Slocum, TX Tornado, Apr 1929


Slocum Blown to Pieces as Cyclone Sweeps Over 1/2-Mile-Wide Path

A tornado dipping into the village of Slocum, Texas, at noon blew the town to pieces, killed seven persons, and caused $200,000 damage after cutting a wide swath through the farming region.

PALESTINE, Tex., April 24 -- A tornado shattered the little community of Slocum, fifteen miles from here, at noon today, took seven lives, injured a score of persons seriously and did more than $200,000 damage, a careful checkup revealed tonight.

As relief parties penetrated the last of the wreckage left by the swirling wind in its mile-wide path through the farming community, several persons believed killed were found to have survived.

Twister Wipes Out Hamlet By Destroying Buildings

At least two other communities felt the force of the tornado winds.  Four miles east of Slocum the twister dipped again and wiped out the little hamlet of Benson Springs [sic - Denson Springs], destroying five residences, a cotton gin and a store.  No one was reportedly injured.

Seventy-five persons were reportedly made homeless and one woman injured in the Janes [sic - James] community, four miles north of Center, Tex., near the Louisiana line.

Many persons were treated and returned to their homes or what was left of them.  The local Red Cross was administering aid to the stricken community and most of the homeless were cared for tonight.

In the two-mile strip struck by the tornado dead cattle littered the roads and fields and parts of the frame buildings were scattered as far as the eye could reach.

O. H. David, postmaster at Slocum, gave a graphic description of damage wrought by the tornado, which was one of the worst ever felt in this section of the State.


David said that but one small structure in the community escaped fury of the terrific wind, which razed two schools, two churches, seven store buildings and nine dwellings.

Approximately 150 school children were playing on the campus when the tornado appeared suddenly from a shroud of dark clouds, he stated.  The frightened children rushed into the building for shelter.  At least two of the children were killed and many were believed serious injured when the building was wrecked.