Created on Monday, 25 March 2013 Written by BY SCOTT D. TROSTEL FOR THE BELLEFONTAINE EXAMINER
Thursday afternoon, March 27, the third day of the flood, an urgent and wide appeal for aid came from Dayton. All towns immediately undertook solicitation of food, goods clothing and supplies from its citizens.
ABOVE: A crowd gathers at the trestle bridge outside Belle Center on March 25, 1913. (PHOTO | COURTESY LOGAN COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY) FRONT PAGE PHOTO: Unloading relief supplies onto wagons at the Big Four Station in West Liberty, between Baird and Runkle Streets, March 28,1913, as the massive rebuilding stage continues after the flood. (PHOTO | COURTESY OF THE DAYTON METRO LIBRARY)
DeGraff Mayor M. E. Sullivan was informed a special train would stop that evening to pick up such contributions as DeGraff people could offer. There was no time to call a citizens’ meeting and organize a committee. Mayor Sullivan called to his aid 14 young ladies and assigned them streets on which to solicit clothing, food and money. Volunteers with wagons and motor trucks were summoned, and by 6 p.m. a large quantity of goods was collected, boxed and put in a freight car, men and boys giving the Mayor every needed assistance.
The sum of $26.50 was collected and given to a committee of ladies and gentlemen, who then purchased clothing, blankets, children’s underwear, shoes etc. The Big Four generously provided freight cars without charge.
Bellefontaine people wasted no time in responding to the call for aid and relief in Dayton. Early that Thursday, City Council appropriated $200 to be used to purchase provisions to be sent to Dayton. Throughout the town solicitations were under way for food and clothing.
A dispute about the legality of the use of City money for relief in other communities came out and the Council refused to stand on the legalities. They pledged that if it was so illegal to help citizens in this dire time that they would all pay the money back from their personal funds: “Law or no law.”
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