Texarkana, AR Tornado, Jul 1882
The Texarkana Disaster.
LITTLE ROCK, July 14. --- Further particulars of the dreadful calamity wrought by the cyclone at Texarkana were received to-day. The storm is described as being a vertical tornado, accompanied by torrents of rain and thunder and lightning. It broke on the place at 6 o'clock last night. At that hour the sky was overcast, and a strange and weird darkness prevailed. Rain fell in torrents, the lightning illuminated the scene with unearthly splendor, and peals of thunder shook buildings almost from their foundations. The inhabitants were astir, filled with terror, dreading they knew not what. Between 7 and 8 o'clock, a large three-story building, belonging to O. L. GHIO and partially completed, was struck by lightning and demolished. The walls fell upon and crushed a saloon and gambling house, in which had gathered between fifty and sixty persons. The announcement of the disaster passed swiftly from place to place, and despite the raging storm, an immense crowd of people gathered around the fallen building searching for relatives and friends, or trying to learn the extent of the appalling disaster.
The lights in the crushed structure set fire to the debris and the peril of a wide spread conflagration and subsequent cremation of scores of dying and suffering unfortunates was added to the horrors of the scene. By the herculean efforts of the citizens the flames were extinguished, not, however, until two or three houses had been destroyed.
TEXARKANA, ARK., July 14. --- Eight corpses have been recovered from the building wrecked by the cyclone. COL. MAYFIELD, FRED SMITH, JOHNNIE MAY and others whose names have not been learned, were wounded seriously and will probably die. To-day great crowds of excited people are around. There are only seven or eight more bodies in the rains.
The number of men buried by the falling walls on MARKHAM'S saloon is estimated at from thirty-five to seventy-five. Up to 6 p. m. nineteen bodies had been recovered. Two of the negroes are still alive. All the whites, except LAWRENCE, are dead.
The citizens are still at work in the rains and many more bodies will be recovered before morning.
The stores are all closed in respect to the unburied dead.
No news has been received from the adjoining county and neigboring towns of the cyclone's work nor of efforts to rescue the victims.
Wednesday night, A. W. MANNING, known as "WILL," who kept the bench stand, was taken out dead. He came here three weeks ago with his aunt, MRS. LOWRY, from Little Rock. The colored porter, ISAAC LONG, was taken out with a leg broken and seriously injured otherwise.
The dead body of W. B. RUSSELL was discovered, but could not be taken out.
The flames consumed the Senate building and MITCHELL'S barber shop, next to which was BECHAN'S fire brick, the west wall of which stayed the progress of the flames.
The two-story frame stable of CAPTAIN HOGAN, on Broad street, was blown down, and it is supposed killed a family of three negroes who lived there.
Twenty-seved [sic] of the dead have been taken from the ruins, and the search goes on.
TEXARKANA, ARK., July 15. --- Nine more bodies were recovered from the rains to-day. Most all were burned beyond recognition. One negro, on the outside and behind the building, was removed from the rubbish. His body was not burned. Twenty bodies were buried this morning. Up to date 28 bodies have been removed, and it is supposed a dozen others, who were in the fire 36 hours, were completely cremated. Several men are missing, presumed to be among the dead.
Liberty Weekly Tribune Missouri 1882-07-21
Researched and Transcribed by Stu Beitler. Thank you, Stu!