Altus, OK Flood, May 1935

Two Are Killed In Oklahoma Creek

Altus, Okla., May 18.-Tornadoes and floods killed at least nine persons, left five missing, injured 72 and wrought damage officials estimate at $1,000,000 in the once dust-harassed sister states of Oklahoma and Texas tonight.

Brown waters of Turkey creek, boiling through the Harmony community of Southwestern Oklahoma, drowned two persons, and searchers believed five missing also had perished.

Known Dead

Jessie Reid, 45, negro, in the Turkey creek flood.
Hattie Elizabeth Reid, 9, negro, in Turkey creek.

The story of the rushing water near Altus was told by Leslie Reid, negro farmer who was caught in the swirl that drowned Mrs. Gowens and left seven others unaccounted for, five of them members of Reid’s family.

“The house commenced to give,” Reid said. “Then pretty soon it went ‘crash!’ and we all went down the river.”

Among the missing were Carl McAlphine, 40, farmer, and a 10-year-old daughter.

Aged Woman Drowned

“I was floating on a mattress,” Reid continued, “I was going by Mr. McAlphine’s house and he hollered at me. I got over there and went in the house.”

As the water rose rapidly in the small dwelling, McAlphine put his daughter on his back, broke out a window and they left, Reid said.

The house left its foundation about that time and Reid, with Mrs. McAlphine and the aged Mrs. Gowens, fled to the attic. Reid broke out a window and the younger woman made her way to safety but the aged woman perished.

Others sought safety in trees. They were marooned for hours before boats could be obtained for rescue work.

Times-Picayune, New Orleans, LA 19 May 1935



Guess we didn't worry about being politically correct in 1935!

It's so long before.

It's so long before.