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friend, Mr. Humes, has said, that perhaps some of you would like to know about our operations while at Johnstown, yet just where to begin, what to say, and how to say it is very a difficult thing to decide. I appreciate the compliment you paid us by turning out this very warm evening to welcome us back to our homes.
    “It so happened that both of us were in Cambria County on the Friday of the disaster. It was raining that day, and was very muddy. Both of us were out that day in the rain and mud with gum boots and rubber coats, and turned in for the night tired, wet and sore. The next morning, at six o'clock the landlord at whose house we stopped came up to General Hastings's door, and said there had been a flood at Johnstown, and five hundred people were drowned. He then came to my door, rapped, and made the same announcement. We immediately got up, and were eating our breakfast when the second message came over the telephone, stating that the loss was a thousand.
    “General Hastings then said, if that was the case, there would be a great many homeless people in that valley, and he asked me to accompany him to Johnstown, and ascertain the truth of these reports, and, if true, he would telegraph at once to Harrisburg for tents. We then drove to Ebensburg, fifteen miles, and after arriving there we learned that five thousand people had perished

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Last Updated: 30 Mar 2008
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Lynne Canterbury and Diann Olsen