Friday, December 7, 2007

1927 Mississippi River Flood

I received the following information from Chris Hansen of California about the devastating flood in 1927 that affected West Carroll Parish, as well as surrounding areas. My father also told me about this flood, but his information came from other people as he was not born until about two years later.

Ethelyn Williamson Griffin, age 93, was interviewed in Orange, California, September 9, 2007 about the the 1927 flood. Her brother, Leo Williamson, age 92, was interviewed June 7, 1996. He was 81 when he was interviewed in Victoria, Texas. They are the oldest and the only two of seven Williamson siblings still living.

The Williamson Farm was located near what is now Highway 577 and the Plum Grove Road. At the time of the 1927 flood, Highway 577 was a railroad track, in fact the eastern-most section of what is now Highway 577 is called Dummyline Road today.

Leo said that he and his father, Ward Dell Williamson, heard about the flood the day before it actually reached the Williamson farm. Later that night, they heard the roaring of water flowing over the railroad crossties and the cries of the farm animals as the water got deeper. Their house was built 4 feet off the ground, and it survived until the water started rushing out of the area and the foundation collapsed. During the flood, 3 acres did not flood, so they took refuge on "Little Colewa Mount" along with neighbors, animals, and many Copperhead Snakes. Fortunately, no one was bitten by the snakes. The water did not recede from the Williamson farm for about 4 - 5 weeks. during this time Ethelyn was sent to live with the Blackman family so she could continue her schooling in Pioneer. Leo, his father, Ward Williamson, his mother, Lela McElrath Williamson, and the younger siblings stayed on the farm.

The main field of the farm was covered with logs and other debris that had floated in during the flood. Ward Dell Williamson was seriously ill during this time and died at the age of 34 later in 1927. As soon as the ground dried, cleanup was left to 12-year-old Leo Williamson; he borrowed two mules from a neighbor, Dave Pierce, and started dragging the logs out of the fields, but too late to grow a crop in 1927. In the spring of 1928, many of the neighbors came over and plowed the fields to prepare for planting, and they did make a good cotton crop in 1928.


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Kristin Morgan said...

I also found out the names of the couple in front of the Floyd Courthouse. They are Tom and Susie (spelling?) Hooper. This information was provided by Mrs Bobbie Hegwood of Pioneer, La. I believe she said that Tom was her grandmother's brother. My email is if you want to contact me.

Sandra Adams said...

My mother, Betty Eubanks Guice Williamson married Bert Williamson in 1971 or 1972. He was the son of Lela Williamson. Bert died of cancer in the 1980s, maybe 85 or 86. My Mother, Betty, was the daughter of Mary Cawthon Bailey Eubanks and Herman C.Eubanks. Mary's father was Chesley Cawthon. I can be contacted at

Who are these people?

Sally Jo Gibson sent me this picture of the "Old Floyd" Courthouse, but didn't know who the people were. If anyone knows who they are, please let the rest of us know. Just post a reply.

Old Floyd Courthouse

Old Floyd Courthouse

Buildings in Old Floyd

Buildings in Old Floyd