This story posted features the DETERS surname.




Yester Year Stories, Backed with Today's Research


LeMars Sentinel
July 19, 1900


Carl Deters, residing a mile and a half north of town, occasioned his
friends and acquaintances no little uneasiness last Monday morning and it
was currently reported that he had met with a fatal mishap while going home
across the Floyd River late on Sunday night.

To add color and strength to the rumor, his buggy was found upside down near
the last bridge on the north turnpike road and a stray horse was found two
miles further downstream.

On Monday afternoon to ascertain if there was any foundation or truth in the
report, John Leonard, Clarence Dresselhuys and R. M. Latham went up the
river in a boat and across the flooded meadows on the Gehlen and Nemmers
farms. Here they met Mr. Peter Nemmers, who assured them quickly of the
safety of Mr. Deters.

However, Deters had a very narrow escape from losing his life. He and Peter
Nemmers were in town on Sunday afternoon attending church and in the evening
proposed to return to their respective homes. They drove down to the big
iron bridge and their sight was greeted by an angry swirling, tumbling mass
of dark waters, which presaged ill for any attempts at passage.

Mr. Nemmers declared he would not try to cross the raging current for a
thousand dollars and they returned up town. Mr. Nemmers stayed overnight in
town with relatives and supposed Deters would do the same as the latter said
he would go and put up at the Dubuque House. About half past nine Deters
started home, driving a horse hitched to a single buggy. On crossing one of
the bridges on the north road, the raging torrent of water struck his horse
and buggy, upsetting the rig and sweeping the whole outfit into the seething
mass of water. More by good luck than anything, Deters was washed up
against a small bridge in Chas. Nemmers’ pasture, where he clung for several
minutes to regain his breath and eject some of the water he had swallowed
and been soused in. The horse, with true animal instinct, followed its
master and Deters managed to let go the straps which secured it to the
buggy. With the assistance of the horse, he managed to wade up and plunge
through the flooded fields where in some places the water was up to his neck
and even deeper and finally got to a place of safety. He then proceeded to
the home of Mr. Chas. Nemmers where he passed the night. The next day he
succeeded in getting home by going away round by the St. Paul railroad