Friday, May 12 1905
Special to Oklahoman From Snyder, O.T.
ONE HUNDRED LIVES LOST IN THE STORM
Details of Disaster Wrought By Tornado at Snyder Baffle
Attempt at Description
--- LIST OF DEAD AND INJURED --- Some of the Heartrending Incidents of the Awful Catastrophe --- Col. Williams Saved a Woman He Thought to Be His Wife Only to Find the Latter Lying Dead and Headless After the Storm Had Passed --- Babe Swept From Its Mother’s Arms and Crushed Against a Brick Wall --- Awful Fate of Little Paul Crum --- Some Stories of Miraculous Escapes.
The Latest Advices. Special to The Oklahoman.
Snyder, Okla., May 11 --- Indications are that by midnight the total number of dead as a result of the tornado will reach one hundred. The final figure awaits the result of what are apparently fatal injuries and doubtless will foot up a hundred and ten.
The business portion of the town has suffered less than the residence section, which accounts for the fact that so many were killed, the tornado occurring after business hours. The main street, E Street, beginning at First and running west, has but few buildings that are a total loss but all are more or less wrecked. In about half, the stocks of merchandise are but little damaged. The Prickett building, a stone structure, has front and rear torn out. Others in the block damaged but still standing are Cuppy’s saloon; Brant’s store; Davidson Grocery Co.; M. C. Hughes Grocery Co.; Okeene Roller Mills; Kiowa County Bank; Miller, Bailey & company; Stoffer Hardware Co.; Perry Griffin’s saloon; Freeman & Mandenhall Hardware Co.; H. D. Street Furniture house; Howell & McCue; Dermott block; and the Bank of Snyder. On the next block west, but two or three small buildings are demolished. The Commercial Hotel was blown to pieces, and caught on fire, which was extinguished by supreme effort. The Hilton Hotel, the largest here, remains intact, and a portion is used as a temporary hospital. Financial need is greatly needed. A committee has been appointed for the purpose of collecting assistance, consisting of E. E. Dowden, president; B. C. Burnett, secretary; G. J. Helena, treasurer. Offerings sent to the treasurer will be applied where needed.
The havoc wrought by the tornado is complete. Out of a town of 1,000 people, not more than a score of houses are intact, while two-thirds of the buildings are totally wrecked. The storm formed south of Olustee, near the Texas line, and took a northeasterly course through a well-settled section. At 8 o’clock it was observed by the people of Snyder but the usual funnel-shaped formation was lacking, and though the deep roar was plainly heard for some time before the storm broke, many were of the opinion that it was a hail storm. Within a few minutes the sky became suddenly dark and a terrific downpour of rain began, lasting for several minutes, when it stopped almost as suddenly as it had commenced. A few moments of ominous calm followed, and then the tornado struck, tearing buildings to pieces as though they were made of paper. Many people who had thought to take advantage of the calm to seek refuge in cellars were caught in the streets and between buildings, where some were lifted high in the air and dashed to the ground as though hurled from a catapault [sic], while others were were struck by flying debris and beaten almost beyond recognition. Those who remained in their homes fared no better in the path of the tornado, which swept across all excepting a few blocks on the southeastern corner of the town. The frame structures collapsed like eggshells, burying occupants under the debris, killing.. crushing and maiming. Six of the eight hotels were torn to pieces, burying many in the wreckage. North of the railroad track, where many cottages stood, one is left and the wreckage is mostly carried away. In a few moments it was all over and the air was filled with the shrieks of the injured, mingled with cries of those who had escaped and were seeking lost ones.
