Skip to Content

Sherman, TX Tornado, May 1896

Sherman TX Cemetery Marker.JPG Sherman TX tornado 1896 Sherman TX tornado 1896

On May 15, 1896, a tornado measuring F5 on the Fujita scale struck Sherman. The tornado had a damage path 400 yards wide and 28 miles long, killing 73 people and injuring 200. About 50 homes were destroyed, with 20 of them being completely obliterated.  - Sherman, Texas at

On the first day of the outbreak sequence, most of the fatalities came from a single supercell thunderstorm that traveled from Denton to Sherman. The tornado began in the Pilot Point area, where farm homes were shifted off of their foundations. The tornado widened and strengthened into a very violent F5 and swept away numerous farms west of Farmington and Howe. Later along the path, the tornado narrowed to around 60 yards wide as it tore through Sherman. Fifty homes were destroyed in town, 20 of which were completely obliterated and swept away. An iron-beam bridge was torn from its supports and twisted into multiple pieces, and one of the beams was driven several feet into the ground. Bodies were found up to 400 yards from their home sites, and a trunk lid was carried for 35 miles. Headstones at a cemetery were shattered, and a 500-pound stone was carried for 250 yards. Trees in the area were completely debarked with some reduced to stumps, and grass was scoured from lawns in town. At least 200 people were injured, and bodies of the victims were transported into the courthouse and a vacant building. Several bodies were recovered from a muddy creek. Seventy-three people were killed by this single tornado, one of the worst on record in North Texas and the Red River Valley region. - May 1896 tornado outbreak sequence at

The Great Sherman Storm of 1896. In the late afternoon of Friday, May 15, 1896, a disastrous tornado swept Sherman, killing about 66 persons, injuring many others, and causing severe property damage. The twister touched down near here, then cut a 2-mile-long path through the city. The same funnel and several smaller ones struck at other locations in the area. Most of the storm's victims were buried in this cemetery. After the tragedy, citizens of the Sherman and neighboring towns helped with rebuilding and relief contributions were sent from many distant places. - Historical Marker Text.

Read articles about the tornado (below)

book | by Dr. Radut