Many poems and prose have been written about the June 14, 1903 Heppner Flood.  This is a poem that was found in a issue of one of Heppner's newspaper issued soon after the flood.


Heppner's Sorrow
By C. Franklin Sutton

Death, in madly tearing torrents
Rushed upon a peaceful town,
Sweeping everything before it,
Rooting up and tearing down.


Not a word of warning heard,
Till death held in close embrace
Fathers, mothers,
Sisters, brothers,
Terror stamped upon each face.

Onward rushing maddened waters,
Can no force thy power stay…
Must grim death and desolation
Mar this peaceful Sabbath day?

Too Late! Tis done,
The setting sun hides his face in a rain of tears,
Hearts we cherished now have perished
Lost to us, through coming years.
Hearts must bleed and fingers tremble,
As we raise a lifeless form
From a grave the deluge gave
Each victim of that dreadful storm.

A happy home becomes a tomb,
A dress for church becomes a shroud,
A couch of cheer becomes a blur,
And peaceful songs are wailings loud.

Heppner, peaceful mountain village,
We deplore thy awful scourge,
While the music of thy valleys
Echoes back the solemn dirge.
Love is mourning,
Yet adorning
Crowns eternal for love's sake;
Till love meets them
And love greets them
On that strand where souls awake.


Photos courtesy Morrow County Museum
and Tami Sneddon

Heppner flood related headstones.

Heppner Flood Page

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