May 12, 1905
Special to Oklahoman from Hobart, O.T.
NO OFFICIAL LISTS
EXACT NUMBER OF DEAD MAY NEVER BE KNOWN --- INCIDENTS OF THE DAY.
Hobart, O.T., May 12 – After diligent research and considerable
inquiry it was found impossible to get a complete list of the dead in the Snyder
cyclone. While the list has grown from 57 as reported yesterday to 105, the
names of the dead could not be procured. Bodies were taken to the morgue, identified
by their friends or relatives, and taken to homes or given into the hands of
the undertakers with no tags on the bodies. A complete list of the dead will
never be known. There are now eleven who are unidentified and unclaimed. Reports
from the country as far as thirty-five miles south are at hand.
The storm completely demolished the town of Yeldell, and Olustee is reported to have suffered.
Mr. Dowden, of the real estate firm of Perry and Dowden, was in the neighborhood at Olustee, and seeing the storm coming and knowing the history of cyclones that they move to the northward, drove at breakneck speed covering six miles in twenty minutes, and just barely missed the twister. The Ralstons, at whose place he had been, were all killed, man and wife and two children.
The family of Frank James, living 13 miles southwest of Snyder, were all reported killed by Walter Way, who drove up last night and followed the course of the storm. He said he passed the wreck of several buildings but no persons were seen anywhere, and it is supposed that many lost their lives.
Another family named Hughes lost four killed outright.
Fifteen injured were removed at 2 o’clock this morning to Lawton and the rest who can be moved will be taken to Oklahoma City and Enid.
The big wall clock of the jeweler occupying space in the Eagle Drug store stopped at exactly forty-three minutes past eight o’clock. That was the hour the storm struck Snyder. It is impossible to ascertain or even estimate the money loss incident to the cyclone, but it is thought that when all quarters are heard from that it will reach in the neighborhood of $400,000. The following are among the greater losses: Cotton compress, $20,000; Gin, $10,000; Gin, $10,000 [sic]; round house, $30,000; 15 box cars, $40,000; freight depot and freight, $15,000; ranch house of Ed L. Peckham, largest and finest in the territory, $20,000; Midland hotel, $10,000; 22 other business houses and stocks of goods, $50,000; 96 residences, $75,000.
This was probably the largest percentage loss of any catastrophe ever recorded. Over 12 per cent of the population is killed, over 40 percent either killed or injured, and over 96 per cent a total loss of property.
Prof. Hibbard, superintendent of schools, saw the storm coming and sent his boy to open the door of the cave. The boy got hold of the cave door and shouted to his father to hurry when he was struck on the head by a flying missile and knocked unconscious, falling in the cave. All the other members of the family were killed but the boy. Mr. Hibbard’s father and mother had come the day previous from Alva. They were both killed as well as Mr. Hibbard, wife and two children.
The association of undertakers which was in session at Oklahoma City, responded to the call for relief and came on the Oklahoma City special. They organized themselves into a working squad, elected officers on the train enroute and embalmed the dead as fast as possible and looked after the burial.
Just at daylight this morning, two injured were found, one from his cries and the other by accident. A boy, whose name could not be learned, cried for help. He was pinioned under a house beam, with both legs and an arm broken, where he had lain for forty hours. He was taken to the hospital where he became unconscious. The other was a man. When the rubbish was pulled off him and he was raised to his feet he walked off, being unable to speak. He was unconscious. There was an ugly gash in his back and part of entrails were protruding. Every stitch of clothing on his back, from his head to his feet, was stripped off as even as if it had been done with a knife. He was taken to the hospital, where he collapsed.
Mrs. Edwards came to Snyder on the evening train and was killed a few minutes after arrival.
Mrs. C. A. Parsons grabbed her little two-year-old baby in her arms to go to the cave. The little fellow cried for his doll, the mother returned and got the doll and reached the cave, and she with her baby and fourteen others were saved, but there was not a splinter left of the house. She went north to her home in Arapahoe this morning.
Mr. Carson, a loan man traveling out of Norman, arrived in Snyder on the fatal night and had retired early. He has a leg broken and is badly crushed; he is a brother-in-law to the McClinticks of Snyder. He cannot live. He is a Mason and an Odd Fellow.
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