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Lives lost in the Tornado of "47"
How many peopled died in the 1947 tornado in Woodward? Seems like an easy question to answer, but it's not! One list, with 102 names, is one compiled by the "Woodward News"
at the time of the 50th
anniversary of the storn.
This differs slightly from the list compiled in 1986/87 at the time of the Woodward Centennial. Inscribed in stone at the giant "W
" in Centennial Park it shows only 101 names. The Centennial list does not include Ray Bell, Catherine Fithian, Kay Holcomb, or Lester Ray Kirkhart, but does include both Carl Cunningham, Sr., Muriel Lafon, and Charles Morgan the the News
did not list. (Ray Bell, Roy Doughtey and Ray Dean Daugherty-Bell seem a real good possibility to be the same person).
Other variations are in spelling...and on our lists Mary Eliza Kezer will be listed as just that, her acutal name, not her nickname. It you can shed any light about names which should or should not appear on the lists of tornado victims in Woodward County, PLEASE let us know. Also, if you can furnish us with a photo of anyone on the list of those killed, we would love to have that as well. So far, Erwin Walker and Mary Eliza Kezer are the only two which we have photos for.
Submitted by Plains Indians And Pioneer Museum
Note: Reports of final death count varies. Spelling of names not always correct in newspaper accounts. Conflicting reports make it difficult to determine the acutal death count and all the victims. Some listed below could have been victims in other counties and buried in a cemetery in that county.
Can't be certain this is 100% correct because of conflicting sources and unreliable newspaper lists.
|1||Alfred Atwell||1||Alfred Atwell||1||Attwell, Alfred
|2||Tom Baker||2||Tom Baker||2||Atwell, J. M. |
|3||Hallie Ball||3||Hallie Ball||3||Baker, Thomas Ivy age 76 2 |
|4||Darlene Beasley||4||Darlene Beasley, 11 years||4||Ball, Hallie |
|5||James Behier||5||Ray Bell*||5||Beasley Darlene |
|6||Roy Brumley||6||James Behler||6||Brumley, Roy Albert 2 |
|7||Johnny Catlett||7||Roy Brumley, 3 years||7||Catlett, Cecil John 2
|8||Raymond Catlett ||8||Edith Catlett||8||Cattett, Johnny Gottschalk (Catlet) |
|9||Mrs. Cattlett||9||Johnny Catlett, 3 years||9||Catlett, Raymond 2 |
|10||Daniel Chance||10||Raymond Catlett||10||Catlett, Sarah Edith 2 |
|11||Betty Cooley||11||Daniel Chance||11||Chance, Daniel S. 2 |
|12||Lorenzo Coombes||12||Betty Cooley, 12 years||12||Cooley, Betty Lorene 2 |
|13||Mrs. A. Craft||13||Lorenzo Coombs||13||Coombes, Lorenzo Bright age 89 2|
|14||Mrs. Olin Croft||14||Mrs. A. Craft||14||Cosby, Betty |
|15||Ethel Crowl||15||Cleta Croft||15||Croft, Mrs. H. O. 2|
|16||William Crowl||16||Ethel Crowe||16||Corwe, Ethel E. (Mrs. Bill Crowl) 1|
|17||Carl Cunningham||17||William Crowe||17||Crowe, Willaim A. (Bill Crowl)1|
|18||Carl Cunningham, Sr.*||18||Carl Cunningham, 20 months||18||Cunningham, Carl Douglas1 |
|19||Paula Damron||19||Paula Damron, 2 months||19||Damron (Damson),Charles 2|
