Thursday, May 23, 2019

Jack Allison Redden

In 1969, Jack Redden came to the Black Hills to serve as professor of Geology at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. This was where he remained until his retirement in 1991, continuing as professor emeritus. After retirement he continued to work on the geology map of the Black Hills for the USGS and as an independent consultant until the age of 82.



June 9, 1972 flood damage to Tech campus

President Fraser surveys flood damage

The June 9, 1972, flood caused damages of about $1.25 million on the South Dakota School of Mines campus (about $7.6 million in 2019 dollars). Two faculty members, Chemistry Professor Lowell Dieter, along with his 8 year old daughter, Patricia, and  Herb Weisz, Professor of Mining Engineering, perished in the flood. The parents of Dr. William Hixson, head of the EE department, were lost as well.

 "50 or so individuals on the faculty and staff...were directly affected by the flood. Some lost everything; others only needed new carpet."*

The "new" library, the Mineral Industries building, the Physical Plant, the campus garage and O'Harra Stadium suffered extensive damages.

 The library basement was filled with eight feet of mud and water. An estimated 40,000 volumes were destroyed. In addition, most of the university's audio-visual materials were lost. The high water line is still visible today in a store room in the library building.

"Most stacks in the basement of the library were upset, two partition walls were torn out, furniture was destroyed, and all books and periodicals stored were lost. Students and faculty sloshed around in the mud and hauled out the debris. "*

Lower level of the library

Lower level of the library

Library stairwell doors

Cleaning crew in the library

Cleaning crew in the library

Lower level library restrooms

High water line in the library

Lower level of the library

Car washed up near the library loading dock. Note: northwest corner of building where utility pole crashed through window allowing flood  waters to fill the lower lever of the building.

Flood waters also covered the football field and practice area and did enough damage to the stadium bleachers that they needed to be replaced. The "all weather" running track was damaged.

The college's garage collapsed destroying five campus vehicles.The Physical Plant building also suffered severe damage and 3 heating boilers were flooded. One of the boilers was operating at the time and was very badly damaged.

Roads, curbs and gutters on the north side of campus needed to be replaced.


Stadium bleachers

Practice field

"Looking west from the far end of the practice field: a sea of mud and debris, with the collapsed garage in the background. When the water receded, a number of cars were left along the field as was the body of one victim. The life of one woman was saved when she was able to climb to the top of the wrecked bleachers." *
Debris along the road, cars have been removed

Looking west from far end of practice field


Physical Plant

Stadium Seating

Damaged building

Mud and debris at the stadium

Damage to the storm sewer

And ... more damage

Physical plant

O'Harra Stadium

Damage near the Physical Plant

An article from the Hardrock tells part of the story:
*Hardrock V39,N1 pg 8