Grayson County TXGenWeb
Newspaper Articles about the Black Friday Tornado
May 15, 1896
Dallas Morning News
18 May 1896

The tornado which swept Grayson county was the most destructive and fatal of its kind in the history of Texas, and a perusal of the sad story thrills every chord of sympathy in the human heart.  It is estimated that the number of fatalities will exceed 100.

Dallas Morning News
16 May 1896

Sixty Killed Outright and Over One
 Hundred Injured.

Sherman, Tex., May 16, 2:15 a.m. - It is impossible to learn the extent of the damage done in this locality.  About three miles of wire belonging to the city electric light works was torn down, and in consequence the city is in darkness.  It is impossible to properly search the creek and isolated sections to-night on account of this fact.  A great number of inquires for lost persons are being made,, over 100 having been received by the police thus far.  Physicians from Van Alstyne, McKinney and Denison are here in numbers; also nurses from all of these places.
Later reports show that Mrs. J.J. Johnson and child were killed four miles west of Howe, twelve miles southwest of this city.  Mrs. Sam Hendricks, who lives near them, is fatally injured.  The last reports indicate that a family by the name of Connor, consisting of an old lady, her son and daughter, are seriously injured.  They can not live.
Reports are coming in constantly of persons who have been found injured.  It is impossible to get their names.  Since 1 a.m. fifteen or twenty have been reported.  There are now in all three hospital eight persons whom the doctors say can not live until morning.
Reports from the north indicate that the direction of the main cyclone which passed through Sherman went between Denison and Pottsboro.  The width or strength of the storm has not varied.  It still maintains abreath of about 150 to 200 yards through the entire county.  Between Sherman and the river no fatalities have been reported, although there are unconfirmed rumors of a number of houses being blown down.
The total number of injured will reach 150 and the total number of killed outright at this hour so far as heard from Sherman and other points in the count is about sixty and it is estimated that at least that many more who are missing are dead.
Conservative estimates place the total number of killed in Grayson count at between 120 and 150.
The path of the storm which passed west of town passes through a section of country which has no telephone or telegraph connection with the city.
All telephone communication west and northwest of the city is turned down.

Dallas Morning News
22 May 1896

   Contributions Continue to Come - Subscriptions Since Last Report.

