Peggs, OK Devastating Tornado, May 1920
CYCLONE WIPES OUT PEGGS.
FIFTY ARE REPORTED KILLED IN OKLAHOMA VILLAGE AND ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY INJURED.
By the Associated Press.
Muskogee, Okla., May 3. -- Thirty-seven bodies have been recovered by rescuers from wrecked houses in the storm demolished town of Peggs, according to a telephone report from Tahlequah. This information was brought from Peggs by the first man to arrive at Tahlequah from Peggs today. Twenty of these bodies are reported to have been taken from one building alone.
JOHN LITTLEFIELD, his wife and six of their seven children were among those killed in the storm, a report to Tahlequah said. The only physician in the town, DR. W. R. HILL, also was killed.
Tahlequah, county seat of Cherokee county fifteen miles south of Peggs, is the nearest railroad town to the storm area.
Those familiar with the roads in the vicinity say it is impossible to reach Peggs by motor car. The Tulsa Tribune started a newspaper man by airplane to the stricken district this morning.
Muskogee, Okla., May 3. -- Fifty persons are reported killed and more than one hundred fifty injured in a storm that wiped out the little town of Peggs, Oklahoma, Cherokee county at 9:30 o'clock last night.
Reports from Locust Grove and Tahlequah where dead and injured from Peggs are being taken said that not a house was left standing in Peggs.
A special train carrying doctors and nurses and equipment left Muskogee for Peggs this morning. All doctors and nurses in Tahlequah also have gone. Practically every store in Tahlequah, county seat of Cherokee county, has closed and several hundred people have gone to Peggs to do rescue work.
Direct communication with the stricken town was impossible this morning, as all wires from Muskogee to Tahlequah are down.
Muskogee, May 3. -- Forty-three bodies have been recovered at Peggs by rescue parties up until noon today. Families were crushed to death when their homes were torn to pieces by the force of the gale. Nine members of the STEVENS family were killed, seven of the LITTLEFIELD family, eight persons by the name of FRANK and five members of the WILKERSON family are now numbered among the dead.
Only three buildings remain standing after the storm at Peggs.
Forty-two coffins are being sent to the scene of the storm from Tahlequah. This is as many as could be found in the city. Temporary hospitals have been organized amid the wreckage and scores of slightly injured are being given first aid. If they can stand the trip to Tahlequah, they are being taken there. When rescuers arrived in Peggs they found the twisted, mud-splattered bodies. Heavy rain and hail accompanied the storm and when the rescuers began collecting the bodies from the wreckage, many were so plastered with mud that they had to be washed off before their identity could be established. The dead were collected in shelters of walls that were left standing. Twenty bodies were piled in one corner, while the searching party ranged the immediate vicinity. Doctors and their assistants pressed into service have worked incessantly since early this morning caring for the dead and injured.
The Ada Evening News Oklahoma 1920-05-03