1930 Frost, Texas Tornado Articles
Published in the Dallas Morning News
Frost, Navarro County, Texas


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Tornado Hit Frost, Texas May 6, 1930 - 22 Met Death
From The Central Texas Times (formerly The Richland Register),
Corsicana, and the Dallas Morning News, May 8, 1930


STORM AT A GLANCE (caption under pictures showing destruction)

Twenty-two met death at Frost, seven near Bynum, and six others in Hill County, two near West, one at San Antonio, three near Ennis, two at Bronson, thirty near Runge and Nordheim and one at Ottine, near Gonzalez.

NO CHURCH STANDING IN NAVARRO COUNTY TOWN IN WHICH TO HOLD SERVICES: TROOPS GUARD RUINS

Frost, Texas, May 7, 1930 - -  Undaunted by the devastation wrought by the tornado that almost wiped their little town out of existence, citizens of Frost turned their efforts Wednesday to the heroic task of bringing order out of chaos left in the wake of the death - inflicting winds.

Heads were bowed with grief over the loss of relatives and life-ling friends, but courage was brought to the hearts of Frost citizens as neighboring towns, some dealt dire blows themselves by the twisting winds, opened their purses and poured aid into the stricken community.

The countryside swarmed to Frost all day Wednesday to view the spectacle of a thriving town of almost 1,000 persons converted into a twisted, scattered mass of debris.  Curiosity brought the visitors to the scene of the disaster, and compassion caused them to thrust bank notes and checks into the hands of the relief committee, which established donation offices in a wrecked lumber yard office Wednesday morning.

The Frost victims of the tornado will be buried Thursday afternoon at a mass funeral.  No place of worship was left in which to hold the final rites for the storm victims, and services will be held at the home of L. A. Morgan, in charge of Frost relief work, with Frost ministers officiating.

The community cemetery on the edge of town did not escape the storm's wrath, and before the bodies are buried, the graveyard will be cleared of debris. Tombstones were thrown to the ground and monuments were overturned, as if the wind, not content with its trail of death above ground, sought to reach into the earth for the bones of the long dead and buried.

TROOPS GUARD RUINS

National Guardsmen from Corsicana, 22 miles east of Frost, guarded the ruins of the town to prevent looting and watch for outbreaks of fire.  Although store stocks worth thousands of dollars were in plain sight, few cases of attempts to pilfer occurred.  Ropes were thrown about the main business buildings and soldiers in uniform halted those who appeared to be prowling.

A detachment from Battery D. 132nd Field Artillery, Corsicana, was dispatched to Frost Tuesday afternoon by Capt. John Garner and Corp. James T. Eggleston, with two privates, were the first to reach the stricken community.  Later, Lt. Charles Leighton took charge of the troops ...

Mayor I. A. Sanders hoped at first that Frost would be able to handle the situation without outside aid, but later in the day he accepted, with appreciation, offers of assistance from other Texas towns and declared that much help would be needed.

Many communities sped aid to the stricken little city a few hours after the first news of the disaster reached the outside world.

MASS MEETING AT ITALY

Mayor R. G. Dohoney of Italy called a mass meeting of Italy citizens Tuesday night where funds were raised for Frost relief.

At Blooming Grove, five miles east of Frost, practically every resident contributed to a relief fund started by L. T. Griffin and J. O. McFadden.  Food, clothing, bedding and towels are the articles most sorely needed.

Corsicana ... organized a drive for funds under the direction of J. E. Butler ...sent 600 pounds of foodstuffs early Wednesday.  A number of Corsicana women opened their homes to storm sufferers and the Corsicana Chamber of Commerce furnished cars to transport homeless families from the scene of the disaster.

*****

HILLSBORO AID ... FORCED TO REACH FROST ON FOOT - By E. G. Luter, Staff Correspondent of the Dallas Morning News.

Hillsboro, Texas, May 7th, 1930

Hillsboro took an active part in relief work at frost, getting this underway shortly after the storm struck.  Two relief committees were dispatched, one by railway motor car, which is in reality a motorized handcar.   Aboard it were W. P. Cooks, H. G. Denman, T. J. Burdette, secretary of the Chamber of Commerce, and J. I. Mayfield.  They found their way blocked by wrecked box cars and made their way into the stricken town on foot.

Another group went by motor, including Dr. J. Frank McDonald, Olney Davis, Mayor W. C. Alderson, and D. B. Black.  Gen. W. E. Jackson, head of the disaster relief committee of the Hillsboro Red Cross, marshaled his forces and groceries and other supplies went out promptly Wednesday morning.

Seven of the dead of the area between Hillsboro and Frost and southeast of Frost were taken to the Marshall & Marshall Morgue, that concern's ambulance making numerous trips as did the two ambulances owned by Boyd's Sanitarium.

Dr. C. A. Garrett and his assistants and nurses were kept busy to well after midnight handling the stream of patients.  Broken limbs, bruises, abrasions and lacerations of various degrees were suffered by the twenty-four patients treated.  Most of them were covered with mud and with their clothing torn to shreds by the force of the winds ...

In the meat market, sandwiches were piled high on the counter, free for all.  Men took turns serving coffee from the galvanized iron washtub ...the weather was cool and the men huddled about the fire.  The roof of the meat market had been lifted off by the storm, and the front was carried away.  Near the back a stove burned with its stovepipe jutting into the air.  This place proved the headquarters for the night.

With Corsicana guardsmen on duty to prevent looting, those on guard duty built fires at their posts with little knots of people gathered around.  They were armed with pistols but carried improvised clubs.   Many were swathed about by blankets to keep out the unseasonable cold.  The streets at places were ankle deep in mud.

Early in the evening the telephone company restored communication by putting up two phones on the outside of a building on the west side of town near the Cotton Belt Depot.  They were the center of activity throughout the night.  Groans from a pile of debris near by sent several men to investigate.   The found a badly injured horse.  A shot from a guardsman's pistol dispatched it.

 


Describing the funeral at Frost

Dallas Morning News, May 9, 1930

Almost to the minute of the time the storm lashed the town two days ago, the services opened with singing [of] the Rock of Ages.  Relatives of the dead, many of them bandaged and hardly able to sit erect, were seated on the front poarch of the home [all churches had been destroyed], with those attending the funeral gathered for blocks around.

Eleven motor hearses carried the caskets to the cemetery, located on a small knoll north of town, the crowd following on foot and pallbears marching by the side of each carriage.

As the procession picked its way slowly to the burial ground, itself almost covered with debris swept from the town proper, national guardsmen stood at attention.

While the caskets were lowered over the graves about the cemetery in various family plots, the choir sang again.  The resonant tones of a guardsmen's bule sounded over the cemetery and joint services began in the center of the grounds.

As the Rev. E. R. Swindell of Hillsboro, formerly a pastor at Frost, ending his eulogy of those who were swept to death almost in the twinkling of an eye, taps were sounded and the caskets lowered into the grave.


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