Alexander County

River, Levee, Flooding, Freezing, Snow

Ohio River Levee

1913 Flooding

Flooding being commonplace during this time, many of my Grandmother’s photos are full of water! My father wrote the location in print. The Maud he is referring to is Maud Rittenhouse.

Ohio River Levee, during the 1917-18 winter

Sandbagging the Ohio River, Cairo, 1918

Floodwaters in Cairo, around 1918

Ohio River Frozen Across

This is in my Grandmother’s handwriting "This was the first time in 100 years it had been frozen from Kentucky to Illinois." Frances Bouchet McGee (1900-1996). She and her brothers and sisters walked across the Ohio. It’s hard to imagine that ever happening. (Bill McGee is my father.)

Big Snow - January, 1918

My Grandmother’s note on the back: “This snow pile with flag was in front of Henckell’s Drug Store”. Henckell’s was located at 713 Commercial; owned by Herbert N. Henckell.

Back reads: "8th Street Washington Avenue. East to Commercial." (This puzzles me because 8th and Washington are intersections. Commercial runs parallel to Washington. But this is what my grandmother wrote.)

Mayoral Proclamation, 1937


To the Citizens of Cairo:

Owing to the uncertainty as to the crest of the rivers here, and to reduce the number of people to be looked after and to make all many power available for levee work, I hereby notify all women and children and all aged and incapacitated persons to evacuate the city.

The situation here is well in hand and we expect to keep the rivers from flooding the city, but take the above action as a precautionary measure.

All able bodied men must remain in the city for such services as may be needed. Ample arrangements have been made, in case of necessity, for the removal by boat of all men remaining.

August Bode, Mayor.
Cairo, Illinois, January 25, 1937.

Contributed Aug 2019, by Deborah McGee Cox, as a part of the McGee Collection.

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