1930 Frost Tornado Articles
Published in Various Papers
Frost, Navarro County, Texas


HOME


Frost Tornado Index || Disasters Index || News Paper Extract Index

 

 

Elyria (OH) Chronicle Telegram, 7 May 1930, p. 1

Latest word from Frost, little Navarro county settlement where tornado and firs conspired to turn it into a heap of ruins, swelled the number of dead at 20. Frost was literally wiped off the map and today relief agencies had gained access to the town over a single railroad from Corsicana, the county seat.

Dead bodies were found hidden in the wreckage of stores and homes. More than 40 injured were taken from Frost in cars to the county hospital at Corsicana.

Every business building in that town was wrecked. The depot was reduced to a pile of debris and box cars were picked up and crushed by the force of the gale.

A temporary morgue had been constructed amidst the ruins, and the dead lay side by side.

Notes:


New York Times; May 7, 1930

44 PERSONS KILLED IN TEXAS TORNADOES

21 Victims Identified in Widely Separated Sections of the State

TOWN OF FROST HARD HIT

Twelve Are Known Dead There - Storms Fatal to Three More in Oklahoma, One in Nebraska.

DALLAS, Texas, May 6 (AP) At least forty-four persons were killed today in a series of tornadoes which struck in widely scattered sections of Texas with the probability that the toll will be swelled when disrupted wire communication is restored.  Twenty-one of the dead have been identified.

Frost, in Navarro County, had twelve known dead.   Runge, in Karnes County, had five.

Reports to the Waco News-Tribune indicated that nine or more persons were killed in communities in McLennan, Hill, and Navarro Counties; three at Bynum and two at Mertens.

The entire business section of Frost, a town of 1,000 population, was wiped out, according to B. M. George, who returned to Blooming Grove from the stricken city and telephoned his information to Corsicana with a request for aid.

George added that many injured were in the streets crying for help.  Physicians and ambulances were dispatched to the town from half a dozen neighboring cities.  Corsicana sent a special train.


THE COLUMBUS CITIZEN - May 7, 1930
TEXAS TORNADO DEATH TOLL REACHES 65

HUNDREDS HOMELESS AFTER RESIDENCES ARE PICKED UP AND DASHED TO BITS BY WIND

Every Business Building in Frost Leveled by Wind

Two Storms Converge Over Texas Town Where 23 Died.

FROST, TEXAS - May 7. - This once thriving town resembled led a war-torn village today after nature had hurled against it one of its most powerful and dreaded forces of destruction - cyclone winds.

Relief workers plodded thru its ruins, seeking victims of a tornado which had leveled every business building in the town of 1200 persons.

Eighteen of the 23 known dead have identified and it was believed 12 or 15 more lay crushed in the debris of 38 demolished business structures and 50 hurt.

Damage was estimated at $2,000,000.

Members of relief agencies worked all night.

TWO CLOUDS CONVERGE

It was late in the afternoon yesterday when a dark cloud appeared from the south and another from the west and converged upon the helpless community with such suddeness that most of the victims were trapped in their homes.

Immediately after the storm struck fire broke out in the ruins of the business section, a lightning bolt was belived responsible.

I had been looking out the window noticing two heavy black clouds one from the west and one from the south and they seemed to strike here at the same time said Edgar Bowman.

Bowman's father and mother were killed and his wife and son were injured.

"We were all sitting in the house when it struck.  The wind turned the house over on its side.  Our home was demolished and all of our furniture scattered over half a block.  The storm seems to have cut a swath about 30 feet wide and our house stood right in the center of its path."

Two hundred and fifty children attended school escaped injury, although the tornado ripped the roof off the school building.

Twenty-one persons were saved from almost certain death when they shut themselves into vaults of the two banks here.

IDENTIFIED DEAD LISTED.

The list of identified dead here include:

W. H. Bowman, 70.
Mrs. W. H. Bowman, 65
Gid Bogan, 35.
Mrs. Gid Bogan, 35.
Tom Bogan, 68, uncle of Gid.
J. D. Lee, 65.
Ed Patterson, 55, trapped in the wreckage of of his home and burned to death.
Price Fiew, 19, crushed by falling debris.
Mrs. J. E. Hobbs, 45, died en route to Corsicana Hospital.
A. L. Bell, 50, and child, James, 3.
Mrs. Lee Wooley, 35, and child Mary 7.
The unidentified include a white man and six negroes.

