A Voice from History: Marion Hooven Hallowell & the 1913 Flood

123200The following sound recording is taken from a tape recorded interview from 1980.  John Renick (with Australian accent) is heard talking with his 83 year old grandmother, the late Marion Hooven Renick Hallowell. This 8 minute 59 second excerpt details her memories of “the big flood,” including how the Hoovens’ cook baked bread and distributed this to neighbors, and how Marion carried around the neighborhood a partial keg of whiskey, boosting the neighbors’ spirits.

At the time of the 1913 flood, Marion was 16½ years old, and lived in the Lane Hooven House located at 319 North Third Street, Hamilton, Ohio 45011 (pictured, above). Her father, Earle Hooven, a son of John C. Hooven, was president of the Hooven Automatic Typewriter Company.

Thanks to John Renick, for his generosity in loaning this tape, and to Aaron Renner at Miami University Hamilton for digitizing the recording. (Click link below to listen).
1913 Flood Account

Ohio’s Greatest Disaster: The 1913 Flood in Hamilton and Beyond

Logos: Colligan History Project, 1913 Flood, and City of Hamilton


Trudy E. Bell, Senior Writer, University of California High-Performance AstroComputing Center & Author, The Great Dayton Flood of 1913

March 5, 2013, @ 7:30 p.m.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to high anticipated attendance, this event has been rescheduled to Parrish Auditorium, Miami University Hamilton.

The Great Easter Flood of 1913 was the most widespread natural disaster in the United States; its tornadoes, extensive severe weather, and subsequent record flooding afflicted 15 states. Join science writer Trudy E. Bell to explore how disaster and its aftermath helped revolutionize flood control technology and policy, municipal water treatment, methods of philanthropy and disaster relief, and even prepared the then-small Red Cross to become a major force on World War I battlefields.

This is a free, public event. Reception to follow.

Flood Centennial: A New Lens on the Past



Dear folks,

All here at the Colligan History Project are eagerly awaiting Hamilton’s forthcoming Great Miami River flood centennial (see schedule below). The public response has been tremendous, & the line-up of programs and events promises to be truly impressive.


Characterizing the imaginative response of local residents to the commemoration, historical enthusiast and talented shutterbug Brian D. Lenihan has created a stunning new series of images, recapturing the vantage of Hamilton photographers during the flood of 1913. Some of you have been lucky enough to see these already, but the Colligan History Project is proud to present them online for the first time ever (see link below). I’m sure you’ll agree, Brian has captured the city’s changing face in an original and unique way, as well as highlighting the flood’s devastating destruction.


More soon!

Matthew Smith

Assistant Director, Michael J. Colligan History Project