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lands and easements necessary to the execution of the project shall be furnished without cost to the United States.

According to the best information I have been able to obtain, the cost referred to will be approximately $3,500,000. I have heretofore referred to the existing authority in these drainage and levee units to comply with the condition prece dent referred to as to furnishing all lands and easements necessary for the execution of this work. It would seem, therefore, that the condition precedent attached to the recommendations of the War Department and the Mississippi River Commission should not in any way interfere with the immediate prosecution of this most worthy and commendable project.

The estimated annual maintenance cost of the system embraced in House Document No. 159 is $196,500. Considering the high state of development of this territory, its fertility, and productiveness, there can be no question of either the ability or authority of the local communities to maintain the construction after installation. As I understand it, that duty will devolve upon the local units, and I unbesitatingly say that this obligation can and will be discharged.

A reference to House Document No. 159, sections 36 and 40, page 55, contains the correct statement that the territory involved in this project is subject to overflow from the two sources therein referred to. Under the Flood Control Act of 1928, what I designate as the front-line levees, those on the Mississippi River, this territory is obligated to maintain. This obligation to maintain the front-line levees so far as this territory is concerned is rendered all the more difficult, when the ability to discharge that obligation is lessened year after year by floods of the St. Francis River and its tributaries, though the frontline levees are functioning perfectly. Water is water, whether from the Mississippi or the St. Francis. Though the front door be securely and adequately fastened, if the rear door be left ajar, the way is left open for the infliction of the flood damages.

In spite of the protection given from Mississippi River overflow, there were 1,360,000 acres (2.125 square miles) of this territory north of the backwater area flooded in 1927 by headwater of the St. Francis or its tributaries. Since 1927, with the Mississippi River levees holding and functioning perfectly, the levee systems along the St. Francis and its tributaries have failed in the years 1928, 1929, 1930, 1933, and 1935. Thus the statements contained in House Document No. 159 on this feature of the situation have been fully confirmed, and this situation affords ample authority for the recommendations of the War Department and the Mississippi River Commission, as contained in Committee Document No. 1, Seventy-fourth Congress, first session. This territory cannot derive full benefit from the expenditures made on the Mississippi River until adequate protection is given from the floods of the St. Francis River and its tributaries.

I might not be amiss to here state that a reference to exhibit no. 5 attached to House Document No. 159, Seventy-first Congress, second session, shows a levee now constructed along the left bank of the St. Francis River and on the west side of Stoddard County in Missouri, beginning approximately at Wappapello and extending on south past Dudley, in Stoddard County, Mo. The territory in Stoddard County that it was sought to protect by the Mingo levee is an area now existing in this territory that has not progressed to a very high state of development. Although this levee, known and designated as the Mingo levee, was constructed in the year 1922, for some reason the territory included within the limits of the Mingo organization has not progressed to development. A reference to exhibit no. 5 to House Document No. 159 discloses that at the time of the report and recommendations referred to, it was recommended that the Mingo levee become a part of the proposed plan without change in the existing Mingo levees.

Due to the small percentage of the Mingo area which progressed to a state of development, the lands in this Mingo district were to a large extent abandoned, and no substantial amount of the general taxes or special assessments to pay the bonds issued for the Mingo improvement or to maintain the improvement were paid. In this situation, since the making of the recommended plan for improvement, these Mingo levees have deteriorated to a large extent and were crevassed in a good many places by the 1935 flood.

Eminent authority exists for the statement that the Mingo levees should never have been constructed for reasons which I do not deem it necessary to set out herein as I feel that this situation has been more ably presented to your committee than I could hope to present it.



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However, it is my understanding, that the territory, or at least a large part of the same, sought to be protected by the Mingo levees, has been approved by the Bureau of Biological Survey, Department of Agriculture, as a wildlife refuge, and that negotiations are now in progress to convert the Mingo area into a wildlife refuge. Knowing this territory as I do, I believe that this Mingo area is peculiarly fitted and adapted to the proposed objective, and I hope that the pending negotiations and plans for its conversion into a wildlife refuge will be successfully consummated.

I might add that, basing my statement on eminent authority, such restoration of the Mingo area to its former condition, will materially strengthen and promote the feasibility of the recommended plan contained in House Document No. 159, and will not in anyway interfere or conflict with the execution of the general plan as proposed.

