Lawton, O.T
May 12, 1905


Lawton, Okla., May 12 – The already sensitive citizens of Snyder were again thrown into a terror of excitement about 9 o’clock this morning when a severe storm of hail, rain and wind passed over that section of country. Some damage was done to buildings by wind and hail and those that were partially wrecked by the cyclone admitted floods of water through the roofs and crevices. The temporary hospital in which the storm patients are being cared for was drenched and many of the patients were wetted. A ripple of excitement spread throughout the building and many of the inmates suffered temporary relapses. The low lands of the town were submerged and the floors of many buildings were under water. The rain storm extended the entire distance from Olustee to Oklahoma City. At the former place the Frisco railroad suffered damage to its tracks and water tanks. In many places the tracks were submerged to the depth of several inches. The roadbed is in a bad condition and the dispatcher has given orders for all trains to run at a very moderate speed during the day.

The storm struck Lawton about 9:15 and one of the hardest rains in its history fell. It was accompanied by a strong wind that blew down fences, telephones and small houses. The electric light plant was wrecked and on the Indian reservation north of the city cattle were injured, many being lifted bodily out of fences. Floods of water ran through some of the principal streets and the floors of several business houses were inundated to a depth of a foot or more.

A Frisco train passed through here today bearing a supply of tents to be used by the engineering corps in taking care of the storm sufferers. The Frisco made excursion rates to Snyder today and hundreds of people are visiting the scene of the storm.
Six patients were brought from Snyder to Lawton this morning and are in the hospital. Their names and conditions are as follows: George W. Carson, fair condition; J. D. Carter, not good; N. W. McCart, left arm amputated below the elbow, suffering from the shock; M. A. Crooks, condition not good; M. A. Crooks, condition good [sic]; Ella Sims, condition not good; Johnnie Jones, condition critical.

J. W. Wolverton, president of the city council, yesterday appointed a committee consisting of Frank P. Case, Rufus Lefors, A. H. Japp and I. F. Colley to procure and ship provisions to Snyder for the storm sufferers. The committee did some quick work and forwarded a quantity of provisions yesterday afternoon.

The wife and two little girls of Charley Gorton, cattle inspector at Snyder, were brought here last night from Snyder. Mr. Gorton, who had been in the Indian Territory for several days past, met them here this afternoon. He was accompanied by T. H. Moore, father of Mrs. Gorton, and they all went to Norman. The little son of Mr. and Mrs. Gorton was killed.

The most disgraceful feature of the day at Snyder was the open saloons. Men drank at the bar all during the day, and in the afternoon drunk men were on the streets. Citizens appealed to Sheriff Ray of Kiowa county to close the saloons. This he refused to do, claiming he had no such authority and he could not be prevailed upon to issue a radical order of his own and enforce it.

Sheriff Hammond returned from Snyder today at 2:30 and reports that six more bodies of storm victims were found in debris there last night, and this morning two were found beneath an overturned box car, two in debris on Main street and two on the outer portion of town. One of the latter was a man and his cries attracted the searching parties. This swells the total death list in Snyder alone to one hundred.

Drs. Meyers, Neeker, Lewis and Meredith returned from Snyder today, accompanying patients that were brought here to the hospital. The patients were Dr. and Mrs. Miller, J. W. Hudson and daughter, (and) Miss Malvis. Mrs. Miller is yet in serious condition. Hudson is in a frightfully mangled condition. The agent of the Frisco at Snyder, and some others who were wounded, were taken through on this train to Springfield for treatment. The body of Fireman Donavan was also taken east.

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February 14, 2007