1937 Flood (1993)
= Audio Available Online
James H. Caufield, spouse of Ruth Caufield, was twenty-seven years old at the time of the 1937 flood. He lived with his wife and five-year-old child in an upstairs apartment at Sixth and Main in the west end of New Albany, Indiana. Mr. Caufield was the Assistant Manager at the Stieden's grocery store at the corner of Pearl and Market streets in downtown New Albany. The first floor of the Caufields' apartment building was flooded and they had to evacuate their home. They moved in with a family living in the east end of New Albany. Mr. Caufield talks about what it was like during the flood. He discusses the volunteer work that he did in the early stages and during the flood. He tells about events that happened during the flood and how the people in New Albany reacted during the flood. Index available.
Ruth Caufield, spouse of James Caufield, was twenty-four at the time of the 1937 flood. She lived with her husband and five-year-old daughter in an apartment at Sixth and Main streets in New Albany. Mrs. Caufield worked at Seinsheimer's clothing factory on Beeler Street in New Albany. The Caufield family's apartment was flooded and they moved in with a family living in eastern New Albany. Mrs. Caufield talks about the problems of maintaining a home during the flood. She gives her observation of what the flooded area was like, especially around New Albany High School, a building which was used as a temporary hospital during the flood. She tells about the time she realized that the flood was going to be a major disaster. Index available.
Joe Conniff was ten years old at the time of the 1937 flood. He lived with his parents and older sister on Twentieth Street between Bank and Griffin Streets in Louisville's West End. When the floodwaters covered the streets in their neighborhood, Joe and his family moved to Fern Crerek and stayed with his cousin. He recalls riding to Fern Creek in an Army truck and driving through the water. He discusses what it was like staying in Fern Creek and his impressions of the flood. He also talks about the return to their home after the flood. He also compares the 1937 flood to the 1945 flood. Index available.
Marianne Glass was seven years old and a second grader at Emerson School at the time of the 1937 flood. She lived with her grandparents and parents and one sister at 1127 Sylvia Street in the Germantown area of Louisville. Her home was not in the flood area but water came wihin two blocks of her home. She gives her recollections of the flood as a seven-year-old and recalls the fear that she felt as a child going through the flood. She also discusses what she did to pass the time during the flood. Index available.
Richard N. (Buddy) Kern was ten years old at the time of the 1937 flood. He lived with his parents and three brothers upstairs over the tavern his father owned at Thirty-fourth Street and Michigan Avenue (now called Muhammad Ali Boulevard) in Louisville's West End. When the floodwaters arived at their front doorsteps Buddy, his mother and his brothers moved in with his grandfather at Preston and Eastern Parkway. Buddy recalls watching the water rise from several directions to converge at his home and then having to walk across a railroad overpass spanning floodwaters to reach his grandfather's car in order to be evacuated from the flood. Buddy also recalls the living conditions at his temporary home and what he and his brothers did to pass the time during the flood. After the floodwaters receded, Buddy and his family moved back home even though utilities had not yet been restored. Buddy talks about helping his father serve food from the upstairs portion of their home to the workers cleaning up after the flood. Index available.
William F. Kern, Junior was thirty-six years old at the time of the 1937 flood. He lived with his wife and four children upstairs over the tavern he ran at Thirty-fourth Street and Michigan Avenue (now called Muhammad Ali Boulevard) in Louisville's West End. When Mr. Kern's home became flooded, he moved his family to Preston Street and Eastern Parkway in Louisville. He then returned to his home where he and two other men operated a dispatching station for police and other officials in boats since his building had the only operating phone in the area. He also was an auixiliary policeman deputized by the City of Louisville and as such went on patrols in boats in the flooded area. He was forced to leave his home when a fire on Fourteeenth Street threatened to set the floodwaters ablaze. Mr. Kern tells of his experiences in the flood such as shooting at rats floating by from the second floor of his home. He also tells of going to Washington, D.C. to meet with government officials about problems in Louisville from the flood. He describes meeting President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the Oval Office of the White House. Index available.
Elwood Krepper was twenty years old at the time of the 1937 flood. He lived with his father in an apartment at 811 Cecil Avenue in the West End of Louisville. Mr. Krepper was a relief manager for Kroger. When the flood waters reached their apartment, Mr. Krepper and his father were evacuated to a relief staging point and placed on a train. They rode in a box car all night until they reached Paoli, Indiana. They stayed in a refugee center in the gymnasium of the Paoli High School for the duration of the flood. Mr. Krepper recalls what the trip was like in the box car and describes life at the refugee shelter in Paoli. Mr. Krepper describes what it was like returning to Louisville shortly after the flood. Index available.
