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Snyder, Oklahoma Tornado

May 10, 1905

 

TORNADO AT SNYDER, OK.

Report Says Four Hundred People Are Killed or Injured-A Relief Train Is Sent to the Scene.


OKLAHOMA CITY, Ok., May 10.-Reports have reached here from Hobart and Anadarko confirming the news of a tornado at Snyder, but no details are known.

The Frisco Railroad is sending a relief train from Chickasha to Snyder. It is rumored that 400 people are killed and injured.

INFORMATION IS MEAGER.

Wires Are All Down and Communication with Towns Near Snyder is Cut Off.


SPECIAL TO THE NEWS.

Oklahoma City, Ok., May 10.-Only meager information concerning the cyclone which struck Snyder is obtainable, and that comes from Chickasha, I. T.

Over a very bad long distance telephone wire the Rock Island train dispatcher called to the Frisco dispatcher at Sapulpa that there had been a cyclone at Snyder. A special relief train was immediately dispatched to the stricken city.

All communication has been lost with Chickasha and other offices near Snyder.

REPORT REACHES QUANAH.

One Hundred People Are Said to Have Been Killed in Cyclone Which Destroyed Snyder.


SPECIAL TO THE NEWS.

Quanah, Tex., May 11.-A report was received here tonight that a cyclone had struck the town of Snyder and that the town had been blown away. One hundred people were killed. A relief train was at once made up here and with a large party of doctors and nurses, has gone to Snyder.

A report was also received that there had been a severe storm at Oluska and that a family had been killed there. All wires to Snyder are down.

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 11 May 1905

 

Transcribed by Linda Houston. Thanks, Linda!

 

       


HE SAW THE TORNADO FORM.

Description of the Snyder, Ok., Storm by A. W. FARRAR of Kansas City.


A. W. FARRAR of 808 Lydia avenue, a member of the law firm of Goldsby & Farrar, has just returned from Oklahoma, where he visited the ruins of Snyder, the town wrecked by a tornado Thursday night. At the time of the disaster Mr. FARRAR was near Quanah, Tex., about fifteen miles from Snyder, and saw the storm form.

"We could see the complete evolution of the 'twister,'" said Mr. FARRAR. "In the distance we watched the progress of a heavy rain cloud, behind which, as it advanced, we saw another cloud forming. At first it seemed like a second rain storm, but it quickly acquired a whirling motion and set out in pursuit of the rain cloud. Another tornado formed behind this, but I don't know if it continued in the track of the first.

"When I visited Snyder after the storm the sight was appalling. A path 900 feet wide extended through the town where the tornado had passed. In this space there was not a trace of buildings left standing, and the ground was shorn of grass. Splinters, beams and heavy timbers were driven into the soil and marked the course of the hurricane. Many buildings, filled with merchandise or household goods, had stood in the way of the wind. When I arrived there the total value of everything left would not amount to fifteen cents.

"The survivors, including many injured, seemed dazed by their terrible experience. I never heard a sob, a cry, nor a groan from the crowd of afflicted. Even those who had lost members of their families, wives, husbands, parents or children were dry-eyed and talked dully and calmly of their loss.

"A peculiarity of the storm was that its victims were not carried with it, but were drawn back by the force of the wind and cast aside at points behind where the suction had picked them up."

Since Mr. FARRAR's return to Kansas City he has received word from Frederick, Comanche county, Oklahoma, that the house of R. W. GOLDSBY, his law partner, near there had been demolished by a tornado. The building was owned and occupied by Mr. FARRAR's brother, Dr. GEORGE W. FARRAR, but according to the report, no one was injured in the storm. It was from this place that Mr. FARRAR saw the formation of the tornado that wrecked Snyder.


The Kansas City Star, Kansas City, MO 14 May 1905

 

Transcribed by Linda Houston. Thanks, Linda!

 

       


HEART-RENDING SCENES

Three young children in the CROOK family were killed. One snatched from its mother's arms and its brains dashed out against a brick wall.

The storm was of the regular twister variety, and swooped down upon Snyder without warning. It came up from the southwest. It cut a swath a half mile wide, demolishing everything in its path within a distance of ten miles southwest and three miles northeast of Snyder.

One of the saddest cases was that of COLONEL WILLIAMSON. When the storm struck, WILLIAMSON grabbed a woman who he thought was his wife and hurried away to a place of safety. When out of danger he discovered that the woman was not his wife. Later Mrs. WILLIAMSON was brought to the temporary morgue with her head completely severed from the body.

The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA 12 May 1905

 

Transcribed by Linda Houston. Thanks, Linda!

 

       


The bodies of 73 persons have been recovered.