Sherman, Tex., May 21. - Gov. Holcombe of Nebraska to-day telegraphed Gov. Culberson if donations of clothing, provisions, etc., from the people of Nebraska would be accepted by the people of Sherman and other sufferers from Friday's tornado.  His excellency at once wired the offer to C.H.Smith, chairman of the finance committee, who thankfully accepted the kind offer of Gov. Holcombe.
Grand Master W.L. Blanton, Texas jurisdiction, I.O.O.F., will issue a stirring appeal to every Odd Fellow in Texas to assist the tornado sufferers of Grayson county and the city of Sherman.
Subscriptions received from 3 p.m. yesterday up to 3 p.m. to-day (May 21) were as follows:
Cash, Chattanooga, Tenn. .......... $10,00
John Fotlock ......................   5.00
Dr.S.M.Luckett (additional) .......   5.00
Tyler Coffin company ..............  10.00
Citizens of Mount Pleasant ........ 100.00
A Christian woman .................  20.00
James S. Crawford, Bailey .........   5.00
City of Italy .....................  25.00
Citizens of Royce .................  17.40
J.C.Mapes, Kaufman, bale of goods .
Citizens of Hillsboro ............. 192.80
George C. Baker, Honey Grove ......   2.50
Citizens of Marshall .............. 133.50
Foresters of Weatherford ..........  50.00
Burns & Bro. ......................  10.00
Citizens of Odessa ................  34.50
Citizens of Weatherford ........... 163.40
F.Moore, Dallas ...................   5.00
A friend, Lufkin ..................   2.50
Henry Sackett, Camp Colorado ......   5.00
C.N.Pate, Rusk ....................   2.00
Citizens of Nacogdoches ...........  30.75
Mr. and Mrs. L. Perry, Jefferson ..   5.00
Citizens of Ottine ................  10.00
W.T.Crow, Hammond .................   5.00
Citizens of Marlin ................ 255.10
Citizens of Jacksonville ..........  32.55
Citizens of Leonard ...............  50.50
Citizens of Farmersville .......... 118.35
Citizens of Gilmer ................  20.00
Myrtle lodge No. 22 Denison .......  10.00
O.H.McCorkle, Texarkana ...........   5.00
Citizens of Terrell ............... 130.00
Citizens of Plano ................. 240.25
H.S.Houston, Marshall, Mo. ........   5.00
First Methodist Church, Marshall ..  35.00
G.H.Stonehart, Dallas .............   2.00
County Line Bapt Church Pilot Point   4.00
W.H.Trent, Goldthwaite ............  10.00
Mrs. D.F.Fuller, Rosston ..........   1.00
Citizens of Kaufman ...............  40.00
Lankford & Batsell ................  50.00
Citizens of Mexia ................. 130.25
First Colored Bapt Church Atlanta .   1.50
Judge S.P.Green, Fort Worth .......  10.00
Citizens of Tioga .................  92.20, Huntsville ............  34.10
Kings Daughters, Texarkana ........   1.50
H.F.Offenhauser, Texarkana ........   5.00
Citizens of Liberty Hill ..........   7.00
Colored People of McKinney ........   4.65
Citizens of McKinney ..............  11.25
Henry C. Wohlmann, Red Bud ........   1.00
W.R.Grim, Texarkana ...............  25.00
Edwin Chamberlin, San Antonio .....  10.00
Casey & Swasey, Fort Worth ........  25.00
Mitchell, Lewis & Co Racine, Wis ... 100.00
Citizens of Cisco ................. 133.50
Trezevant & Cochran, Dallas .......  25.00
Citizens of Kingsland .............  13.75
Cash ..............................   2.00
T.S.Price, St.Louis ...............   2.00
Mrs. Noel .........................  10.00
White, Branch & McConkin, St. Louis  20.00
A.F.Shapleigh Hardware Co St. Louis  50.00
The Lindell hotel, St. Louis ...... 100.00
S.Strauss &  Co. St. Louis ........  25.00
B.Nugent & Bro., St. Louis ........  50.00
King, Boiusmade & Co, St. Louis ... 100.00
J.S.Merrell Drug Co, St. Louis ....  25.00
Levis Zukoski Mercantile Co St Louis  50.00
W.A.Orr Shoe Co, St. Louis ........  25.00
A.Frankenthal & Bro., St. Louis ...  25.00
Goodbar Shoe Co., St. Louis ........  25.00
I.B.Rosenthal Millinery Co St.Louis   25.00
O.J.Lewis & Co., St. Louis ........  25.00
W.Reid, Dallas ....................  20.00
Miss Cora Hollingsworth (Additional)  5.00

 Manager, Work Sends $50
Galveston, Tex., May 21. - Manager Work of the Galveston ball team has turned over $50 to the relief fund for the Sherman sufferers.

 Wolfe City Sends $100
Wolfe City, Hung Co., Tex., May 21 - Wolfe City yesterday sent a check for $100 to the tornado sufferers of Sherman.

 Houses Wrecked by Storm.
Guthrie, Ok., May 21 - The damage to property by last night's storm in the eastern part of the territory will reach many thousands of dollars, over a score of houses being wrecked, many farms devastated and hundreds of head of live stock killed.  The storm was seen coming by most people and shelter secured in caves and cellars, but the Osage reservation three or four people perished.  Another terrific storm is raging to-night and much more damage is being done.
Aid Needed in Denton  County.
Denton, Denton Co., Tex., May 21 - (To The News) - Allow me to thank you for the liberal contribution to the destitute here.  They cyclone sufferers in this county number about twenty-five families, the most of whom are destitute.  Our own people have responded, but not sufficiently to relieve the wants of those who have suffered.
The newspapers announce that money is being sent from St. Louis and other points for the cyclone suffers "in Texas/"  I suppose Denton will get some of this money.
County Judge Bradley has this day appointed T.A.Robertson, L.T.Litsey and S.D.Ponder to act as relief committee for this county.  Would it not be well to announce in your paper the extent of our needs and the names of those to whom the contributions should be sent?  This announcement in your valuable paper will be better than private communications.  S.D.PONDER.

