The Weather Giveth, and the Weather Taketh Away

Flooding covered the railroad tracks near Skidmore, Missouri in 1915

This photograph by G. C. Ashbrook was taken in 1915 to illustrate the flooding that surrounded the Skidmore area. Other photos in the series were published in the Skidmore New Era in July 1915.

The July 15 and July 22, 1915 editions of the Skidmore New Era reported that serious flooding had washed out bridges and cut off railway access, causing the cancellation of the scheduled Skidmore Chautauqua and stranding residents.

The July 22 edition pointed out that fourteen years before, Missouri had been in the midst of severe drought, and just eight years before, the area had seen even greater flooding.

 The High Water of 1907
A Brief Story of the Flood Which Occurred Eight Years Ago As Told by The New Era

The rain that fell at this place Sunday night between seven and eleven o’clock was by far the heaviest that ever visited this section.  At times, it rained so hard that it was impossible to see across the street, and those who were not here to see will have only a faint conception of the immensity of the down pour when told that in the four hours, between 8 and 9 inches of water fell, flooding the ground, and in a short time every little stream was a roaring torrent.  The water in these streams together with that from the hillsides rolled into the Nodaway river and before the rain ceased falling, the water began to overflow the bottom land.  It was then that men who had stock in the river and creek bottoms began the task of moving their horses, cattle and hogs to higher ground.  The water rose with such rapidity and the darkness so intense that it was with difficulty this was accomplished and in some cases it was impossible to reach them before they were swept away in the flood, but as it was, a greater part of the stock was saved.

The County Court, township trustees and road overseers are having their share of trouble as nearly every bridge of any size was torn from their places by the high water and placed where they would do the least good.  All the bridges across the river near this place were not injured.  Those living near the smaller streams say they were higher at this time than ever before.

Many cellars and caves were turned into cisterns and roofs that had never leaked before did not keep out all the water.

The railroad Co also came in for its share of the damage.  This branch was hard hit.  Track was washed out between here and Quitman in the Sand Creek and Florida bottoms, and near Maitland.  A greater portion of the track between Mound City and Bigelow was washed away and it will take several days to fix it so trains can run.  The railroad track between here and Quitman will be ready for service some time today (Thursday) or tomorrow.  This branch, the main line between Bigelow and St. Joesph and the roads between Kansas City and St. Joseph were the most seriously damaged.

Groups of men all over the country are busily engaged in mending bridges along the highways until travel can be resumed with some degree of safety.

Take it all in all this rain caused more damage than any that ever fell in this section of the country.