The people in this area are satisfied with the recommendations and plan for flood control of the St. Francis River and its tributaries as embraced in House Document No. 159, Seventy-first Congress, second session, as well as any amendments to said plan which this eminent authority may see fit to make. The success of these departments of our Government, viewed in the light of past experience and knowledge, convinces us that their mastery over far more difficult problems of engineering, will permit us to rest in security if their recommendations and plan be carried out.

I should consider myself remiss in duty and obligation, did I not express at this time the sincere appreciation and gratitude of the people I have the honor to represent, for the great service rendered to the people living within this afflicted area since the time Congress authorized these departments to come to their aid. Their beneficial work cannot be overestimated and their service will live long in the minds and hearts of the people living within this


I further welcome this opportunity to express my admiration and gratitude to the members of this committee and their predecessors, whose untiring energy, devotion to duty and sympathetic interest, were in a large measure responsible for the enactment of the Flood Control Act of 1928 by the Congress. This work and the results obtained by it have been a great forward step in the progress of our country and has unquestionably saved innumerable lives and prevented property destruction running into the millions. The work of this committee at that time and since will always inspire in the hearts of the people living within flood-menaced areas a feeling of appreciation, gratitude, and admiration that will not dim or wane by passing years but will be handed down to the descendants of those who have personally felt the effects of these exhibitions of statesmanship.

May I be permitted in conclusion to again express my appreciation for being permitted to appear before your honorable body in December 1927, and again in February 1930, as well as your courtesy in permitting me to extend these remarks into the record of your hearing. I assure you I deeply appreciate the honors conferred upon me, and I bring to you the expression from the people within this area that we have confidence in your ability to cope with the situation, and so far as I am concerned I am content to rest my part of this presentation here. Respectfully submitted.

President St. Francis River Flood Control Association

of Missouri and Arkansas.




The St. Francis River Flood Control Association presents herein the results of its investigation to determine the losses and damages occasioned by the floods of the St. Francis River and its tributaries for the years 1927 and 1928, together with a statement reflecting the state of development of the territory in the St. Francis Basin, including the expenditures made by the people in the valley for development and improvement. The existing liens upon the lands for unpaid improvement assessments, the portion delinquent, and delinquent general taxes in each county are also shown.

The St. Francis River and its tributaries affects, to some extent, more territory in Missouri and Arkansas than is shown in this presentation, but in other instances the effect is not so great and is hard to separate from damage resulting from other streams; hence only those counties are shown herein, which are most directly affected by the waters of the St. Francis River and its tributaries. These counties are Clay, Cross, Craighead, Crittenden, Greene, Lee, Mississippi, Poinsett, and St. Francis in Arkarsas, and Butler, Dunklin, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Stoddard, Scott, and Wayne in Missouri.

The St. Francis River (one of the main tributaries of the Mississippi River, and named in the Flood Control Act, approved May 15, 1928) and its tributaries have long been a source of trouble and recurring damage to the lands affected by their waters. For years the people living in the territory have built levees, constructed ditches, and other flood-control works in an effort to control these waters; in the past this has been done by local interests, without a coordinated plan, and such manner of handling the problem has ultimately proved inadequate. affected by some portion of the river have issued bonds, constructed Wees, and other flood-control works which for a time proved adequate, until some other territory along the river would bond itself for the construction of a system of flood-control works which would seriously impair the efficiency of other previously constructed systems. The floods of 1927 and 1928 have conclusively established that the problem of the St. Francis River and its tributaries cannot be successfully handled by local interests; especially since local interests can no longer sell bonds for additional improvements.

The portion of this statement, which reflects the state of development and the outstanding indebtedness of this territory, was obtained from actual investigation of the records in the particular counties affected, Government surveys, and plats applicable thereto, and from other sources where the information reflected in this statement was available. The information as to outstanding first mortgages held by 18 loan companies operating in the territory was obtained direct from each loan company.

The figures shown reflecting the loss and damage in each county by the floods of the St. Francis River and its tributaries for th years, was obtained by an acual canvass of each county affected by an experienced statistician, who assembled and compiled these separate statements after a personal survey of the territory; and after contact with men in each community who were in pesition to know the facts by reason of their contact with the situation and whose integrity and standing in the communities were such as to stamp their information, as not only authentic, but conservative. In assembling and preparing the facis shown herein, it has been our desire and endeavor to present the situation exactly as it is, and these figures we submit are based along conservative lines, and in no wise exaggerated.

