Haunted Belton: Yettie Polk Forever Lives
Yettie Tobler Polk was a woman who lived in Belton around the late 1800s. She lived with her husband and their five children. Her house was built by her father who was a wealthy merchant in Belton and the house was located where the benches of Yettie Polk Park are now.
According to www.theclio.com, in December of 1913, during the “Great Flood of 1913” unrelenting floods caused the Guadalupe and Trinity Rivers to swell; the Brazos and Colorado Rivers joined to inundate more than 3,000 square miles of Central Texas. One hundred and eighty people died in Bell County, mostly Belton, and suffered $5 million in damages due to the massive flood.
Around 2 a.m. on Dec 2, the creek had flooded so high that it was up to their home’s front porch and started coming in through the floorboard. Yettie sent her husband, Charles, and their oldest son, William Henry, out to the barn which was on higher ground to get their horses so the family could be carried to safety. While Charles and William Henry were in the barn, a 30-foot wall of water hit the neighbor’s house which then slammed into the Polk’s house destroying it.
William Henry and his father flailed in the swirling waters. They heard Yettie and the children scream as they plunged into the creek with the splintering house. A passerby snatched William Henry from the waters. The father clung to tree branches until he was rescued. Yettie and the four remaining children were killed from the raging waters. It took one hundred volunteers searching for Polk's body for three days to locate her.
The Polk family is buried in the North Belton Cemetery located on Main Street.
Belton’s Nolan Creek, in the 1800s, was a happening place. Residents from all the surrounding areas of Bell County would come to camp and swim in the resort area. They would line each side of the riverbanks enjoying the warm weather and gentle waters. Another family of five were presumed killed while camping on the banks that early morning and an additional man that was standing on the Main Street Bridge when it collapsed.
The folklore states Yettie and her four children can be seen playing in the surrounding areas of the park. This photo shows a possible face among the shadows witnessed during the tour. With so many lives lost on that day, the park has reason for extra paranormal activity to occur.
As the tour continued through the park, participates were overwhelmed with the amount of words being spoken through the Ghost Radar App. This photo displays the words spoken during the time the tour was positioned in the park.
The reccurring floods in Belton helped create the need for the Belton dam and lake.
We would love to hear your thoughts as the tour continues. Stay tuned as the next post includes the old jail and one of the worst massacres in Texas history.