|20||Fred Dart||20||Fred Dart||20||Damron (Damson), Paula Gayle 2 |
|21||Earnest Davidson||21||Ray Dean-Daugherty Bell, 14 years||21||Dart, Fred W. 2 |
|22||Lavina Davis||22||Ernest Davidson, 6 years 1||22||Dart,Lloyd |
|23||Roy Doughtery||23||Lavina Davis||23||Daugherty, Ray Dean 2 |
|24||Robert Duke||24||Robert Duke||24||Davis, Ernest Gaylord See Davidson |
|25||Lillie Durrill||25||Lillie DunlI||25||Davis, LaVina |
|31||Clyde Glass||31||Iness Gieswein||31||Duke, Robert Harrison 2|
|32||Mrs. C.N Good||32||Clyde Glass||32||Fiel, Eldeen Bert (Eldon Ray?) |
|33||Milton Grayson||33||Mrs. C.N. Good||33||Fiel, Eldine Marie 2 |
|34||Beryl Grimm||34||Milton Grayson, 4 years||34||Feil, Eldon Ray 2 |
|35||Irene Gusler||35||Beryl Grimm||35||Fiel, Roberta Jean 2 |
|36||Ann Hagerman||36||Irene Gusler||36||Fiskin, Irene Elizabeth 2|
|37||John Hagerman||37||Ann Hageman||37||Goble, Cleta Mae Croft 2 |
|38||Henry Harper||38||John Hageman||38||Geiswin, Mrs. John (Ines) 2|
|39||Lou Harper||39||Henry Harper, 2 months||39||Glacen, Nelson Owen |
|40||Monty Harper||40||Lou Harper||40||Glass, Clyde |
|41||Roy Harper||41||Monty Harper||41||Gottschalk, Johnny |
|42||Mary Hawk||42||Roy Harper, 4 years||42||Grayson, Milton Owen 2
|43||Cliff Hayes||43||Mary Hawk||43||Grimm, Beryl |
|44||Georgia Hingston||44||Cliff Hayes||44||Gusbar, Lena |
|45||Treanadale Holster||45||Georgia Hingston||45||Hageman, Anna Dorgan (HAGERMAN) 2 |
|46||Sue Houlette||46||Kay Holcomb, 6 years*||46||Hageman, John Wesley (HAGERMAN)1|
|47||Jimmie Hutchinson||47||Trena Dale Holster, 18 months||47||Harper, Henry C., Jr. 2 |
|48||Olen Hutchinson||48||Sue Ann Houlette, 3 years||48||Harper, Lou Ellen 2|
|49||Flossie Irvin||49||Jimmie Lee Hutchison, 4 years||49||Harper, Monty Lawrence 2|
|50||George Irvin||50||Olen Hutchison||50||Harper, Roy Lea 2
|51||Delores Johnston||51||FlosI. Irvin||51||Hawk, Mary (Hawks) 2 |
|52||Grover Jordan||52||George Irvin, 5 years||52||Hayes, Cliff |
|53||Mary Eliza Kezer||53||Debris Johnston, 3 months||53||Hayes, Thomas Clifton 1|
|54||Georgia Kingston||54||Grover Jordan||54||Hingston, Georgia Mae 2 |
|55||Louis Knight||55||Mary Eliza Kezer||55||Holcomb, Kay Frances 2 |
|56||Pauline Kollar||56||Georgia Kingston||56||Holster, Treana Dale |
|57||Catherine Kreger||57||Lester Ray Kirkhart,1 year||57||Houlette, Sue Ann 2 |
|58||Glendola Kreger||58||Louis Knight||58||Hutchison, Jimmie Lee 2 |
|59||Muriel Lafon*||59||Pauline Kollar||59||Hutchison, Olan Leslie 2 |
|60||Armanda Layer||60||Glendola Kreger||60||Irvin, Flossie Belle Taylor 2 |
|61||Elizabeth Little||61||Kathryn Kreger, 2 years||61||Irvin, George Merrill (IRWIN) 2 |
|62||Delmer Long||62||Amanda Layer||62||Johnston, Delores Alice |
|63||George Lucas||63||Elizabeth Little, 9 months||63||Jordan, Grover A. 2 |
|64||Albert Lukes||64||Delmer Lee Long, 8 years||64||Keeser, Dollie (Mary Eliza Kezer) age 89 2 |
|65||Patsy Lukes||65||George Lucas||65||Kollar, Pauline Franics 2 |
|66||Eva Main||66||Albert Lukes||66||Knight, Louis Raymond 2 |
|67||Arleta Marston||67||Patsy Lukes, infant||67||Kreger, Glendola 2 |
|68||Darla Marston||68||Merritt MacLaren, 16 years||68||Kreger, Kathryn Lanell 2 |
|69||Goldie Marston||69||Eva Main||69||Kdruger Bill |
|70||Merritt McLeran||70||Arteta Marston, 15 years||70||LaFon, Olive Muriel (Sleigh) 2 |
|71||Thomas Mitch||71||Darla Ann Marston, 9 years||71||Laver, Amanda F. 2 |
|72||Charles Morgan*||72||Goldie Marston||72||Little, Elizabeth Ann 2|
|73||Gloria Morrison||73||Thomas N. MItch, 5 months||73||Long, Delmer Lee 2 |
|74||Fred Morrow||74||Gloria Morrison||74||Lucas, George F. (George Edward LUCAS) 2 |
|75||R.T. Myers||75||Fred Morrow||75||Lukes, Albert D. 2 |
|76||Flora Pierson||76||R.T. Myers||76||Lukes, Patsy 2 |
|77||Earle Pollard||77||Flora Pierson||77||Main, Minnie Marie 2 |
|78||Pauline Pollard||78||ErIe Pollard||78||Martson, Arletta 2|
|79||Ruth Potter||79||Pauline Pollard||79||Marston, Darla Ann 2 |
|80||Dottie Rabe||80||Ruth Porter||80||Marston, Goldie Audry 2 |
|81||Bertha Reed||81||Dottie Rabe, 4 years||81||MacLaren, Merritt Richard (McLaren) 2 |
|82||Peter Rieth||82||Bertha Reed||82||MITCH, Thomas Noble2 |
|83||Albert N. Rosenbrook||83||Peter Rieth||83||Morgan , Charles |
|84||Clarence F. Rosendale||84||Albert Rosenbrook||84||Morrison, Mrs. Damon (Gloria Lee) 2|
|85||Bessie Schamhorst||85||Clarence Rosendale||85||Morrow (Marrow), Fred 2 |
|86||Ruby Schamhorst||86||Bessie Schamhorst||86||Myers, Robert Theodore 2 |
|87||Leon Schneider||87||Ruby Carol Schamhorst, 6 years||87||Pantle, Gloria L. 2|
|88||Al Schutt||88||Leon Schneider, 14 years||88||Pierson, Florence |
|89||Beulah Mae Shidler||89||Al Schutt||89||Pollard, Earl Allen 2 |
|90||Everett Smith||90||Beulah Shidler, 18 years||90||Pollard, Pauline 2 |
|91||Mrs. C.L Sparks||91||Everett Smith||91||Porter, Ruth J. 2 |
|92||Cora Steed||92||Mrs. CL Sparks||92||Pounder, Leo |
|93||Dean Story||93||Cora Steed||93||Rabe, Dottie Mae 2 |
|94||Erwin Walker||94||Dean Story, 15 years||94||Reid, Bertha Edith (REED) 2 |
|95||Laveme Warren||95||Erwin Walker||95||Rieth, Peter William age 83 2 |
|96||Arthur Warnner||96||LaVeme Warren||96||Rosenbrook, Allbert M. 2 |
|97||Carol Wingert||97||Aithur Wamner||97||Rosendale, Clarence 2 |
|98||Sam Wood||98||Carol Wlngate, 2 years||98||Scharnhorst, Bessie (Schornhorst) |
|99||unknown child||99||Sam Wood||99||Scharnhorst, Ruby Carol (Schornhorst) |
|100||unknown child||100||Girl, approx. 12 years||100||Schneider, Leon Gene 2 |
|101||unknown child||101||Girl, approx. 3 years||101||Shidler, Beulah Mae 2 |
| || ||102||Girl, approx. 6 months||102||Shutt, A. L. |
| || || ||Missing||103||Shyler, Beulah |
| || || ||Joan Gay Croft, 4 years||104||Stalett, Baby |
| || || || ||105||Steed, Cora Ann Nixon, age 83 2 |
| || || || ||106||Story, Elton Dean 2 |
| || || || ||107||Swift, Mrs. Bill |
| || || || ||108||Trueblood, Mary |
| || || || ||109||Unidentified, Girl 8mo 2|
| || || || ||116||Unknown, Girl 9 2|
| || || || ||117||Unknown, Girl 1 2|
| || || || ||110||Walker, Erwin Vincent age 50 2 |
| || || || ||111||Warren, Laverne |
| || || || ||112||Warringer Arthur J. 1 |
| || || || ||113||*Wingate, Carol Diane (Wingent,Carol I.) 2 |
| || || || ||114||Wingent, Irene Elizabeth 2 |
| || || || ||115||Wood, Sam 2 |
|* name not on Woodward News list||*name not on centennial List|| Incorrectly reported
as a victim he was flown to |
Oklahoma City for treatment of severe injuries but survived. Paula Gayle his infant daughter did not survive.
The names on the left are from the list on the "Woodward Tornado Memorial" in Centennial Park, compiled in 1987 by Darrel Johnston & Centennial Commitee. In the center is the "List of Tornado Dead" from list compiled by Woodward News in 1997 on the 50th Anniversary of the tornado. Copy of the left and center lists provided by Plains Indians and Pioneers Museum. These two lists were used as part of their display in April 2002 on the 55th anniversary. On the right is information taken from Woodward News, The Daily Oklahoman, Woodward Daily Press April 1947 issues, and Elmwood Cemetery Ledgers (incomplete search), compiled from webmaster's research.
Comments from Vernon Maddux in email to webmaster. Reprinted here with permission from Vernon.
I have done a little research on the Woodward Tornado and though I would share a few thoughts. Here is a breakdown of the "age" list below the main victim list on your website.
James Behler Question: Why is Behler on the fatality age list but not on the main fatality list? His name appears on the injured list of April 16, 1947 and on both on both News and Memorial lists but no other record of him found. He may be the son of John and Eveline Behler and if so, would be about 50 years old.
Lorenzo Coombs His name is consistently misspelled, even on his tombstone! (by the enumerator perhaps) Lorenzo Bright Coombes buried Elmwood Cemetery TS: L. B. Coombs (sic), 7 Mar 1858, 9 Apr 1947 ("L.B. Coombes," Pampa News, April 11, 1947). On April 16 list; News list as "Lorenzo Coombs;" on Memorial list properly as "Lorenzo Coombes." (see Pioneers v1: 94-95, photo). In 1942-43 Phone Book, lived at 1724 Madison Ave, center of the destruction.
Carl Cunningham Carl Douglas Cunningham, Elmwood Cemetery TS: d. 29 July 1947 Infant. On April 16 list as Carl Cunningham, Jr; Memorial Lists him as "20 months;" News list as "Carl Cunningham." His parents are yet unknown.
Lillie Durell "Mrs Lillie Durill" on injured list in the April 16 Press. Listed on Memorial and News lists. No genealogy or cemetery record found. She is confirmed a victim by survivors in the April 9, 2003 meeting. She is said to be related to the Burl A. Jackson Hosier family that includes son Elmer and daughter Coleen and daughter Elizabeth Hosier who married Mr. Beresic and moved away just before the night of the tornado.
Catherine Fithian Her name is apparently consistently misspelled. Catherine Fithen is buried in Elmwood Cemetery TS: d. 10 May 1947 She appears on no April 1947 lists. Her name is on News List but not on Memorial list.
Irene Grisler Her name is apparently consistently misspelled ("Lena Gusler Dosenbruck," Pampa News, Apr. 11, 1947). She is listed on both Memorial and News lists as "Irene Gusler.
" Lou Ellen Harper "[A] ring and bracelets enabled a son to claim the disfigured body of Mrs. Louella Harper." Mooreland Leader, Apr 17, 1947. She is listed on April 14, 16; Memorial; and News lists.
Georgia Hingston "Georgia May Hingston" buried Prairie View Cemetery TS: 9 Apr 1947, 4 y 0 m 20 days,. Buried next to Leonard Ward, 6 Jul 19, Age 0 yrs 3 mos 26 days. Listed as "Georgia Mae (sic) Hinston" (Pampa News, April 11, 1947).
On all April 14, 16; Memorial; News lists. Charles Morgan (Pampa News, Apr. 11, 1947). April 16 and Memorial but not on News List. An article in the Woodward Daily Press (Apr. 16, 1947, p. 4) mentions that Morgan's body was taken to Minnesota for burial.
Thomas N. Mitch. Thomas Noble Mitch buried Fargo Cemetery. "Died from Tornado". 11-22-46, 4-09-47 Blk O Nw, l28, p4. An infant, he shares plot with Thomas E. Miller, another infant. Probably son of John Mitch. "Thomas Mitch" on Memorial; "Thomas N. Mitch 3 years" on News; and on April 16 as "Thomas Noble Mitch."
Dottie Rabe Dottie Mae Rabe. "4 years" listed in both Memorial and News lists. ("Baby Rabb," Pampa News, Apr. 11, 1947).
Bertha Reed Misspelled. Mrs. Bertha Reed. Listed on April 16, Memorial and News lists. Also called Bertha Edith Reid. No other information found.
Peter Rieth Peter William Rieth. age 83 (Pioneers, v2, p. 373). "Peter Rieth." April 16, Memorial and News lists. He was the Rieth patriarch.
Al Schutt Misspelled. A. L. "Melvin" Shutt married Helen Richmond of Woodward and died the day the tornado struck Woodward. Listed on April 16 ("A. M. Shutt), Memorial and News lists, but his family in Pioneers does not mention his death in the tornado (Pioneers, v2, p. 371). Note: Helen the widow Shutt later married Oklahoma governor Johnston Murray.
Everett Smith "J. Everett Smith" on "injured" list, April 16. He on Memorial and News fatality lists. His tombstone in Elmwood (or the enumerator) is in error giving his death as "March 13, 1949." He was 80 years, 2 months, 28 days old when he died.
Laverne Warren. She is listed on Memorial and News lists ("Laverne Warren," Pampa News, April 11, 1947). No other information found.
Note that I attempted to show the reader exactly where I got the information. April 13, 14, 15, 16 are the Woodward Daily Press; Memorial are the names listed by the memorial committee and engraved in the park and News is the list that was published a few years ago by the newspaper on the 50th anniversity. News reporters in their need to beat deadlines often get names wrong. This is why I try to be careful in sending them along. I have researched the full list of fatalities the same way and have found about 90 per cent of the burials, including the Texas fatalities.
I am preparing a book for publication on the Tornado and am earnestly interested in getting all the facts accurate. A few months ago I gave a Powerpoint presentation at the Woodward Museum on the April 9 anniversary and hope to do the same next year.
I am Vernon Maddux, Norman, Ok/vrm
|1 - Elmwood ||2 - Dunlap ||3 - Gnadenfeld *||4 - Mooreland
|5 - Persimmon ||6 - Praire View ||7 - Fargo , Ellis Co||8 - Brumfield , Seiling|
*FIEL, Johnny - Not listed above, but shown in
Gnadenfeld Cemetery as having died 09 Apr 1947.
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