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Bethsaida, TN Beatty Swamps Tornado, May 1933

Beatty Swamps Destruction Victims Of Tornado (Cole Family)

20 DEAD, MANY HURT IN OVERTON TORNADO.

TWISTER SWEEPS THROUGH UPPER EDGE OF COUNTY WEDNESDAY, LEAVING HOMES WRECKED.

PROPERTY DAMAGE HEAVY.

Cookeville Troops Guard Area As Searchers Scour Hills For Other Dead And Injured.

Services For Victims Planned For Friday.

WORST DISASTER OF THIS SECTION.

By Samuel K. Neal
Staff Correspondent

BETHSAIDA, Tenn. May 10 – This little mountain settlement bore the brunt of Tuesday night's storm when it climaxed into a tornado early Wednesday morning, leaving more than a score dead and as many or more injured.

The dead:
MR. AND MRS. BOSS LACY.
MRS. MARY REESER.
ED HOPKINS, and daughter, BARBARA HOPKINS.
EUNICE COLE and wife, and seven children.
MILLARD ALLRED.
HUGHEY BEATY.
RAY REAGAN.
HERSHEL PHILLIPS.
MRS. AMBROSE KING and daughter EPSIE KING.

While natives of this vicinity, two miles east of Monroe, searched the wooded hills of eastern Overton County for other bodies, residents predicted more deaths would be registered by the week-end. It will be impossible to make an accurate check of the death tolls for some days, on account of the inaccessibility of the region.

More than twenty persons were reported injured at Smith's store here, where emergency relief was started Wednesday. Doctors from Livingston and Cookeville and other places were giving first aid. The bodies of sixteen of the dead were brought to Livingston where they were prepared for burial, perhaps today. Four members of one family will be buried at the home site.

Struck Suddenly
The tornado struck with terrible suddenness. Beginning at Eagle Creek northwest of Bethsaida, the twister moved in a zig-zag line three-quarters of a mile wide, spent its fury here, and ended near West Fork, a distance of about eleven miles from its beginning. In its wake it left the worst destruction this section of Tennessee has ever seen.

Houses were torn down wholesale. Barns with their contents, including farm machinery, were swept away as if they were match boxes. A farmer's binder was blown from his barn to a field 500 yards distant, and was left a worthless scrap of twisted iron. A new automobile was swept along for hundreds of feet and left a wrecked mass.

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article | by Dr. Radut