he met his future wife, Lovella, while taking a photo in 1908 of her and the rest of the nursing school graduating class at Jackson City Hospital. The couple soon married, and not long afterward they moved to Fort Wayne.
  21. Flood of 1913 Few changes followed flood of century March 25, 2013 by Dan Stockman of The Journal Gazette newspaper
  22. From the archives: Headwaters Park rises from mud An old idea blooms flood-prone city acreage into life published March 21, 2013 by Susan Fernandez of The News-Sentinel newspaper. This story was originally published October 21, 1994.
  23. From the archives: Fort Wayne embraces its rivers with new park March 21, 2013 by Andrea Muirragui Davis of The News-Sentinel newspaperabout the opening of Headwaters Park.
  24. A flood so terrible Devastation and death in 1913 by Bonnie Blackburn in Fort Wayne Magazine.
  25. Allen County, Indiana Flood Information Site - Allen County, Indiana government page
  26. Hoosier Recollections' buddy icon Indiana The Great Flood of 1913 photos on flickr
  27. The Superstorm That Flooded America by Christopher Klein published March 25, 2013 on History.com.
  28. July 15, 2017 photos and discussion on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Archived group only visible to existing members on Facebook
  29. Remembering the Flood of 1913 posted March 22, 2013 on the Genealogy Center Blog from The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. Links to Water USA: Resources, Conservation, Demand. Wright George T-17 Dec 1965-0001 Paper prepared for the Quest Club. 17 Dec. 1965. Quest Club Papers; digital image viewed online at www.acpl.info in the Quest Club Papers collection in Allen County Public Library Digital Collections at the Allen County Public Library.
  30. Photos and information posted May 19, 2022 on True Fort Wayne Indiana History on Facebook.
  31. December 17, 2017 post by Hofer and Davis, Inc. Land Surveyors on Facebook:

    For "Throwback Thursday" we share this article written by KEVIN LEININGER from the FORT WAYNE NEWS-SENTINEL on March 16,1982 about the 1913 flood during the 1982 flood. 1913 was the year A.K. Hofer graduated from Purdue University!.

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