Audrey Marguet was twenty-five at the time of the 1937 flood. She lived at 1902 Charlestown Road in New Albany with her husband and three-year-old daughter. The Marguets' home was not in the flood area; however, because there was no water or electricity, they moved in with Mrs. Marguet's husband's aunt and who lived on a farm on Floyds Knobs in southern Indiana. Her parents' home in Louisville was in the path of the flood. They were forced to evacuate shortly before the floodwaters arrived. Mrs. Marguet talks about the apprehension she felt because she could not contact her family in Louisville. She heard many horrible rumors on the radio about victims of the flood and was extremely worried about the fate of her family. She also discussed what it was like living on the farm during the flood and stories she heard from her family about the flood. Index available.
William D. Meyers was twenty-four years old at the time of the 1937 flood. He lived with his wife in a three room third floor apartment at 1312 South Sixth Street in Louisville. Mr. Meyers was Deputy Tax Receiver for the city of Louisville. During the flood, Mr. meyers was given a truck to drive by the police and spent the period of the flood driving for the city and performing various duties with his truck. Mr. Meyers' wife's parents and some friends of the family stayed with the Meyers during the flood. A total of seven people lived in the three room Meyers apartment. Mr. Meyers recalls his experiences while driving the truck in the flood area. These include hauling a dead body to the pontoon bridge at Baxter Avenue for delivery to a mortuary in the Highlands and helping the police drag the corpse of a deceased horse with his truck from the middle of the street to a grave dug by the side of the road. He also tells his experience of visiting the refugee center at the Jefferson County Armory, now called Louisville Gardens. Index available.
Mary M. Oswald was thirty-nine years old at the time of the 1937 flood. She lived with her husband at 1203 Delor Avenue int eh Grermantown area of Louisville. Friends of the family and their seven-year-old daughter ame to stay with the Oswalds when their home on Ash Street, about five blocks away, was flooded. Mrs. Oswald's husband worked at American Standard and on weekends would help rescue people from the flood in the West End. Mrs. Oswald was a volunteer worker in the refugee center at St. Elizabeth Church. Mrs. Oswald tells about her experiences at the refugee center. She also tells about her friends' and relatives' experiences in the flood. Index available.
Bert Scales was almost twenty-seven years old at the time of the 1937 flood. She lived with her husband, Charles, and two children, ages three and four, in a duplex at Thirty-fourth and Broadway in Louisville. When the floodwaters neared their home, the Scales evacuated it and moved in with her mother at Twenty-seventh and Market Streets in Louisville. They stayed there until they were told to leave because of approaching floodwaters. They moved to an apartment in the Highlands on Eastern Parkway. By this time there were eleven people who moved into the apartment. Mrs. Scales describes the flood areas and what it was like moving from one flood area to another. She also talks about living with eleven people in a three room apartment. After the flood receded, the Scales moved back to her mother's house. She tells about going back to her home after the flood and describes the damage which prevented them from moving in for four months. Mrs. Scales also tells about her brother-in-law's drug store on Forty-first Street and how the flood affected it. Index available.
James Q. Troutman was a sixteen-year-old high school student who lived with his parents and younger brother at the corner of Dixie Highway and Myers Lane at the time of the 1937 flood. Although neighboring residences were flooded and water came within three feet of the house, the Troutman home remained dry. Two persons whose homes were flooded lived with the Troutman family for the duation of the flood. Mr. Troutman recalls what it was like during the flood. He discusses the method they used to keep up with what was happening during the flood and what they did to pass the time while waiting for the flood waters to recede. Mr. Troutman also talks about the weather leading up to the flood and how they became aware that there was going to be a flood. When the water receded, Mr. Troutman rode into the other parts of the city and observed the damage the flood had caused. Index available.
Raymond J. Weber was eighteen years old at the time of the 1937 flood. He was a senior at St. Xavier High School and lived with his parents at Baxter and Payne Streets in Louisville. The Weber home missed the flood area by about two blocks. Mr. Weber tended to the furnace at St. Boniface Catholic Church on Liberty Street during the flood. The church was used as a shelter for flood victims. He describes the pontoon bridge at Baxter and also discusses Louisville as it was in 1937. Index available.