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Tornado Dead
     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.

Lives lost in the Tornado of "47"
1Alfred Atwell1Alfred Atwell1Attwell, Alfred 2
2Tom Baker2Tom Baker2Atwell, J. M.
3Hallie Ball3Hallie Ball3Baker, Thomas Ivy age 76 2
4Darlene Beasley4Darlene Beasley, 11 years4Ball, Hallie
5James Behier5Ray Bell*5Beasley Darlene
6Roy Brumley6James Behler6Brumley, Roy Albert 2
7Johnny Catlett7Roy Brumley, 3 years7Catlett, Cecil John 2
8Raymond Catlett 8Edith Catlett8Cattett, Johnny Gottschalk (Catlet)
9Mrs. Cattlett9Johnny Catlett, 3 years9Catlett, Raymond 2
10Daniel Chance10Raymond Catlett10Catlett, Sarah Edith 2
11Betty Cooley11Daniel Chance11Chance, Daniel S. 2
12Lorenzo Coombes12Betty Cooley, 12 years12Cooley, Betty Lorene 2
13Mrs. A. Craft13Lorenzo Coombs13Coombes, Lorenzo Bright age 89 2
14Mrs. Olin Croft14Mrs. A. Craft14Cosby, Betty
15Ethel Crowl15Cleta Croft15Croft, Mrs. H. O. 2
16William Crowl16Ethel Crowe16Corwe, Ethel E. (Mrs. Bill Crowl) 1
17Carl Cunningham17William Crowe17Crowe, Willaim A. (Bill Crowl)1
18Carl Cunningham, Sr.*18Carl Cunningham, 20 months18Cunningham, Carl Douglas1
19Paula Damron19Paula Damron, 2 months19Damron (Damson),Charles 2
20Fred Dart20Fred Dart20Damron (Damson), Paula Gayle 2
21Earnest Davidson21Ray Dean-Daugherty Bell, 14 years21Dart, Fred W. 2
22Lavina Davis22Ernest Davidson, 6 years 122Dart,Lloyd
23Roy Doughtery23Lavina Davis23Daugherty, Ray Dean 2
24Robert Duke24Robert Duke24Davis, Ernest Gaylord See Davidson
25Lillie Durrill25Lillie DunlI25Davis, LaVina
31Clyde Glass31Iness Gieswein31Duke, Robert Harrison 2
32Mrs. C.N Good32Clyde Glass32Fiel, Eldeen Bert (Eldon Ray?)
33Milton Grayson33Mrs. C.N. Good33Fiel, Eldine Marie 2
34Beryl Grimm34Milton Grayson, 4 years34Feil, Eldon Ray 2
35Irene Gusler35Beryl Grimm35Fiel, Roberta Jean 2
36Ann Hagerman36Irene Gusler36Fiskin, Irene Elizabeth 2
37John Hagerman37Ann Hageman37Goble, Cleta Mae Croft 2
38Henry Harper38John Hageman38Geiswin, Mrs. John (Ines) 2
39Lou Harper39Henry Harper, 2 months39Glacen, Nelson Owen
40Monty Harper40Lou Harper40Glass, Clyde
41Roy Harper41Monty Harper41Gottschalk, Johnny
42Mary Hawk42Roy Harper, 4 years42Grayson, Milton Owen 2
43Cliff Hayes43Mary Hawk43Grimm, Beryl
44Georgia Hingston44Cliff Hayes44Gusbar, Lena
45Treanadale Holster45Georgia Hingston45Hageman, Anna Dorgan (HAGERMAN) 2
46Sue Houlette46Kay Holcomb, 6 years*46Hageman, John Wesley (HAGERMAN)1
47Jimmie Hutchinson47Trena Dale Holster, 18 months47Harper, Henry C., Jr. 2
48Olen Hutchinson48Sue Ann Houlette, 3 years48Harper, Lou Ellen 2
49Flossie Irvin49Jimmie Lee Hutchison, 4 years49Harper, Monty Lawrence 2
50George Irvin50Olen Hutchison50Harper, Roy Lea 2
51Delores Johnston51FlosI. Irvin51Hawk, Mary (Hawks) 2
52Grover Jordan52George Irvin, 5 years52Hayes, Cliff
53Mary Eliza Kezer53Debris Johnston, 3 months53Hayes, Thomas Clifton 1
54Georgia Kingston54Grover Jordan54Hingston, Georgia Mae 2
55Louis Knight55Mary Eliza Kezer55Holcomb, Kay Frances 2
56Pauline Kollar56Georgia Kingston56Holster, Treana Dale
57Catherine Kreger57Lester Ray Kirkhart,1 year57Houlette, Sue Ann 2
58Glendola Kreger58Louis Knight58Hutchison, Jimmie Lee 2
59Muriel Lafon*59Pauline Kollar59Hutchison, Olan Leslie 2
60Armanda Layer60Glendola Kreger60Irvin, Flossie Belle Taylor 2
