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Dayton's Flood Prevention Committee was a unique partnership among the Dayton business community, the government and professional engineers. The committee was appointed on April 21, and held its first meeting on May 2, 1913, shortly after the devastating 1913 flood, and adopted a resolution to raise money to study the flooding problem and find a solution.

John H. Patterson, president of the National Cash Register Company, served as Flood Prevention Committee Chairman and appointed the community leaders who served on the committee. Colonel Edward Deeds led the committee, and Arthur E. Morgan of Morgan Engineering Company of Memphis, Tennessee was hired to study the flood control problem.

Flood Prevention Committee Members

John Patterson was perhaps the most pivotal leader during and after the flood. He shut down his cash register factory to build boats to rescue stranded residents from rooftops and attics. He used his factory land to house and feed the homeless and helped raise the $2 million necessary for the design of the flood protection program.
Edward Deeds held many important positions in Dayton's largest companies, including president of the Dayton Engineering Laboratories Company (Delco), president of the National Cash Register Company and president of the Dayton Metals Products Company. Deeds led the Dayton Flood Prevention Committee and was on the Miami Conservancy District's board of directors from 1915 until 1954. He donated the office building that the Miami Conservancy District currently occupies.
Walter Worman was president of The Dayton Spice Mills Company.

Edward W. Hanley was president of The Dayton Gas Company.

Walter S. Kidder was president of The Noyes Manufacturing Company and general manager of The Hayner Distilling Company.

H.E. Talbott was the president of The H.E. Talbott Company.

John W. Stoddard owned and operated the Dayton Motor Company, which built the Stoddard Dayton automobile.

Adam Schantz and Frank Huffman were added to the committee upon the deaths of Worman and Hanley. Adam Schantz was the president of The Dayton Breweries. Frank Huffman was president of The Davis Sewing Machine Company.

The Dayton committee invited other communities to cooperate in flood control work. On May 15, 1913, the Miami Valley Flood Prevention Association, representing several counties, was organized.

On February 17, 1914, Governor James Cox signed a Conservancy Bill (the Vonderheide Act), which provided for the creation of conservancy districts. The same month, 10 Miami Valley counties petitioned for creation of a conservancy district: Butler, Clark, Greene, Hamilton, Logan (which left shortly after formation), Miami, Montgomery, Preble, Shelby and Warren. The Miami Conservancy District was officially organized on June 28, 1915.

Read about the Construction of the flood protection system.