 Cotton Belt's Offer.
Austin, Tex., May 21. - The following is taken from a letter from President Fordyce of the Cotton Belt to Mr. C.E.Dorchester of the Merchants and Planters' bank at Sherman:
"I deeply deplore the sad calamity that has fallen upon your town and community.  Please inform relief committee that this company will gladly join them in aid of cyclone sufferers.  We will transport free over our lines lumber or any other supplies ordered by the committee for their relief."
The letter containing the above liberal paragraph was referred to the railroad commission for any action they might see fit to take.  The commission's letter to Mr. Fordyce besides the legal wording has the following paragraph from Mr. J.J.Arthur, the secretary:
"I am directed by the commission to say that your liberality in this matter is properly appreciated and strongly approved by this board.
 Justin Game
Fort Worth, Tex., May 21 - Col. William Doherty of the Santa Fe has arranged for a base ball game to be played here on May 23 for the benefit of the Justin cyclone sufferers.  The respective clubs will line up as follows:
The banker's nine is as follows: Tackaberry, Massie, J.R.Smith, Jr., Beall, W.B.Smith, Martin, Bradley, Rose, Rossington, Henderson. Jerry Barbee's Cotton Belt club will present the following team: Sam Williams, Stuart Moore, Harry Atwell, P. Fosdick, W. Costley, C.Magruder, Jerry Barbee, Audley Portwood, H. Coleman, Bob Harrison.
Rev. J. Morgan Wells will be invited to umpire the game.
Tioga, Tex., May 21 - At a mass meeting of citizens on the 10th at the Christian church $53.70 was raised for the cyclone sufferers.  Subsequently committees appointed to solicit from those not present at the meeting swelled the amount to $92.20, which has been sent to the central committee at Sherman.
Laboring Men's Fund.
Denton, Denton Co., Tex., May 21 - The men employed on the construction f the new courthouse circulated a subscription list among themselves for money for the relief of the cyclone unfortunates.  In a short while $56.75 was subscribed in amounts ranging from 25 cents up to $3.
Terrell Adds $130 More.
Terrell, Kaufman Co., Tex - May 20 - Phillip Brin, chairman of the committee recently appointed to solicit funds for Sherman's relief, states that $130 was sent to Sherman to-day.  This is in addition to the sum of $100.25 already forwarded from here.
 Mineola's Contribution.
Mineola, Wood Co., Tex., May 21 - Mayor J.H. Hufmaster appointed a committee this morning to solicit aid for the Sherman tornado sufferers.  The committee raised about $50 and forwarded it to-day.  Other contributions will go forward to-morrow.
 Farmersville's Contribution
Farmersville, Collin Co., Tex., May 20 - Farmersville this morning forwarded $118.35 to the tornado sufferers of Grayson county to the Merchants and Planters' bank at Sherman.
 Action at Longview.
Longview, Gregg Co., Tex., May 21 - The Longview Dramatic club will soon give an entertainment for the benefit of the Sherman cyclone sufferers.
 Pittsburg Sends $105.
Pittsburg, Camp Co., Tex., May 21 - Subscription was taken here to-day by Judge Sheppard and J.B.Greer for the Sherman sufferers, raising $105.
 Action at Austin.
Austin, Tex., May 20. - Mayor Hancock has appointed a committee of six prominent citizens to secure aid for the Sherman cyclone sufferers.

Dallas Morning News
23 May 1896
   Report of the Subcommittee to the
    Relief Committee.