Following is the list:

MR. ATTAWAY, wife and two children.
MRS. E. P. BECKWITH,
aged 24.
C. W. BEEMAN.
EARL BEEMAN.
W. H. BUSSER
and wife.
RUSSELL BUSSER,
aged 18.
C. L. BARNES,
aged 50.
GEORGE W. BAILEY,
aged 40.
ALVAN BUSKIRK,
aged 27.
FLORENCE BAKER.
MRS. MARY BIGGS,
aged 28.
MR. CROOK
and two children.
FRED CRUMP,
aged 19.
MRS. LOREN COLEMAN
and three children.
GEORGE DAVIS,
wife and child.
C. G. DONOVAN,
aged 28.
MISS LULU EDWARDS.
S. S. FESSENDEN,
wife and four children.
H. H. FESSENDEN.
MISS FESSENDEN,
aged 20.
MRS. M. A. FAST,
aged 38.
HAROLD GORTON,
aged 11, son of territorial oil inspector.
MRS. HUDSON,
aged 38, and three children; late of Alabama.
MRS. MARY JOHNSON,
aged 40, and two sons.
JAMES MCCART
and wife.
MRS. M. MOODY.
MISS MURPHY,
of St. Louis.
MR. MOSS.
MR. ORCUTT.
LAURA RUSSELL.
MRS. FANNIE REDWICH,
aged 50.
PEARL STALEY,
of Troyer, Okla.
J. P. SUTHERLAND
and wife.
CHARLES STUZEL,
aged 26.
Unidentified man, woman and two children.
MR. WEAVER,
wife and three children.
MRS. COL. WILLIAMSON,
aged 26.
DEWEY ATTAWAY.
MR. SIMS,
wife and daughter.
MRS. ORCUTT.
MRS. C. P. STUBBLEFIELD.
WM. STUBBLEFIELD.
ENGLES
family, three persons, five and a half miles southwest.
Unknown family of four, 15 miles northeast.
MR. HUGHES,
wife and son, eight miles west of Olustee.
RALSTON
family at Olustee.
PROF. [CHARLES LANGDON] HIBBARD,
wife, two children, father and mother.

Debris from Snyder was carried to the northeast as far as Cooperton, 12 miles, and it is reported that there are more of the fragments of homes at that town and in that vicinity than in the tornado path at Snyder.

About 75 head of horses and cattle were killed on the townsite. A committee has been set to work to remove carcasses.

The mayor of Snyder is having much trouble arranging for the burial of the dead. The confusion is great, owing to the fact that there still remain a number of unidentified bodies at the morgues. There is much suffering owing to lack of provisions, and places to stay in town are in bad condition and are unsafe for habitation. Besides, there is not room enough to care for the homeless. Bedding and wearing apparel are both lacking, and despite the effort to succor the unfortunates they are still in a pitiable condition. Many of the wounded could not be cared for or given medical aid until nine o'clock Thursday morning, and by that time their wounds were aggravated. DR. YORK, of Hobart, who was active in relieving the suffering, says that 20 per cent of the wounded will die.

The Town of Snyder.

Snyder is situated in the heart of the rich Kiowa farming section formerly a part of the country of the Kiowa and Comanche Indians, but opened to white settlement in 1901.

The town was built largely by the St. Louis San Francisco Railroad Co. at the junction of its two lines, and was named for BRYANT SNYDER, passenger traffic manager of the system.

A Carload of Coffins.

Oklahoma City, Okla., May 11.-A car load of coffins is now enroute to Snyder from this city as result of the prompt action taken by members of the Funeral Directors' association which had been in convention here. As soon as Hal Street, a prominent undertaker, heard of the catastrophe, he asked for volunteers and ten undertakers responded instantly. They left here at 9 o'clock this morning on a special 'Frisco train with a car load of caskets for tornado victims.

Belleville News-Democrat, Belleville, IL 12 May 1905

 

Transcribed by Linda Houston. Thanks, Linda!

 

       


The Operator Was Killed.

Sapulpa, I. T., May 11.
-The station agent at Snyder, who was killed, was named J.M. EGAN.

J. M. EGAN, agent of the Frisco at Snyder, who is reported killed, was formerly superintendent of telegraph for the Frisco system, and is one of the best-known telegraphers in the west.

Belleville News-Democrat, Belleville, IL 12 May 1905

Transcribed by Linda Houston. Thanks, Linda!

 

       

SNYDER DISASTER GROWS.

Snyder, Okla., May 14.
--- The list of known dead as a result of the tornado which visited this place Wednesday night was to-day increased by seven. Definite information has been received to the effect that the family of R. R. HUGHES, a farmer, who lived south of Oluslee, consisting of HUGHES, his wife and son, were killed.

Eight miles south of Altus, the home of J. E. RALSTON was destroyed, killing RALSTON, his son, and daughter JESSIE.

Summit County Journal Colorado 1905-05-20

Submitted & transcribed by Stu Beitler  Thank you, Stu!

       

Read about The Snyder, Oklahoma Tornado of 10 May 1905 from the National Weather Service website

       

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