Friday, October 4, 2013

Caught in High Water

I have a distant cousin on Facebook who lives in Alabama and he has posted photos several times of the flooding around his home. If they get a heavy rain he has a good chance of water standing in the yard and if it rains too long he'll have TV crews parked in the driveway waiting for a story.

Alabama Floods - Harper's Weekly April 17, 1886

It reminded me of a story about my wife's gg grandfather John Wiley. He was born August 3, 1809 in Rhone County Tennessee and died January 2, 1886 near Chulafinnee, Alabama. He had the misfortune to be caught in the worst flooding Alabama has had recorded since 1814.

According to the US Geological Survey the Alabama River in Montgomery was recorded at 160.6 feet in April of that year, which is 24.7 feet over flood stage.  

The family story is that he had gone to Chulafinnee about 50 miles from his home in Bluff Springs, Alabama to teach Sunday School in the local church. He died in the flood and because of the high water they couldn't bring his body back home.

He is buried in the Chulafinnee Methodist Church Cemetery.

The inscription on his marker says:

Sacred to the memory of John Wiley.
The remains of his wife Susanah Wiley are buried near Gibsonville, Clay Co., Al.

Dear Father, we have to bid thee adieu, for death has parted us and you. As we are now, so once was you. As you are now, soon we shall be.

The Lord has been your Shepard true and carried you Home to Heaven to live.

O, May we our labor do, and prepare to meet you in Heaven too.

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