1951: Flooded by memories

Bill Mentzer and his father used their boat to rescue neighbors trapped during the Flood of 1951 in the Neosho Falls area.



July 16, 2021 - 2:23 PM

Bill and Marjorie Mentzer both lived through the “Black Friday” Flood of 1951. The corn that was supposed to fund the purchase of their wedding ring was eaten by cattle stranded by the floodwaters. Photo by Trevor Hoag / Iola Register

“I’m no hero,” said Bill Mentzer.

“I just felt so sorry, and my heart went out to those people.”

Mentzer, now 90, was referring to the historic “Black Friday” Flood of July 1951, when much of Iola was submerged under water, and Neosho Falls was all but destroyed.

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