Sherman, Tex., May 21. - The subcommittees detailed by the relief committee to make estimates on the loss detailed by Friday's tornado in Sherman and Grayson county have finished the work as far as possible for them to do so.
The substance of their report is as follows:
Property losses -
J.C. Meacham, house - $125
Mrs. S.J. Craighead, tenant-house - 250
Mrs. S.J. Craighead, household effects - 100
Hamilton family, household effects - 200
Phillip Nichols, house and effects - 1,089
J.H. Irvine, residences, outhouses, household effects, barns - 8,235
L.A. Stroud, general damages - 500
Jesse H. Holt, damage to residence - 200
Capt. N.A. Birge, residence, household effects - 7,200
Frank A. Ryan, damage to house - 250
George A. Doran, general damage - 115
N. Sherman, house, barn, etc - 650
J.B. King ,household effects - 500
J.C. Staler, household effects, residence, barns, etc  - 3,215
Mrs. J.P. Mattingly, general damage - 2,650
Mrs. Fauls, damage to house - 1,000
Mrs. Gardenshire, household effects - 50
J.D. Smith, general damage - 50
Monroe Maxey, loss on race course - 3,000
R.R. Hazelwood, damage on farm  - 100
Mrs. Houghton, residence, etc - 2,500
Fairview schoolhouse - 500
Jesse Brown, residence, barns, and general damage - 1,505
Miss Maggie Dupree, cash, library and clothing - 285
W.J. Dunn, general damage - 1,200
E. DeVoegelee, household goods - 100
Rev. J.D. Sherer, household goods - 750
Miss Julia Ricketts, three houses - 1,250
Chas. Weddle, household effects - 259
McCulloch family, general loss - 1,000
Sherman steam laundry - 20
Ben McBride, tenant-house - 500
Paulin family , loss on household goods - 675
Mrs. A.D. Chisholm, residence, household goods, etc - 2,000
Mrs. N.E. Atkins, residence, household effects, etc - 3,000
W. Clark, four houses and effects - 2,250
F. Harman, household effects - 150
A.  Shoskey, household effects - 100
B.F.Sours, household effects - 150
T. Cecil, apparel - 25
J. Dorchester, damage - 5
John Richardson, household effects, etc - 750
G.H. Moore, house - 200
T. Randolph, on same house - 100
Reuben Orr, colored, crop damage - 50
Sam Potts, colored, house, household effects, etc - 500
John Landreth, damage to house - 20
Saull Bros., brick yard damage - 150
W.Patrick, colored, house and effects - 500
? King, household effects - 600
B.E. Cox, damage to house - 25
Wm.Krause, damage to property - 50
D.E. Bryant, damage to property - 150
Mrs. W.D. Olliver, general damage - 600
W.S. McBee, general damage - 1,200
H.O. Harrington, general damage - 3,200
Hugh Gardner, damage to house - 300
Mrs. Alice Condry, damage to house - 150
B.R. Long, loss on residence, four tenant-houses, etc - 4,850
J.F. Kohler, personal property - 850
L.L. Gray, household effects - 200
J.L. Burns household effects - 250
City of Sherman, Houston street bridge - 4,000
R.E. Smith, nineteen houses destroyed or damaged - 2,733
E.S. Jones, residence, effects, etc - 3,000
Fannie Potts, colored, household effects - 200
Mrs. Mullenhorn, household effects - 200
George Vice, household effect - 300
Ben Cephus, colored, residence, effects, etc - 2,600
West Patrick, residence, effects, etc - 300
Mary Patrick, residence, effects, etc - 400
Phillip Hendricks, effects - 100
Mrs. Connor, effects - 25
C. Moore, colored - 35
J. Oliver, colored - 75
T.W. Watson, damage to property - 150
Bill Nicholson, damage to property - 5, damage to property - 10
L.F. Ely, general damages - 8,240
Merchants and Planters' bank, damage to tenant-house - 35
R. Valentine, colored, damage to house - 15
J. Jones, colored, damage to house - 20
Anne Howard, colored, damage to house - 5
S. Young, colored, damage to house - 5
W. Kidd, colored, damage to house - 7
F. Hudson, colored, damage to house - 125
A. King, colored, damage to house - 35
D. Halliday, colored, damage to house - 35
H. Morgan, colored, damage to house - 25
O.Baldinger, general damage - 1,025
C.Jordan, colored, house - 200
J. Nicholson, colored, effects - 150
Henry Lake, colored, household effects - 200
C. Puckett, colored, household effects - 50
N. Stewart; colored, household effects - 25
Eliza Cox, colored, household effects - 75
Rachael Puckett, colored, household effects - 75
J. McQueen, colored, household effects - 75
Belle Batsell, colored, household effects - 75
Vina Hogan, colored, household effects - 75
Lucy Ballinger, colored, household effects - 75
Buck Dodd, colored, household effects - 75
Maggie Douglass, colored, house and effects - 50