61Elizabeth Little61Kathryn Kreger, 2 years61Irvin, George Merrill (IRWIN) 2
62Delmer Long62Amanda Layer62Johnston, Delores Alice
63George Lucas63Elizabeth Little, 9 months63Jordan, Grover A. 2
64Albert Lukes64Delmer Lee Long, 8 years64Keeser, Dollie (Mary Eliza Kezer) age 89 2
65Patsy Lukes65George Lucas65Kollar, Pauline Franics 2
66Eva Main66Albert Lukes66Knight, Louis Raymond 2
67Arleta Marston67Patsy Lukes, infant67Kreger, Glendola 2
68Darla Marston68Merritt MacLaren, 16 years68Kreger, Kathryn Lanell 2
69Goldie Marston69Eva Main69Kdruger Bill
70Merritt McLeran70Arteta Marston, 15 years70LaFon, Olive Muriel (Sleigh) 2
71Thomas Mitch71Darla Ann Marston, 9 years71Laver, Amanda F. 2
72Charles Morgan*72Goldie Marston72Little, Elizabeth Ann 2
73Gloria Morrison73Thomas N. MItch, 5 months73Long, Delmer Lee 2
74Fred Morrow74Gloria Morrison74Lucas, George F. (George Edward LUCAS) 2
75R.T. Myers75Fred Morrow75Lukes, Albert D. 2
76Flora Pierson76R.T. Myers76Lukes, Patsy 2
77Earle Pollard77Flora Pierson77Main, Minnie Marie 2
78Pauline Pollard78ErIe Pollard78Martson, Arletta 2
79Ruth Potter79Pauline Pollard79Marston, Darla Ann 2
80Dottie Rabe80Ruth Porter80Marston, Goldie Audry 2
81Bertha Reed81Dottie Rabe, 4 years81MacLaren, Merritt Richard (McLaren) 2
82Peter Rieth82Bertha Reed82MITCH, Thomas Noble2
83Albert N. Rosenbrook83Peter Rieth83Morgan , Charles
84Clarence F. Rosendale84Albert Rosenbrook84Morrison, Mrs. Damon (Gloria Lee) 2
85Bessie Schamhorst85Clarence Rosendale85Morrow (Marrow), Fred 2
86Ruby Schamhorst86Bessie Schamhorst86Myers, Robert Theodore 2
87Leon Schneider87Ruby Carol Schamhorst, 6 years87Pantle, Gloria L. 2
88Al Schutt88Leon Schneider, 14 years88Pierson, Florence
89Beulah Mae Shidler89Al Schutt89Pollard, Earl Allen 2
90Everett Smith90Beulah Shidler, 18 years90Pollard, Pauline 2
91Mrs. C.L Sparks91Everett Smith91Porter, Ruth J. 2
92Cora Steed92Mrs. CL Sparks92Pounder, Leo
93Dean Story93Cora Steed93Rabe, Dottie Mae 2
94Erwin Walker94Dean Story, 15 years94Reid, Bertha Edith (REED) 2
95Laveme Warren95Erwin Walker95Rieth, Peter William age 83 2
96Arthur Warnner96LaVeme Warren96Rosenbrook, Allbert M. 2
97Carol Wingert97Aithur Wamner97Rosendale, Clarence 2
98Sam Wood98Carol Wlngate, 2 years98Scharnhorst, Bessie (Schornhorst)
99unknown child99Sam Wood99Scharnhorst, Ruby Carol (Schornhorst)
100unknown child100Girl, approx. 12 years100Schneider, Leon Gene 2
101unknown child101Girl, approx. 3 years101Shidler, Beulah Mae 2
  102Girl, approx. 6 months102Shutt, A. L.
   Missing103Shyler, Beulah
   Joan Gay Croft, 4 years104Stalett, Baby
    105Steed, Cora Ann Nixon, age 83 2
    106Story, Elton Dean 2
    107Swift, Mrs. Bill
    108Trueblood, Mary
    109Unidentified, Girl 8mo 2
    116Unknown, Girl 9 2
    117Unknown, Girl 1 2
    110Walker, Erwin Vincent age 50 2
    111Warren, Laverne
    112Warringer Arthur J. 1
    113*Wingate, Carol Diane (Wingent,Carol I.) 2
    114Wingent, Irene Elizabeth 2
    115Wood, 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 Co8 - Brumfield , Seiling

*FIEL, Johnny - Not listed above, but shown in
Gnadenfeld Cemetery as having died 09 Apr 1947.
Independent Oklahoma History and Genealogy
Independent Oklahoma History and Genealogy


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