1930 Frost Tornado Articles
Published in The Austin American


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


The Austin American - May 7, 1930, Wednesday, Page 1


Teachers Save Pupils Carried Into Cotton Patch Just Before Wind Wrecks School Building
By the Associated Press CORSICANA, Tex., May 6.
Two school teachers who kept their heads and stuck by their jobs while a black funnel which they knew carried death swooped down upon their little school, were the heroines of Frost tonight. Seventy-five panicky children were in the school when the storm was seen approaching. Miss Lois Rogers, Hillsboro, and Miss Millie Yarbrough, Mertens, knew that to stay in the frame structure meant death. They herded their small charges into an open cotton field nearby and there every child was made to lie down along the rows of fresh green cotton. From this place of comparative security, they watched the twister engulf the school house and tear it into bits. No child was hurt. The jail was the only public building in Frost that was not demolished. Six freight cars were hurtled from the railroad switches one being turned directly across the main line. The depot was moved off its foundations. The twister travelled from Frost to Irene, Hill community, about eight miles southwest, demolishing demolishing several business houses and residences but no one was injured. Considerable damage was done to farms and farm improvements. Shortly after the arrival of the Corsicana train, a sandwich shop was set up for workers and injured. Sheriff Rufus Pevehouse and deputies Walter Hayes and Jack Floyd were directing the relief. Fire broke out following the storm but was soon brought under control. Twelve men were saved from death by taking refuge in the vault of a bank. Many believed other bodies would be found when the debris was cleared away. It was estimated that 40 business buildings were demolished and about 75 residence structures. First aid stations were set up all over the town and the relief situation seemed well taken care of.


Frost, Small Town Near Waco, Wrecked by Fury Of Spring Wind Storm
By the Associated Press

Fifty one persons are know to have been killed and at least two others are believed dead as the result of a series of tornadoes which dipped down on widely separated sections of the state Tuesday.
Communities of Central Texas near Waco, including the town of Frost which was demolished, bore the brunt of the storm.
The tornado which hit parts of McLennan, Hill and Navarro counties formed over Waco and swept into South Central Texas striking between Runge and Nordheim near San Antonio.
The twister swept a path 300 miles wide missed Bynum, by about two miles and struck at Frost.
Telephone and telegraph wires, crippled by the storm, delayed and made reports from the stricken areas fragmentary. It is possible that the death toll will run considerably higher when a complete check can be procured.
The identified dead were:
J. C. Kleespie, San Antonio )Randolph field)
Near Frost, Navarro county, Lee Roy Bagley, nine months; Gib Bogan and Tom Bogan; Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Bowman; J. D. Lee; Ed Patterson; A. L. Bell and child; Mrs. Lee Wooley and child; John Fly, 50; Johnnie Fiew, 19; Mary Currie, 50; Jones Currie 35; and a negro infant.
A 15 year old boy at Ensign near Frost.
In Hill county, Mr. and Mrs. E. F. Isbell and their child, Brandon.
An unidentified Mexican killed near Spur.

Crops And Oil Fields In West Texas Badly Damaged
Near Runge, Krens county, Ferdinand Machost and his wife; three children of Pancho Villareal; unidentified man on farm east of Kennedy, Mrs. Otto Fuhrken, two Mexican workmen on the Fuhrken farm, eight of a family of nine Mexicans on the farm of Louie Duderstadt.
W. M. Fly near Mertins,
A. Rms. Hof and Charley Wolf, Spur
A Miss Anderson of Massey
Nine persons were reported to the Waco News Tribune as having been killed in communities naer that city.
An unidentifed Mexican was killed and four were injured when a house was demolished 12 milds from Spur, in Northwestern texas
H. J. Nichols, Corsicana aviator, flew over Frost afterward and said the tornado apparently came from the southwest, traveling in a northeasterly direction and curring a path about 10 miles long.
Fifty or more persons were injured in various parts of the state, those most seriously at Randolph field, Runge, Frost, Bynum, Brookins, Mertens and Spur, although several were reported injured in Dallas by glass shattered by the wind storm.
The wind storm which tore a path across West Texas damaged crops near Coleman, Eastland and Dibrell demolished derricks in several oil fields.


Father Sees Wife and Child Perish In Storm

At Frost at least 16 were reported dead though an exact report could not be procured due to broken telephone lines.

Residents of the town said two tornadoes struck about 15 minutes apart. Incoming relief workers said the first sight they saw on entering the town of 1,000 was a debris-strewn cemetery, with sheet iron, lumber and papers scattered among the grave markers.
Several ambulances which had to ford two streams swollen by a week of rain, were stalled. Before they could aid the stricken the drivers and workers had to push out their automobiles.
League Wooley, seeing the cloud approaching, went to the school house for his child.  He returned home just at the storm struck, killing his wife and child.  Late Tuesday night he had not regained consciousness.
Many little children lay on improvised cots or in their parents arms, mangled and bruised. Panic stricken little negro children were huddled together with bandaged heads.

No effort was made tonight to remove the wreckage of the buildings for fear the walls would crumble and fall on workers.  The wreckage laying free was made into bonfires to light the gruesome scene.
One man escaped death by grasping a large tree, the top of which was torn from the trunk.
Some of those who saw the cloud, said it "bounced along" and appeared to be in two sections.

At least 16 were killed when a cyclonic storm swept through a thickly populated farming community between Nordheim and Runge late Tuesday afternoon.  The dead and injured were taken to both Nordheim and Runge while physicians from Cuero, Yorktown, Kenedy and Karnes rushed to the stricken areas.

Nearly 20 injured had been cared for late Tuesday night and at last reports the storm's path was at the edge of Karnes and Goliad county, where it evidently had lifted and passed out into the Gulf of Mexico.
Observers traveling on the highway between Corpus Christi and San Antonio say the storm cloud did not appear funnel shaped like a tornado, but was a low black mass tumbling forward and traveling faster than tornado clouds usually progress.

Navarro County TXGenWeb
Copyright February, 2020
Edward L. Williams