Geo. Noell, colored, general damage - 75
Mrs. M. Wylie, general damage - 350
N.L. Boling, brick yard, damage - 250
Jim Wilson, colored, damage to two houses - 20
N. Douglass, colored, damage to house - 15
J. King, colored, damage to house - 15
C. Humes, colored, damage to house - 10
D. Michael, one buggy house - 75
E.F. Halsell, general damage - 3,000
W.F. Woodward, personal effects, etc - 1,000
Ricardo Perez, personal effects - 25
Tom Jenkins, general damage - 2,000
Sarah Howard (col.) general damage - 400
John Ames, effects, etc - 500
J.D. Woods, general damage - 2,500
R.E. Kreuger, general damage - 400
L.H. Montgomery, general damage - 2,500
A.V. Gates, general damage - 2,000
C. Bevans, damage to house - 50
Harmony Baptist Church - 20
Gus Potts (col.), general damage - 350
A. Wilson (col.) general damage - 750
Total estimate of loss on the inside of the city limits - $102,685
From Sherman south along the path of the storm to county line:
M.D. Gibbons, household effects, implements, etc -350
Riley and son, household effects - 800
J.W. Embry, general loss - 45
Charles Anderson, general loss - 20
J.D. Aderson, general loss - 300
Mrs. J.K. Taylor, general loss - 200
Cal Alsupp, general loss - 100
W.H. Alsupp, general loss - 200
L.C. Corder, general loss - 200
L.C. Connor, general loss - 100
Louis Carter, general loss - 100
J.D. Case, general loss - 100
Frank D'Spain, general loss - 700
Mrs. Mackey, general loss - 100
W.W. Chisholm, general loss - 200
T.E. Hestand, general loss - 200
Mrs. Fielden, general loss - 200
George Haynes, general loss - 180
W.R. Howard, general loss - 20
J.C. Howard, general loss - 100
Andy Myers, general loss - 100
Mrs. Mary Martin, houses, effects, etc - 2,100
W.H. Brown, houses, effects, etc - 4,000
J.M. Fields, houses, effects, etc - 4,500
S.C. Henderson, houses, effects, etc - 2,500
F.M. Watts, houses, effects, etc - 2,000
J.H. Myers, houses, effects, etc - 2,500
J.J. Johnson, houses, effects, etc - 2,500
J.A. White, houses, effects, etc - 1,500
H.C. Bruce, implements, etc - 100
L. Embrey, general damage - 300
J.A. Smith, improvements, etc - 200
R.B. Martin, general damage - 1,000
Mrs. Howdeshell, general damage - 1,000
Joe Howdeshell, general damage - 200
J.D. Crulkshanks, general damage - 500
R.C. Bush, general damage - 1,200
B.F. D'Spain, general damage - 1,800
Elias Mackey, general damage - 1,000
E.Brooks, fence and orchard - 100
B.R. Brooks, fence and shed - 150
Scott & Shockley, merchandise, etc - 450
V.W. Haizlipp, two houses - 150
James S. Smith, one wagon - 20
The above aggregates #34,825, but does not include losses to J.C.Jones, D.H.Alexander. ? Merritt, Jot Gunter, L.P.Taylor, J.J.Swindle and D.H.Dumas, nor does it include the loss to Tom Randolph, who owned the place upon which the illfated Pierce family lived.  It does not include the loss of the Pierce and Herring families on personal effects.  It is safe to estimate the total loss south of Sherman and to the Grayson county line at $5,000.
Losses on Choctaw east of the city:
John Butler, damage to effects - 25
Walter Logue, damage to effects - 200
G.R. Logue, damage to effects - 375
John Hefner, household effects - 40
J.W. Crutchfield, household effects - 75
J.M. Hicks, general damage - 700
William Clayton, general damage - 70
Robert Walker, general damage - 750
Robert Harvey, damage to gin - 40
John Everman, damage to house - 10
J.D. Scrivenor, bacon and lard - 25
The above aggrades $2460, but does not include the loss to J. Miller and J.L.Dorrough and smaller losses not yet reported.
There is nothing definite about the losses at the mouth of Choctaw creek and at Carpenter Bluff ferry, but it will reach from $10,000 to $17,500, but until further information is obtained it is estimated at $13,000 and makes the total losses so far estimated at $162,149.  This does not include loss to the county on two bridges on the Sherman and Farmington wagon road.  The loss to West Hill cemetery will aggregate fully $4000, which is not included in the above.  Nor has any calculation been generally made on crops, orchards, shade trees, flower gardens, etc.  It is hard to exactly reach a conclusion on values of the great amount of property of this description totally wrecked and it can not possibly be less than %50,000 and it is conservatively estimated to-night that the loss in Grayson county at the lowest is $225,000.


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