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I never knew him. I never knew his parents, George Washington and Frances Margaret (Young) Burris.

But in my mind's eye, I can almost picture 17 year old Thurman Burris valiantly trying to save his parents from the flood waters in The Great Flood of 1927, when the mighty Mississippi overran her banks and breached levees in states all long the river.

Newspapers all over the country carried coverage of the flooding, including this bit in the 17 Apr 1927 Aberdeen (SD) American News, which ironically is the only obit I can find for Thurman:

Angry Mississippi Storms at Levees
...Here and there the sweeping waters claimed additional lives and tonight the death toll stood at eleven for the week. Seven deaths were reported today. Thurman Burris 17, was drowned at Atkins, Ark., while trying to rescue his father and mother...

If someone knows if and where he was buried, please let me know.

Spadra Bottoms Flood 1927

Date: 2011-10-07 01:17 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
My Freeman Grandparents as teens lived in Spadra, AR. They survived with their lives, but the crop did not. They told of harvesting the corn from boats & putting it on the roofs to dry. Grandpa CT was 14 & related to Thomas Burris who died. Grandma was a Moore/Griffin mix & 16 at the time. I just can't fathom living through the day to day devastation of it. Hard Scrabble. I don't know where the phrase comes from but am sure it was a hard sramble to survive.
Thanks for sharing.
Pine Bluff is 1 1/2 hours north of where we live. A couple of times in the 20 years in Louisiana, we have not been able to travel home to HSNP because the bottom-land highways have been flooded.

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Dee Burris Blakley

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