Seven Troughs / Mazuma Nevada Flash Flood 1912

Victims of the Seven Troughs / Mazuma Flash Flood

Humboldt Co. Nevada (Now Pershing Co.)
July 18, 1912


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Humboldt Co. Nevada (Now Pershing Co.)

July 18, 1912

Flash Flood

Casualties: 9 killed immediately - several died later

Seven Troughs in the early 1900's was a mining district in Northern Nevada in then-Humboldt Co. (Now Pershing).  The late afternoon of July 18, 1912 brought dark thunderheads and shortly before 5 pm, rain began to fall in the hills above Seven Troughs and Mazuma. 

The flood hit these mining towns hard when a 2-story wall of water rushed down Seven Troughs Canyon.

According to published reports, the flood hit Mike Whalen's home first and he was killed.  Then the Kehoe family cabin was swept away with the 4 Kehoe children and their friend 10-year old Perry Gillespie. 

Next to go was the Rossmore cabin, and Edna Rossmore was terribly injured, later having her leg amputated. 

In the town of Mazuma, the Postmistress,  Edna Ruddell made a quick and fateful decision to turn back in the doorway to save the postal receipts and was swept away. 

It was a long dark night in the towns as survivors scrambled to find their loved ones in the mud and rubble of destroyed buildings. 

Several other towns in Nevada were affected by flash floods from this terrible storm, but the only other death outside of Seven Troughs / Mazuma was Julia Foncannon when the Foncannon family home was destroyed at the head of Burnt Canyon. 

To add to the injury, 3 weeks later in August, a second cloudburst sent a 10 foot wall of water through what was left again; however, no lives were lost in this event.  After this, it was decided Mazuma would not be rebuilt.

Even today, remnants of the disaster still exist on the desert floor, strewn-about pieces of wood, tangled and rusted metal, and even the remains of a large safe that was washed out of the town. 


Do you have any stories or memories of those on this list? This is a list of all known victims - there may be more not listed. If you have information on this, please send it to me so that I can add your information to the list.

Any stories, memories, or photos of the victims you wish to share are welcome. for all items received, a rose will be placed in that person's memory next to the information.

Memorial to Victims of the Flood



Editor's Note about Burials for some of the following: 

"After the flood of 1912, the people that died in the Mazuma flood are buried at the base of tunnel camp. About 1/4 mile west of where Mazuma is located. The online article of the event has the people buried in Seven Troughs. I believe this to be incorrect"  Thanks to John Green for his note on this. 

FONCANNON, Mrs. Julia  - wife of Floyd Foncannon - Burnt Canyon - buried in Hurley, Wisconsin **Survived Flood but died soon after

GILLESPIE, Perry (Thomas) - age 10 Mazuma - buried in Oakland, California - son of Mr. & Mrs. Matthew Gillespie - was at the home of the Kehoes when the flood hit. 

KEHOE, Mrs. William **Survived Flood but died soon after

KEHOE, George S. - age 4 - son of William Kehoe - buried Seven Troughs

KEHOE, James C - age 6 yrs. 8 mos. - son of William Kehoe - buried Seven Troughs

KEHOE, Ronald M. - age 1 yrs., 7 mos., 3 days - son of William Kehoe - buried Seven Troughs

KEHOE - Youngest child of William Kehoe - body never located

MCCLEAN, Mrs. Alex - Seven Troughs

O'HANLON, Mrs. Margaret - wife of Steve - survived but later died of her injuries

REESE, Mrs. - Mazuma

RUDDELL, Maude Edna - Postmistress in Mazuma - buried in Reno b. 1878 in Canada.  Maiden Name Maude Edna Mason. Divorced from Willard Ruddell and lived with a doctor and his wife after her divorce. 2 Children Minnie b. 1893  -  Rolof Willard Ruddell was born in 1900 and died abt. 1930 William J. Ruddell b. 06 Oct 1925 and died 18 Jul 1998 in Los Angeles. Hiram N. Ruddell born 10 Jan 1846 & married Elmira Hall on 18 Dec 1866.  She was born 20 Jan 1846 - 2 Children -  Mary Bell Ruddell born 24 Feb 1869 and Willard Ruddell born 21 Nov 1872. Willard Ruddell married Maude Edna Mason - 2 Children  Minnie Bell Ruddell born 26 Sep 1895 and Rolof Willard Ruddell born 01 Mar 1900

TRENCHARD, John - Merchant in Mazuma - survived flood but died 17 hours later. Buried in Watsonville, California

WHALEN, Mike - Mazuma - age 45 - according to 1910 Census, he was a quartz miner born in Indiana


ROSSMORE, Edna - hospitalized in Reno - leg amputated.