Goliad, TX Tornado, May 1902 - Many Killed



Wind Cuts a Deadly Swath Two Hundred and Fifty Yards Wide --- Appalling Scenes of Destruction --- One Hundred Houses Totally Demolished.

Houston, Texas, May 18. --- At 3:45 this afternoon a tornado struck the beautiful and historical town of Goliad and left death and desolation in its pathway beyond the power of pen to portray.

A correspondent reached the scene at 7 o'clock, on a special train from Victoria, Texas, bearing doctors, nurses and medicines, friends and relatives of Goliad people and the O'Connor guards. The scene which met the eye on reaching the scene of destruction, which was in the western part of the city was appalling. Between Church and Patrice streets, which run north and south a distance of a mile in length, only one house was left standing and scarcely a vestige of man could be seen. Very little damage was done except within these boundaries, a width of 250 yards. The tornado was preceded a few moments by a heavy hailstorm and a deep rumbling sound, but no one had any premonition of the disaster, and there was no opportunity for escape to refuge, as the cyclone, dealing death and disaster, was all over in a few moments.

The section which most suffered was the residence portion, the lower part being the negro settlement, while the upper part contained many residences. The Methodist and Baptist churches and the Baptist parsonage, both just completed, and the negro Methodist church were destroyed. The Episcopal church was badly damaged and fully 100 houses were totally destroyed. The stone residence of R. T. DAVIS of the Goliad Guard was the only building in the pathway of the storm not demolished, and it is a wreck.

The people of Goliad, realizing at once the stupendous nature of the calamity and the terrible loss of life and injured, telephoned to her sister cities of Cuero and Victoria for assistance, which was responded to immediately. General Superintendent FORBES stopped the regular Beeville train at Goliad and turned it back to Victoria, bringing on the return trip six doctors from there and an abundance of medicines and surgical appliances. Another train came later from Cuero with a number of physicians and dozens of nurses and many citizens.

Dallas, Texas, May 18. --- A special to the News from Houston says that a telephone message received from Goliad late to-night reports that 150 or more persons were killed and injured by the tornado which swept over that village to-day. No verification is obtainable. Among those reported lost are the members of the family of the Goliad telephone manager.

Summit County Journal Colorado 1902-05-24