Flooding at Doc Merritt's farm.

Ole Pappy

Flooding Minneota

A few weeks ago, we printed a photo from the past about flooding in the Minneota area. The photo cutline said it was on the Merritt property. Well, it didn’t take long to get a response from someone who was there — namely “Doc” Merritt’s daughter Cheri. The photo is re-printed here and her comment is below. It’s a very interesting story regarding the 1957 flood in Minneota.

Thanks for the photo

Dear Editor;

(Regarding an old Minneota photo showing flooding on private land) ... Thanks for the photo. It brought back many memories. Upon a close look, I noticed a boat near one of the out buildings with several people in it as well as someone standing in the water along its side.

I believe that person to be my Dad — best known as “Doc” Merritt. The night of the flood we were headed to Porter to stay with my grandparents and my dad was to return to Minneota to do what he could to save the livestock at our farm.

We only got as far as Taunton. The highway as flooded in both directions. Unable to return to Minneota, we spent the night at the home of the Taunton police officer (Clebochecks).

Still hoping to return to Minneota that night, Doc was to rescue a man trapped on the roof of his car which had been swept off the road in the raging waters. In total darkness, I can only imagine how frightened the man was.

As a large animal veterinarian, Doc was always equipped with his lariat. He tossed the rope and was able to pull the man to safety.

(My brother Rick thinks the man’s name was Esping).

As an 11-year-old, the most drastic event for my brother Rick was having lost a very young foal to drowning. Our other horses were able to swim to the railroad overpass and higher ground and neighbors found them wandering the streets of Minneota.

Other animals also escaped, but most drowned. As the water subsided several days later, Rick and I, accompanied by a good friend Rolland Johnson were paddling around in a duck boat exploring. I fell out of the boat. Rolland grabbed me by my hair and pulled me back into the board. — my hero!

I don’t think we ever told our parents about that. Many friends and neighbors came to help with the clean up of our little house.

The flood waters had reached three feet throughout and left behind several inches of thick heavy mud, which had to be shoveled out. Several other homeowners suffered in this flood as well. It will be remembered.

Cheri Merritt Reynolds

Green Valley, AZ

LAUGH A LITTLE: Second base to third base. Question: Why does it take longer to run from second base to third base than it does to run from first base to second base? Answer: There’s a short stop between second base and third base.

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: As my Ole Pappy used to say, “Don’t search for happiness in others.” He added, “That will only make you feel alone.” “Instead,” Ole Pappy said, “Search for it in yourself.” So I asked, “Why?” Ole Pappy said, “You will feel happy, even when you’re alone.” Sometimes I thought Ole Pappy sounded more like “Confucius,” the Chinese teacher, editor, politician and philosopher. I almost expected Ole Pappy to say, “Ahhhh, So!” Years later I figured out Ole Pappy was just trying to tell me not to look for other people to make me happy. Find ways to make myself happy. Thanks Ole Pappy!

Byron Higgin

Contact Us

The Minneota Mascot
Address: 201 N. Jefferson
Minneota, MN 56264

Phone:(507) 872-6492