Lawton, OK Area Tornado, Jun 1904
Tornado Carries Ruin With It in Indian Nations
One Person Is Killed, a Dozen Injured and Hundreds of Houses are Wrecked.
Farms Denuded of Everything On Them
Whole Crops of Cotton and Corn Are Wiped Out-Some Persons Escape by Seeking Refuge in Storm Caves.
Lawton, O.T., June 4.-A tornado in the Kiowa and Comanche Nations has demolished a great number of residences and business houses at numerous small towns and laid waste dozens of farms. One person is known to have been killed and about a dozen are believed to have been injured, one fatally.
It is reported that the towns of Chattanooga and Faxons, small place, have been entirely wiped out. They are known to have been in the track of the storm. Wires are down and details are lacking. The town of Helena is said to have been completely destroyed.
Killed and Injured.
Mr. TOM PAYNE was killed near Walter, and the known injured are: Mrs. J. W. Mill, near Walter, fatally, and G. Brown and family of six, near Walter.
The storm swept over the southeastern portion of Comanche County. An area several miles wide and extending from Frederick in the southwestern part of Comanche County to the Indian Territory was devastated. In this belt it is estimated that fully 200 houses were wrecked and the crops almost ruined.
A terrific rainstorm prevailed first, five inches of water falling, washing out crops and ruining many farms. This was followed by an unusually heavy hailstorm, hailstones as big as a manâ€™s hand beating down everything green and breaking thousands of window panes. Peculiar climatic conditions followed. The atmosphere became stifling and then there was a deluge of rain accompanied by a gale which developed rapidly into a tornado.
Appeared to Jump.
The tornado appeared to jump from place to place, leaving intervening spots untouched. Wherever it struck it wrecked buildings. The tornado was especially severe around Walter. Mrs. PAYNEâ€™S house was struck and demolished and she was instantly killed. Mrs. Stills was injured internally in the wrecking of her house.
G. Brownâ€™s house also was demolished and all six members of the family unable to gain the tornado cellar were scattered in every direction and injured. In and around Walter fully twenty houses were damaged or wrecked.
Twenty miles southwest of Lawton twenty houses were demolished and several farms with their complete crops of cotton and corn with all the farm property wiped out. The farms and residences destroyed include those of A.H. Mills, of Brussel; Yoeman Wade, Rumboldt Davis, W.H. Tabor, Frank Rice and J. H. Romur. Romurâ€™s family entered the storm cave just as the house was demolished and escaped injury. The Allenview school house was destroyed, and at Geronimo the post office, telephone office and freight houses were blown away.
A rural mail carrier who arrived late today reports that the storm passed through Helen and demolished that town, the houses of Tome Middleton, W.H. Williams, T.J. Seymour, Albert Humphrey, W.L. [illegible] and T. [illegible] being those wrecked.
As far as known there was no loss of life at Helen.
East of Helen the residences of G.W. Remboldt, H.L. Hennessy and W.H. Costner were destroyed.
The Daily Express, San Antonio, TX 5 Jun 1904