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Melissa, TX Tornado, Apr 1921


Two More Bodies are Pulled Out of Wreckage, Some Badly Hurt



Dallas, April 14. - 10 people are dead and 75 injured at Melissa, Texas, the result of the tornado which late yesterday wrecked that town, according to an appeal for aid in the form of cash, bed clothing, and wearing apparel received here today and signed by J.E. GIBSON, chairman of the Melissa storm relief commission.

The list of dead as compiled today:
Three-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. P.F. LOFTICE.
DELICE SANCHEZ, 3, Mexican boy.
LOU HAWKINS, 35, negro.
FLORENCE THOMAS, 10, negress.
ADALINE HAWKINS, 80, negress.
LEM HAWKINS, 12, negro.
LIZZIE PERRY, 12, negress.

Crowds of relief workers and greater crowds of curious poured into Melissa today. Thirty of the injured had been brought to McKinney hospitals shortly before neen [sic]. The plea for relief of the storm wrecked town read:

"Nearly one hundred homes were blown away and most families are destitute. Seventy-five people hurt, many of them seriously. Ten are already dead. All churches and business houses are destroyed or wrecked. Approximate loss $500,000. Sympathetic relief is cash, wearing apparel, bed clothing and tents will be appreciated."

City officials of Dallas, the chamber of commerce and others immediately called a meeting for 3:30 this afternoon to organize aid following receipt of the telegram.

McKINNEY, Tex. April 14.--Following meetings of citizens here at which more than $5,000 for relief for the town of Melissa, wrecked by a tornado late yesterday, was subscribed, it was declared further outside and would be unnecessary.
All homes here were thrown

A recheck of casualties found open to refugees.

The list still standing at eight dead and fifty injured, it being believed that none of the injured will die. Relief parties continued today to search the ruins of the town of Melissa, which with the exception of one or two buildings was late yesterday laid waste by a tornado.

The storm swept the town from the southwest to northwest and today it appeared like a devastated town of the war zone.

All churches in the town, three cotton gins, every business house except a bank, the post office, the Houston and Texas Central railway station, were wrecked by the twister which formed near Franklin, lashed farm houses about Roland and Chambersville and then gave vent to its full force as it reached Melissa.

A freight train on the H. and T. C. railway tracks was damaged. The caboose containing three trainmen who were injured, was picked up and rolled over and over.
Five of the known dead are negroes. The other three are children. The 23-months-old daughter of MRS. JESSIE LOFTICE was struck by flying timber and killed while the mother with the infant in her arms was fleeing for safety.

Scores of businessmen, citizens and physicians were made into relief parties and rushed to Melissa when word of the storm first reached here late yesterday and were still working in the ruins today.

Port Arthur Daily News, Port Arthur, TX 14 Apr 1921

article | by Dr. Radut