FLOOD OF 1951
On the morning of June 21, 1951, folks living in the southwest part of Bennington were alerted by the telephone operator, Mrs Francis O'Neil, that a flash flood was approaching. This was the
first time in the town's history that water got into the residential section of town. Tremendous rains up Salt and Pipe Creeks and the Solomon River were the cause of the deluge of water that brought havoc to our little city.
Not yet recovered from the first flooding, three weeks later, on July 13, another five inch rain sent the Solomon River spreading over an area of several miles wide. Water again poured into town from the west, the water flowed to the telephone office, turned to the south and ran through each business place from McGinness' Repair Shop, south to George Kubach's pool hall. At Harvey Markley's Oil Station, water reached the top level of the base of his gas pumps, taking a course east on Highway 18 for two miles. Luckly no other homes were emerged as deep in water as the Art Quinn and Harry Watts homes west of town. The Watts' were never able to return to theirs.
All residents on nearby farms were rescued by boats and livestock taken to higher ground.
Postmaster Zenobia Kissinger sent out or received no mail for five days, by this time a plane
carried a load of mail to Minneapolis and it was brought by car to Bennington. Rural carrier,
Kenneth Stenfors, was unable to resume his route fully for many weeks. U. P. Agent, Shelby
Cleveland, reported no trains through for several weeks.
Although destruction was felt by most in this area, on Saturday evening, July 14, while angry waters surged through the intersection of Main Street and Highway 18, townsfolk forgot their worries and enjoyed an old fashion square dance at the north end of the block.