National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce



Republican River Flood of 1935

A Closer Look at

Hale, Colorado


Back To Map Personal Stories Newspapers Accounts Photos Weather Data

Amount of Rain Measured - 22.2 inches

Time Flood Impacted Hale-

River Crest at Hale-

River Width at Hale-


Personal Stories from Hale



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Newspaper Articles from Hale


 From Josiah and His Family Website

The Wray Gazette

Wray, Colorado,Thursday, June 6, 1935
Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Harding Were Yuma County's Only Flood Casualties
Three persons, all members of one family who resided near Hale on the South Fork of the Republican, were swept away in the flood waters last Thursday night and Friday. They were Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Harding and one of their children, and they are believed to be the only casualties in Yuma County from the flood that spread death and destruction through eastern Nebraska and Kansas. Many others in this section, who lived close to the banks of the Arickaree and South Fork escaped drowning by almost miraculous happenings.
The Harding family were caught in the flood when it engulfed their home. Neighbors who saw their plight made heroic efforts to rescue them, and three of the children were brought to safety, but not before their home washed away, carrying with it the father and mother and one son. The mother's body was reported discovered near Benkelman.
A daughter and her husband came here Sunday from Ogallala, Neb., when they learned of the disaster and were taken across the Arickaree at Beecher Island to go to Hale. A son-in-law came from Torrington, Wyo., Monday morning and went from here to Benkelman to identify, if possible, the body found there and believed to be Mrs. Harding.
Ira J. Whipple, another widely known Hale resident, was caught in the flood waters which completely surrounded his home. His home, however, withstood the water and he was carried to safety by rescuers.
Stories of the rescue work done by the people Hale community, one of the spots that suffered most by the flood, reach heroic proportions. It is impossible to learn the names of all those who took part in the rescue work, but Ernest Wiley and Joe Busby are mentioned in accounts brought to Wray.

Hattie's body was recovered downriver near Benkelman, Nebraska:

The Benkelman Post and News-Chronicle

Benkelman, Nebraska,Friday, June 7, 1935
Body of Hale, Colo. Woman Was Found On The South Fork By Local Searchers

The body of a woman was found on the sand near the K. W. McDonald farm by a searching party comprising Willard McDonald, Lyle Carlin and George Follett Sunday afternoon. Her body was practically nude. The boys moved her to the McDonald ranch house, two of them remaining while the third went for help. A team and wagon was secured and the body brought to the North Fork bridge where it was taken across in the boat. It was then carried to town and turned over to Miss McEvoy for embalming. Doctor Peck of St. Francis, who came to Benkelman with Dale Fallart that afternoon to ascertain the extent of the loss of life, indicated the belief that it might be the body of Mrs. Blanche [sic] Harding of Hale, Colorado. The flood had swept away the Harding dwelling and with it Mr. and Mrs. Harding and their four children. Three children were later recovered alive but the parents and one child were still missing. Relatives of the deceased woman later identified her as Mrs. Harding and her body was taken to Hale by airplane sent from that place Monday afternoon. We understand that the missing child has been found dead in the river bottom but that Mr. Harding is still unaccounted for. Hale is 80 miles from Benkelman and there were indications that Mrs. Harding had a made a terrific fight for life as she probably floated down the river on debris for many miles before being overcome and lost. She was about 45 years of age.


The Wray Gazette
Wray, Colorado, Thursday, June 27, 1935 [Page 1]
The body of J. F. Harding, Hale farmer who was washed away with his wife and a son in the Decoration Day flood on the South Fork, was found a few miles west of St. Francis, Tuesday afternoon, according to reports from that section. It is stated that the body had been covered by sand and it is believed the high waters of last week partially uncovered it.

The body was identified by Ernest Wiley, on whose place the Hardings resided. Funeral services and burial were held at Armel Wednesday afternoon. Mrs. Harding and the son were recovered just after the flood, the son near Hale and Mrs. Harding near Benkelman.

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Photos from the Area


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Cooperative Weather Data



River Flow Graphs

None available for Hale, Colorado.

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