Notes:

  • The Columbus Citizen - Wednesday, may 7, 1930

  • From the Collection of Edward L. Williams


The Amarillo Globe Texas May 7, 1930

KNOWN DEATH LIST IN STORM.
Dallas, May 7. -- The known death list in Texas towns struck by tornadoes yesterday included:
At Ennis: Baby daughter of ART WAGNER; BOB FLANAGAN, 15.
At Runge: FERDINAND McHOST, 72; MRS. PAULINE McHOST, 68; MRS. FRANCISCO VILLAREAL; MISS CRUZ VILLAREAL; DOMINGO VILLAREAL; MRS. MARIA HERRERA, 20; LUCIA SALES GARCIA, 40; PANCHO GARCIA; SANTOS GARCIA; JUAN GARCIA; MANUELLA GARCIA; AUGUSTINE GARCIA; CALDUS GARCIA; MRS. MANUEL GOMEZ SALAS; SILVERO SALAS.
At Nordbein: GAVINO TREVINO, 77; SETRIOVA MOLINA, 70; GUADALUPE GARZA; FRANCISCO GARZA, 53; REPERTO GARZA, 13; SERA PIO GARCIA; LORENZO GARCIA; MARTIN GARCIA; MRS. EMILO HUCK; MRS. OTTO FUHRKEN, 32.
At San Antonio: J. C. KLEESPIES.
At Byaum: MR. and MRS. E. F. ISBELL and son, BRANDON; MRS. EMMA HOFT; three negroes.
At Branson: W. T. STRICKLAND.
Near Waco: Two negroes.
At Frost: LEROY HAGLEY, 9 months; E. A. PATTERSON, 50; J. E. LEE, 65; JOHN FLEW, 17; R. L. BELL, 50, and his child; MRS. LEAGUE WOOLEY, 35, and a child, 12; W. H. BOWMAN, 70; GIL PEGAN, 35; TOM HOGAN; JOHN FLY, 50; MRS. W. H.. BOWMAN, 60; PRENTICE FLEW, 21; MARY CURRIE, negress, 50, and son, JONES, 35; child of JESSE SATCHEL, negro; four unidentified negroes.
Three Mexicans were reported killed northeast of here.

The Amarillo Globe Texas May 7, 1930

TORNADO TOLL NOW 66.

RELIEF WORK IN CENTRAL AND SOUTH TEXAS GETS UNDER WAY; LOSS HEAVY.

Dallas, Texas, May 7. -- Sixty-six persons were killed, many were injured and property damage estimated at more than $500,000 was caused by a tornado which struck in Central and South Texas late yesterday, a partial check revealed today.
The death list included the following:
Twenty-five men, a woman and three children near Runge.
Seven men, three women, four children and ten negroes near Frost.
Two persons near Waco.
A fifteen-year-old boy and a child near Ennis.
Two men, two women and three negroes at Bynum.
Two men at San Antonio and Bronson.
Kenedy, 10 miles from Runge, reported 12 deaths, but it was believed some, at least, of the fatalities there were accounted for in the Runge list.
Striking yesterday afternoon, the tornado took the greatest toll of life at Frost, in East Central Texas, and at Runge, in South Central Texas. The force of the storm was felt in practically all sections of the state. Navarro, Hill, McLennan and Ellis Counties in Central Texas and Karnes in the southern part of the state bore the brunt of the storm.
National guardsmen, firemen and volunteers were working early today in the debris at Frost where it was feared the death list would mount higher. Nearly every building in the town was demolished.
Descending on Frost from a southwesterly direction, the tornado passed over a residential section, sailed over a schoolhouse and then razed practically every one of about 30 business houses. Telegraph, telephone and electric wires were torn down by the wind, which was accompanied by a driving rain, accentuating the terror of the survivors.
Sensing unusual danger when the swishing of the tornado sounded over the droning of school children at their recitations, Superintendent HARRISON of the Frost public schools ordered the children to march to the basement. Hardly had the pupils reached the lower floor when the storm struck, tearing off the schoolhouse roof and scattering it over the countryside.
Of three churches in the town one remained -- the Presbyterian. The Baptist and Methodist churches were destroyed.
Employees and customers in the two Frost banks saved themselves when, they ran into an open vault and closed the door. Both buildings were wrecked.
300 Homeless In Frost.
Of Frost's population of 600, half were homeless. Streets were blocked with debris torn from wooden and brick buildings. Automobiles were tossed about like toys. One street was almost blocked with automobiles that had been in a dealer's window.
Most of the white dead at Frost were taken to Hillsboro and Corsicana as fast as ambulances could reach them over black land roads. One wrecked building was cleared and bodies of negroes, wrapped in sheets, were laid in town to await burial.
Throughout the night, the Corsicana Salvation Army and women from that city served coffee and sandwiches to the rescue workers.
Cuts Narrow Path.
Many of the dead in the southern part of the state were believed to be Mexican farmers. The twister struck a rich farming country midway between Nordhelm and Runge and cut a path only 150 yards wide but 10 miles long. At the edge of Goliad County it lifted and passed out into the Gulf of Mexico.
The death-dealing wind apparently started at Spur and the Abilene district of West Texas, skipping to the Frost area, then landing more than 200 miles south near San Antonio. Another dip near Runge, and the tornado went out to sea.
Heavy, low hanging clouds, darkened many cities in the state. A sandstorm was reported in West Texas early in the afternoon. Several inchesof rain fell in Central Texas, and the wind did much damage, no estimate of which could be obtained.
Judge Arrives At Frost.
The bodies of PRENTICE FLEW, 29, who died in a Corsicana hospital today, and LEROY HEGLEY, nine months, who died in a Corsicana hospital yesterday will likely be sent to Frost late today for burial.
The body of MRS. W. H. BOWMAN, 60, who died en route to a Corsicana hospital was held there today and probably will be sent to Frost today or tomorrow for burial. Her husband was killed instantly.
HAWKINS SCARBOROUGH, judge of the thirteenth judicial district court, was one of the first arrivials in Frost, after the storm and remained there all night.
He excused all members of the jury for the week, and criminal cases set for trial Wednesday and Friday were passed. A majority of the members of the jury panel left Corsicana after the storm to aid in the rescue work at Frost.
Hear Storm In Corsicana.
ANDREW G. STEELE, county superintendent and past commander of the American Legion post at Corsicana, accompanied by 32 Legionnaires went to Frost soon after the storm and began patrolling the streets and aiding in the rescue work until national guardsmen took over those duties.
STELE said he had tended the services of the American Legion boys to relieve those on the scene. He said that probably 35 or 40 men would go to Frost this afternoon.
The roar of the tornado as it swept destructively through the west end of the county was heard by residents of Western Corsicana.

