Alto, TX Tornado, May 1893

Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Alto, Cherokee Co., Tex., May 8 – A destructive cyclone struck this city at 4 o’clock p.m. yesterday, doing great damage to property at every description.

The depot, Baptist and Presbyterian churches are totally destroyed, also the public school and most of the residences were damaged and several were completely unroofed and sent off their foundations.

There are not deaths yet reported and only two are wounded, MR. DUDLEY and wife, who are thought to be seriously hurt.

The storm came from the northwest and started within a few miles of this place. It was about two miles wide and traveled in a due west direction. The following is a list of losses by the business men, as that portion of town was almost ruined:
T.J. ALBERN, stock $500.
R. USHER, building $200.
L. F. BATES, stock $800.
W. SUMMERS & Co., building, $300.
L. F. HILL & Co., stock $200, building $500; total loss.
H. Y. FISHER, stock $500, building $800; total loss.
A. C. HARRISON, stock $800, building $200.
J. W. SUMMERS & Co., stock $200.
J. M. NOEL, stock $500, building $350.
L. W. LITTLE, stock $150, building $150.

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 9 May 1893

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A Man Missing

Rusk, Cherokee Co., Tex, May 8 – On Saturday night a very heavy rain fell at this place, and yesterday afternoon at 4 o’clock it began pouring down and continued steadily all night. Most of the creeks were forced out of their banks, and it is said considerable damage was done to crops in the bottoms and on the hillsides. The rain was accompanied by a high wind.

It is reported that Alto, twelve miles south of here, was yesterday visited by a cyclone which caused considerable destruction. The residence of DR. C. W. FISHER was badly damaged. The store building of H. G. FISHER was unroofed and his stock was exposed to the rain. The front of the brick drug store of A. C. HARRISON was blown in. The frame store building belonging to L. F. HILL, the Baptist church, the schoolhouse and the depot were completely demolished, and several brick store buildings were unroofed. A number of residences are more or less damaged.

A MR. ANDERSON has not been seen since the storm and is supposed to be covered in the debris.

MR. DUDLEY, a blacksmith, had his hip broken and his wife is badly injured in the back.

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 9 May 1893

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Detailed Losses at Alto.

Alto, Cherokee Co., Tex., May 9 – Following is a list of houses completely demolished by the cyclone.

C. W. FISHER, residence; H. W. BERRYMAN, residence; Baptist church; schoolhouse; G. F. AVERYS’ gin; A. H. SPEAR, blacksmith shop; R. T. DUDLEY, blacksmith shop; D. B. THOMPSON, blacksmith shop; WALTER TERRELL, residence; R. T. DUDLEY, residence; L. F. HILL & Co., general merchandise; HY. FISHER, general merchandise; W. T. WILLIAMS, groceries; A. C. HARRISON, residence; J. LOTHAMS, residence; J. W. TEAGUE; D. M. NOEL, warehouse; J. W. SUMMERS & Co., warehouse; JAMES KING, residence.

The following were more or less ruined: MRS. McKNIGHT’s residence; MRS. J. M. SPAIN; A. HARRISON, drug store; L. W. TITLE, general merchandise; J. M. NOELL, residence; S. F. BATES, groceries; H. Y. FISHER, residence; F. J. HEARN, dry goods; T. D. FARRIS, residence; J.M. SUMMERS & Co., merchandise; MRS. M. H. CUMMINS, merchandise; W. R. McCRISTIAN, residence.

Farms were damaged greatly by the cyclone; damage so far reported between $50,000 and $75,000. Reports from the country are not all in yet.

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 10 May 1893