The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 61, July 1957 - April, 1958 Page: 506
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
badly damaged and rocked frightfully in some of the blasts. In the
quarter of the city where I lodged (south part) everything was swept
and nearly all drowned. The family with whom I roomed were all
lost. I lost everything I brought with me from Memphis and a little
money, but I think eighty dollars will cover my entire loss: I am
among the fortunate ones.
The Local Forecast Official, Dr. Cline, lives in the same part of the
city and his brother (one of the observers here) boarded with him.
They did not fare so well. Their house went with the rest and they
were out in the wreckage nearly all night. The LOF [sic] lost his wife
but after being nearly drowned themselves they saved the three chil-
dren. As soon as possible the next morning after the waters went down
I went out to the south end to see how they faired [sic] out there.
I had to go through the wreckage of buildings nearly the entire dis-
tance (one mile) and when I got there I found everything swept clean.
Part of it was still under water.
I could not even find the place where I had been staying. One that
did not know would hardly believe that that had been a part of the
city twenty hour hours before. I could not help seeing many bodies
though I was not desirous of seeing them. I at once gave up the family
with whom I stopped as lost which has proved true as their bodies
have all been found. But the Clines I had more confidence in in
regard to their ability to come out of it. I soon got sick of the sights
out there and returned to the office to put things in order as best I
could. When I got to the office I found a note from the younger Cline
[Joseph] telling me of the safty [sic] of all except the Dr.'s wife.
They were all badly bruised from falling and drifting timber and one
of the children was very badly hurt and they have some fears as to
her recovery. Mr. Broncasial [actually: T. C. Bornkessell, who was
lost in the storm], our printer, [who] lives in another part of the
town that suffered as badly is still missing and we have given him up
as lost. There is not a building in town that is uninjured. Hundreds
are busy day and night cleaning away the debris and recovering the
dead. It is awful, every few minutes a wagon load of corpses passes
by on the street.
The more fortunate are doing all they can to aid the sufferers but
it is impossible to care for all. There is not room in the buildings
standing to shelter them all and hundreds pass the night on the
street. One meets people in all degrees of destitution. People but
partially clothed are the rule and one fully clothed is an exception.
The city is under military rule and the streets are patrolled by
They are expected to shoot at once anyone found pilfering. I
understand four men have been shot today for robbing the dead.
I do not know how true it is for all kinds of rumors are afloat and
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 61, July 1957 - April, 1958, periodical, 1958; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101164/m1/610/: accessed August 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.