Patrolman Samuel B. Eldridge

Patrolman Samuel B. Eldridge

Johnstown Police Department, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Friday, May 31, 1889

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Samuel B. Eldridge

Patrolman Samuel Eldridge drowned during the Johnstown Flood while attempting to assist other residents of the borough.

A severe storm produced heavy rains starting at approximately 11:00 p.m. on May 30th, 1889, causing two rivers surrounding Johnstown to overflow their banks. Flood waters approximately 10 feet deep converged on the borough throughout the day. Patrolman Eldridge, who was off duty, told his family that it was his duty to assist other residents and left his house, at 280 Apple Alley, at approximately 3:00 p.m.

At approximately 4:00 p.m., a large dam broke approximately 14 miles upstream of Johnstown, sending 20 million gallons of water downstream and into Johnstown. Most of the town was destroyed, and a total of 2,209 people were killed as a result of the dam's failure. Patrolman Eldridge's family survived after seeking refuge in their attic.

Patrolman Eldridge was survived by his wife and three children. He is buried in Grandview Cemetery in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.


  • Age 35
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Drowned

water rescue, weather

Most Recent Reflection

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Your selfless actions are the true hero heroism. Thank you for your service and please know that no passage of time can ever erase your memory and sacrifice. Rest in peace always.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

May 31, 2021

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