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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.