Within a short time, messengers were dispatched to Mountain Park, where the news was sent by telephone to Hobart. Physicians and nurses were called for and relief trains were made up at Mangum, Hobart, Chickasha and Lawton and hurried to the scene by Frisco. Meanwhile the able-bodied survivors in Snyder were working heroically all through the night amid the most heartrending scenes. A building was utilized for a temporary hospital and another used as a morgue. The latter, a dry goods building, presented a gruesome appearance when day dawned with the corpses lying tier above tier on the shelves. The search for bodies continued during the day and at 6 o’clock, eighty had been recovered. Others are being searched for which, with the casualties reported from the country, will probably raise the death list to one hundred. Several of the injured will be added to the list of fatalities. The most pressing need is financial. Organization was perfected among the citizens today and appeals were sent out to leading cities of the territories asking for immediate assistance. In addition to the seriously injured who are being cared for at the hospital, many sustained lesser injuries and are incapacitated for the work of caring for those who are in need of assistance.
Approximately 100 people were killed in the tornado which visited Snyder and vicinity last night, and as many more were injured.
The bodies of seventy-three persons have been recovered. Following
is the list:
ATTAWA, Mr., wife and child.
BECKWITH, MRS. E. P., aged 24.
BEEMAN, C. W.
BUESER, W. R. AND WIFE.
BUESER, RUSSEL, 18.
BARNES, C. L., 50.
BAILEY, GEORGE W., 40.
BUSKIRK, ALVAN, 27.
BIGGS, MRS. MARY, 28.
CROOK, AND TWO CHILDREN.
CRUMP, FRED, 19.
COLEMAN, MRS. LOREN, THREE CHILDREN.
DAVIS, GEO., WIFE AND CHILD.
DONOVAN, C. G., 28.
EDWARDS, MISS LULU.
ENGLES FAMILY, THREE PERSONS 5 ½ miles southwest.
FESSENDEN, S. S., WIFE AND FOUR CHILDREN
FESSENDEN, H. H.
GORTON, HAROLD L., son of Territorial oil inspector.
HUDSON, MRS., 23, AND THREE CHILDREN, late of Alabama.
HIBBARD, PROF. C. P., WIFE, TWO CHILDREN, FATHER, AND MOTHER.
HUGHES, MR., WIFE, AND SON, 8 miles west of Olustee.
JOHNSON, MRS. MARY, 40, AND TWO SONS.
JONES, G. C., WIFE, AND THREE CHILDREN.
FRANK JONES FAMILY, at Olustee.
M’CART, JAMES, AND WIFE.
MOODY, MRS. M.
MURPHY, MISS, of St. Louis.
RALSTON FAMILY, at Olustee.
REDWICK, MRS. FANNIE.
SIMS, MR., WIFE, AND DAUGHTER.
STALEY, PEARL, of Troyer OK.
SUTHERLAND, J. P. AND WIFE.
STUZEL, CHAS., 26.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN, WOMAN, AND TWO CHILDREN.
UNKNOWN FAMILY OF FOUR, 15 miles northeast.
WEAVER, MR., AND WIFE AND THREE CHILDREN.
WILLIAMSON, MRS. COLONEL, 26.
Of the Injured, seven will die. Following is a list of the seriously
injured, who are in a temporary hospital here:
Bailey, Mrs. Geo. W., legs broken.
Bussap[sp?] [G--?] and Fred, injury to head and body.
Beckwith, A. L.
Crook, M. A. and wife, skulls fractured; may die.
Crooks, J. A.
Caranna [sp?], Mr., of Norman Okla.
Craver [sp?], J. V.
Ducan [sp?], Allee.
Eagan, J. M., seriously.
Francis, J., attorney.
Harrison, Ed, skull fracture.
Harrison, Ed., skull fracture [sic].
Hudson, Mrs., fatally.
Hale, S. C.
Kidd, Arthur H.
Lawson, Martha H.
Leggler, Letta J.
Murphy, Matilda; may die.
Mize, Mrs. Mary.
Miller, Mrs., Dr.
Pulson, C. C.
Sigler, J. H.
Vance, manager of telephone exchange.
Williamson, Mrs., probably fatal.
Return to Snyder Tornado Intro
February 14, 2007