Various Towns, AR, LA, TX, OK, AL Tornadoes, Apr 1939

TORNADOES KILL 43, INJURE 170 IN SOUTHERN STATES.

FIVE SOUTHERN STATES HIT BY TWISTERS; 11 DIE IN CHURCH.

(By The Associated Press)
At least 43 persons were killed and 170 injured by weekend tornadoes in five southern states. Some rural communities were practically levelled and property damage over the area was estimated at many hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The twisters struck in widely separated sections of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas and Alabama.
Center Point, Ark., a tiny cattle raising community near Collins, was the major disaster scene. At least 19 persons were killed there, one was missing, and eight others were near death.
Eleven lost their lives there when they took refuge in a Center Point church just after the close of an outdoor funeral. Others were killed when more than 25 homes in that section were destroyed.
The Rev. THOMAS WEST was among the dead at the Center Point church.
EDWARD PHILLIPS, 20, who took refuge in the church, said about 150 residents of the community had gathered to attend the funeral of JOHN BEST, a farmer. Just as the services were concluded, a hailstorm started. Many of the mourners took refuge inside the 20-year-old frame building.
"There was a dull roaring and then one side of the church and the roof tore off," PHILLIPS said.
The twister cut a path a quarter of a mile wide and three miles long at Center Point.
JIMMY CASH, 38, one of six persons injured when a farm house near Calmer, Ark., was destroyed, died in a Pine Bluff hospital today.
Rain of near cloudburst proportions accompanied the winds in Arkansas, where nearly a dozen communities were struck. The mud it left made rescue work precariously slippery. Flood warnings were issued for the Ouachita and Petit Jean rivers.
In Louisiana, seven persons were killed when a twister whipped at Haynesville residential and business property, leveling a score of homes and tearing away portions of a brick power plant.
Texax counts six deaths -- three at Pipe creek, two at Gladewater and one at Athens.
One person was killed at Tillar, Ark., Sunday and in northwest Oklahoma early Saturday seven persons died when a tornado struck Capron and its vicinity. Every building at Capron was wrecked. Damage was estimated at $500,000.
At least one woman was killed and two persons injured near Boligee, in western Alabama early today. Several houses were leveled and some damage done to stores in the Boligee business section.
Meteorologist R. A. DYKE at New Orleans said the heavy winds all were related to a low pressure area which moved slowly eastward Sunday.
At Collins, Ark., County Judge L. W. BELL said the Center Point area death toll might reach 30. A general store at Collins was converted into a mortuary.
Through the night rescue squads trudged through mud to bring out injured and bodies. The injured overflowed facilities at Monticello, Crossett and the CCC camp.

THE DEAD.
A list of identified dead:
At Haynesville, La. --
MRS. WREN BRADEN, 47.
MRS. W. M. RIGDON.
DENNIS CARTER.
MRS. BOLIN.
E. H. STELIZIG.
DEWEY BOLIN, 17.
PAT NORTON, colored.
At Center Point, Ark. --
REV. THOMAS WEST.
VIRGIL PHILLIPS, 34, his wife, 34, and their 7 year-old son, BILLIE.
CLEO PHILLIPS, 15.
AUDIE LEE PHILLIPS, 17.
DARREL RAY, 17.
PETE MARTER, 23.
WILSON BROWN, 23.
ELBERT HART, 50.
LYWANDA RAY, 12.
BENCHAM JONES, 66.
CHARLES DREWITT, 54.
At Tillar, Ark. --
MRS. J. A. GABBLE.
At Gladewater, Texas --
STEVE CHARTIESS, 55, colored.
HENRY CLAY HASKING, 43, colored.
At Athens, Texas --
MRS. HUBERT H. SKINNER.
At Pipe Creek, Texas --
FELIX CLAY.
HARRY STEELMAN.
FRANK M. STEELMAN, 11 months old.
Reported injured included:
24 at Haynesville, La.
24 at Athens, Texas.
33 at Capron, Okla.
44 at Texarkana, Ark.
3 at Rison, Ark.
12 at Dumas, Ark.
2 at Markedarkana, Ark.
3 at Rison, Ark.
2 at Bradley, Ark.
8 at Pipe Creek, Texas.
4 at Richland, Texas.
12 at Jefferson Ark.
"More than two score" at Center Point, Ark.

The Emporia Gazette Kansas 1939-04-17