March 17, 1913: Editor Charles Spatz Urges Establishment of Relief Fund to Aid Victims in Ohio


By Margaret Leidy Harner from her book One Day at a Time: A Social History of Boyertown, PA.

March 17, 1913: “When Boyertown was in great need because of the Opera House fire in 1908, the world was prompt and generous in helping us, and we must start a local relief fund, which will promptly be forwarded to the American Red Cross,” declared Charles Spatz in the Democrat after President Woodrow Wilson issued a call to the world for aid to flood victims in Ohio.

Spatz has called on the residents of Boyertown to immediately help those stricken brothers and sisters. Floods have devastated large parts of Ohio and many lives have been lost as well as thousands left homeless and in intense suffering.

A school building with 400 children in it was totally submerged and it is believed that those littles ones are now in a watery grave. Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital in Dayton, Ohio, with its 600 patients, is reported to have been washed away. Biting cold and disease are now adding to the terrors of the survivors, who are living day ty day with little food, no fresh water and no light.

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