The great Galveston disaster, containing a full and thrilling account of the most appalling calamity of modern times including vivid descriptions of the hurricane Page: 205
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DETAILS OF THE OVERWHELMING TRAGEDY. 205
" From that time on the wind grew stronger. At 5 o'clock
the water was six feet deep in the lower floor of the Washington
Hotel. Why, it covered the telephone box in the office. The
wind blew not less than ninety-five miles an hour from then until
"The first rise came from the bay, and the bay rise lasted
until about 8 P. M. Then the tide from the Gulf met the rise
from the bay and forced it back. That's when we had our highest
water. And I want to say to you right now that but for those
two forces meeting there wouldn't be a stick left on Galveston
"About 9 o'clock the water commenced to fall rapidly, and
at o1 o'clock the wind had subsided fully 50 per cent. The damage
had all been done. At daylight we got out and went down to
the beach. From the beach back for four or five blocks it was
just as clean as this floor. Up and down the island there was
wreckage as high as this ceiling. This had something to do
with breaking the force of the water. And that wreckage was
full of dead bodies. The only way to get rid of it is to burn
it with the bodies in it, for they can never be taken out.
MAKING A HURRIED ESCAPE.
"Monday at noon we left the wharf on the sailboat 'Lake
Austin' in company with five others. We paid $ioo for passage to
Texas City. The names of those in the party were, J. A. Kemp,.
of Wichita lFalls; Henry Sayles, of Abilene; A. W. Boyd, of
Houston; W. A. Frazer, of Dallas, and myself and my wife.
Mrs. Griswold was the first woman to leave the island after the
disaster. We landed at Texas City at 2.30, caught the Texas
Terminal Railway to a junction with the Galveston, Houston and
Henderson. From there we walked for a mile to where they were
repairing the track, and caught a freight train into Houston,
arriving about 10.30 at night.
" The buildings in Galveston that are not totally wrecked are
damaged in F uch a manner that I believe it will cost as much to
repair them a ; it would to build new ones outright. There is not
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Lester, Paul. The great Galveston disaster, containing a full and thrilling account of the most appalling calamity of modern times including vivid descriptions of the hurricane, book, 1900~; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth26719/m1/252/: accessed April 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .