Bear Creek was, and is, unpredictable

Photo cutline: This postcard is labeled "Bear Creek Rampage 1910, Hannibal, Mo." In the background The Goddard Grocer Co. can be seen. CONTRIBUTED/STEVE CHOU

During Hannibal's lumber hey days, this industry was generally located along the banks of Bear Creek. Everyone who knows anything about Hannibal realizes that Bear Creek can be quite unpredictable, and such was the case as far back as 1885.

While many early editions of the Courier-Post were lost to fire during the last half of the 19th Century, the history of the town often exists in other newspapers. News items were sent out by telegraph, and picked up by other newspapers across the country.

The following storm story, which devastated everything in its path along Bear Creek, was published in the Parsons Daily Sun, Parsons, Kansas.

1885 The Storm King at Hannibal, Mo.

May 30, 1885

The Parsons Daily Sun, Parsons, Kansas, Newspapers.com

Hannibal, Mo. There was a great storm here Wednesday night, causing great damaged to lumber yards and railroads. The Hannibal & St. Joe and the St. Louis, Keokuk & Southwestern bridges were washed away, and also the Long Line, Munger and Sixth street bridges were demolished. In a few minutes a great washout was caused in the lumber yards of this city. A million feet of lumber was carried away, whole piles being swept down the stream. The loss is about $50,000. The companies suffering from the loss are the Hannibal, Cruikshanks, Dubach & Co., the Badger State, Herriman & Curd and the Northwestern. Quite a number of houses were washed out, and many families narrowly escaped drowning, the rescue being very difficult. The oldest inhabitant can remember no storm which equaled it. Whole fields are swept away.

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