Slocum, TX Tornado, Apr 1929

 

Only One Building Left

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

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

Approximately one hundred and fifty school children were playing on the grounds when the tornado appeared suddenly from a shroud of dark clouds, he stated.  Frenzied by fear, the children rushed into the building for shelter.  At least two of the children were killed and many were believed seriously injured.  It seemed a miracle, Mr. David stated, that more were not killed.

"The tornado approached very suddenly," Mr. 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 about seven minutes."

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

Slocum is a typical Texas farming community of not more than three hundred inhabitants.  The village is an important trading center for farmers within a five-mile radius.

Times-Picayune , New Orleans, LA 25 Apr 1929

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"One hundred, fifty were injured in the Slocum storm of 1929. Eight were killed outright. My brother, Pink McDaniel and his wife, formerly Mary Day, were amongst the killed, as were Mrs. Kirkwood and two children. The Kirkwood survivors, father, grandfather and two children were all seriously injured and their home a wreck. Two houses only were left standing in Slocum, the Raines home and Mrs. Roger Davis' house. Last named was unroofed.

"I was a member of school board at time of storm. We all appreciated the fine work Senator Greer and Col. Strong did for us in securing the State appropriation to rebuild the school. I have served as member of the school board for about twenty-five years in all, and I don't think any services for any school were ever more deeply appreciated than these. The entire school and the community, generally, gained new courage to 'carry on' with this splendid exhibition of sympathy.

A Centennial History of Anderson County, Texas, 1936 by Pauline Buck Hohes.