Heiser, Victor George
Dr. Victor George Heiser ( Feb. 5, 1873 Johnstown Cambria County Pennsylvania, USA - Feb. 27, 1972 Kings County Brooklyn, New York USA) Victor was the only member of his family to survive, THE JOHNSTON FLOOD of 1889. Autograph Slip Signed, n.d. - 4 1/2 x 2 1/16 signed in blk ink with nice rich dark toning see. Overall, fine condition.
May 31,1889, Victor Heiser was only 16 and in the family barn when he noticed his father in the 2nd story window of their home, "frantically" motioning him to "get on the roof". Victor did as his Father indicated, making it to the top of the barn roof when he saw the "mass of water and floating debris" crashing down the valley sweeping his home and parents away. He was swept away in the current finally leaping on a roof. He climbed into an attic where 19 others were huddled together in prayer. Victor was the only member of his family to survive, THE JOHNSTON FLOOD of 1889.
Victor worked as a plumber & carpenter to finance College and Medical School. His field of interest was "leprosy".
When Victor Heiser died at the age of 100, he left a will that established The Heiser Gift in The New York Community Trust to research the prevention and control of leprosy. It is one of only two funds in the world created to fight the disease.
Victor Heiser published his memoirs in 1936, titled: "An American Doctor's Odyssey."
An except from his book: "my ears were stunned by the most terrifying noise I had ever heard in my sixteen years of life. The dreadful roar was punctuated with a succession of tremendous crashes. I stood for a moment, bewildered and hesitant. I could see my mother and my father standing at an upper window in the house. My father, frantic with anxiety over my safety, was motioning me urgently toward the top of the building.............From my perch I could see a huge wall advancing with incredible rapidity down the diagonal street. It was not recognizable as water, it was a dark mass in which seethed houses, freight cars, trees, and animals. As this wall struck Washington Street broadside, my boyhood home was crushed like an eggshell before my eyes, and I saw it disappear.
I wanted to know how long it would take me to get to the other world, and in the split second before the stable was hit, I looked at my watch. It was exactly four-twenty."