This statement shows a total acreage in the 16 counties in Missouri and Arkansas, of 6,537,700 acres of rich alluvial land, 4,026,312 acres of which are clearel, and 2,455,580 acres are subject to overflow by the St. Francis River and its tributaries.

The loss and damage to these counties, exclusive of public utilities, public highways, and bridges, etc., for the year 1927 aggregate $11,293,964.50; for the year 1928, $7,138.710. The loss and damage for both years to public utilities, public highways and bridges, public schools, etc., aggregated $1,756,510. The total loss and damage occasioned by the floods of 1927 and 1928 in the whilo territory by the St. Francis River and its tributaries, aggregate $20,189,214.50.

The to al bonded indebtedness for improvement districts in this area originally was $231 897.433.64; of this amount $61,641,420.36 has been paid, leaving a balance outstanding of $173,256,013.28. Of the last-named amount owing for improven ent assessments, $C$2,032.66 is now delinquent. There are also now okcliquant general taxes on real estate and personal property an additional sum of $1,947,687.

Th" ferrit ry along the St. Francis River and its tributaries has suffered ti, S.Ro (!!!!) fer.'s, and one o" the outstanding barometers of the Jess entailer thereby, is the decreased number of bales of cotton marketed therefrom during the years 1927 ani 1928.

The lands in the St. Francis Valley are rich and fertile. The territory now beinn floor by the laters of the St. Francis River and its tributaries, is a deve! perl one; that the valuable lands along the St. Francis River are in urgent need of protection is conclusively established; that the costs of adequate

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flood control of the St. Francis River and its tributaries is negligible as compared with the present value of the property such flood-control works will protect, we think, is not even questionable. That the people living in the territory, are utterly unable to further contribute to the costs of flood control of this river and its tributaries, we think this statement clearly shows. That the people living in this territory have faith in the value of these lanols, we think is proven by the vast expenditures made to develop them; and in this development, these lands are so burdened with present improvement liens, as to be now unable to construct the character of flood-control works along thijs river so necessary to protect this great alluvial valley.

We respectfully submit that the picture reflected by this statement is one that discloses a condition at once apparent and as to the necessity of immediate remedial measures, there can scarcely be any difference of opinion.

LANGDON R. JONES, President.
CHRIS E. COLLINS, Secretary.

Summary of compilation of loss and damage caused by the overflow of the St. Francis

River and its tributaries in Arkansas and Missouri

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Arkansas counties:


St. Francis
Missouri counties:

75,000 40, 700 350, 169 129, 373

45,000 200,000 494, 907 220, 102 175, 329

30,000 45, 300 35,000 30.000 28, 200 30,000 62, 750 31,000 33, 600

135 130 81 42 62 125

100 210 295 102 86 74 200 125 127



New Madrid

447, 360
417, 280
268, 100
521, 600

145, 000

33, 100
27, 500


96 126

62 135 51

94 112 59 48 57 81 76


6, 537, 700

2, 455, 580

525, 900

1, 536

1, 846

Statement showing development of, and resulting liens to lands in Clay County,


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60, 500.00

Total acreage.

418, 560 Acreage subject to St. Francis River overflow. 75,000 Acreage cleared land in county

Acreage timbered and cut-over land in county. 168, 560
Principal towns and their population:

2, 500 Rector.

2,000 Corning

1,800 Total population of county

30,000 Miles of railroad.

95 Miles of improved highway.

Principal crops and their average yield per

Cotton, 800 pounds seed cotton.
Corn, 30 bushels.

Hay, 144 tons.
Taxable assessed valuation of real estate 1928.. $5, 439, 241. 21
Taxable assessed valuation of personal prop-
erty, 1928

$2, 180, 052. 87
Taxes assessed on real estate payable 1928..
Taxes assessed on personal property, payable

1928. Delinquent general taxes on real estate and

personal property. Miles of levee (St. Francis River).

22 Drainage districts..

4 Total drainage bonds issued.

$1,908, 000
Interest on drainage bonds paid.
Interest on drainage bonds unpaid.
Total school bonds issued.

Interest on school bonds paid.
Interest on school bonds unpaid.
Total water, sewer, and improvement bonds

$275, 000 Interest on water, sewer, and improvement

bonds paid. Interest on water, sewer, and improvement

bonds unpaid. Total paving-tax bills issued..

$35,000 Interest on paving-tax bills paid. Interest on paving-tax bills unpaid. Total first mortgages on real estate as reported by 18 loan companies.


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