Slocum, TX Tornado, Apr 1929


"The tornado approached very suddenly," David said. "I was in my store and I did not realize what was happening until I heard a deafening sound. I rushed outside and saw roofs and trees flying through the air and buildings crumbling to the ground.  The storm continued for several minutes."

The twister swooped from the sky to bring destruction at an hour when many were eating their noon day meals.  Few persons were in the streets of the little community and those in their homes had little chance to escape the falling debris.

Workers late today were attempting to cut through the mass of fallen trees, telephone wires and debris to farm house, where it was feared more dead will be found.

San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco, CA 25 Apr 1929


Slocum, Hamlet of About 300, Hardest Hit, Reporting All Fatalities; Many Injured


Search for Bodies Goes On as Relief Parties Are Rushed Into Stricken Area

Palestine, Tex., April 24. -- Windstorms that swept over sections of East Texas shortly after noon today left in their path at least ten dead, scores of injured and heavy damage to farms buildings and crops.  Several persons were reported missing as relief workers dug into debris.

The wind struck heaviest at Slocum, a hamlet eighteen miles south of Palestine, where at least ten persons were killed and many injured by a tornado that blew up with little warning, cutting a swath a half-mile wide and four miles long.

A tornado of lesser intensity swept over the James community, four miles north of Center, near the Louisiana border soon after the Slocum storm. No lives were reported lost but a woman was seriously injured and seventy-five residents were made homeless when houses were destroyed.

Several Missing

Searchers believed the number of dead at Slocum would be increased to more than fifteen.  The work of searching debris went forward and several residents were reported missing.

The dead

Mr. and Mrs. P. C. Melver

Russell Melver, school child

Charles Fay Turner, school child

Mr. and Mrs. P. E. McDaniel

Mrs. B. E. Kirkwood

R. W. and Marvin Kirkwood, sons of Mrs. Kirkwood.

A Mrs. Gatlin.

Physicians and ambulances were rushed to the stricken areas at Slocum and the I. G. N. hospital and Palestine sanatorium were filled as emergency cars and private automobiles continued to bring additional injured.  Preparations were underway to care for some of the injured in public buildings.  Roads leading to the hamlet were congested with motor cars bearing relief parties from several nearby towns.