KNOWN DEATH LIST IN STORM.
Dallas, May 7. -- The known death list in Texas towns struck by tornadoes yesterday included:
At Ennis: Baby daughter of ART WAGNER; BOB FLANAGAN, 15.
At Runge: FERDINAND McHOST, 72; MRS. PAULINE McHOST, 68; MRS. FRANCISCO VILLAREAL; MISS CRUZ VILLAREAL; DOMINGO VILLAREAL; MRS. MARIA HERRERA, 20; LUCIA SALES GARCIA, 40; PANCHO GARCIA; SANTOS GARCIA; JUAN GARCIA; MANUELLA GARCIA; AUGUSTINE GARCIA; CALDUS GARCIA; MRS. MANUEL GOMEZ SALAS; SILVERO SALAS.
At Nordbein: GAVINO TREVINO, 77; SETRIOVA MOLINA, 70; GUADALUPE GARZA; FRANCISCO GARZA, 53; REPERTO GARZA, 13; SERA PIO GARCIA; LORENZO GARCIA; MARTIN GARCIA; MRS. EMILO HUCK; MRS. OTTO FUHRKEN, 32.
At San Antonio: J. C. KLEESPIES.
At Byaum: MR. and MRS. E. F. ISBELL and son, BRANDON; MRS. EMMA HOFT; three negroes.
At Branson: W. T. STRICKLAND.
Near Waco: Two negroes.
At Frost: LEROY HAGLEY, 9 months; E. A. PATTERSON, 50; J. E. LEE, 65; JOHN FLEW, 17; R. L. BELL, 50, and his child; MRS. LEAGUE WOOLEY, 35, and a child, 12; W. H. BOWMAN, 70; GIL PEGAN, 35; TOM HOGAN; JOHN FLY, 50; MRS. W. H.. BOWMAN, 60; PRENTICE FLEW, 21; MARY CURRIE, negress, 50, and son, JONES, 35; child of JESSE SATCHEL, negro; four unidentified negroes.
Three Mexicans were reported killed northeast of here.

The Amarillo Globe Texas 1930-05-07

 


The Carrollton Chronicle - May 9, 1930
Carrollton, Dallas Co., TX

Death Toll Heavy in Cyclonic Storms

Death's toll in Tuesday's storm in Texas numbered 74 according to press reports given out Wednesday. Twenty-two were in Frost, thirty near Runge, seven near Bynum and six others thruout Hill county, two near West one at San Antonio, and one near Gonzales. Besides these dead are scores injured and of these many will die later, it is feared.
The cyclones which hit in many places in Texas also wrecked other places in other states and here was a heavy toll of life recorded that day.
At Frost the business section of the town is in ruins, all the churches were wrecked and the upper portion of the school building taken off. One of the heroic tales from the storm area tells of two teachers in a school who, seeing the storm approaching, took all the children to a nearby cotton field and had them lie flat on the ground.  The storm destroyed the school building but not a child was injured.


Navarro County TXGenWeb
Copyright March, 2009
Edward L. Williams & Barbara Knox