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Brinkley, AR Tornado & Fire - 30 Lives Lost

Thirty Lives Lost In Arkansas Storm

Town of BRINKLEY Almost a Complete Wreck - Loss Very Heavy

BRINKLEY, ARK., March 9 - Thirty or more lives were snuffed out, sixty people were injured and property estimated to be worth one million dollars was destroyed as a result of the tornado which wrecked this little city last night. Of the know dead fourteen are white people.
The remainder of the dean and seriously injured are negro residents.

The tornado hovered about the city only a few minutes, but its work of destruction was complete. The Roman Catholic Church, standing directly in the path of the storm alone escaped damage or destruction and stands a grim sentinel on a scene of desolation. Main street and Cypress avenue, the two principal thoroughfares of the town are now impassable and piled high with wreckage from end to end.

Every business house is in ruins and there is hardly a home that has not at least suffered the loss of a roof or wing. The Arlington Hotel was totally demolished. Eighty guests were registered there but all escaped uninjured. The Brinkley Hotel, Southern Hotel and Kelly Hotel were all destroyed without loss of life.

Relief squads have been at work all day caring for the death and injured. The Rock Island and Cotton Belt railways have placed cars at the disposal of the relief committee and many people are leaving BRINKEY seeking a temporary refuge at other points nearby. The dead were sent to Helena from which point interment will take place.

GOV. DONAGHEY arrived from LITTLE ROCK this afternoon in response to a call from the citizens committee. He has the situation well in hand and save (says) food, clothing and shelter are the things most needed. Hundreds of people are homeless and are wandering about seeking a temporary abode. Three special trains arrived from neighboring towns today bringing relief workers, physicians and nursing.

The Catholic Church has been converted into a hospital and there the doctors and nurses are caring for the injured. The citizens of HELENA, have generously offered the use of their homes for the destitute.

Mass meetings have been called for tomorrow in MEMPHIS, LITTLE ROCK and other cities to raise funds and supplies for the storm victims.

The Macon Daily Telegraph, Macon, GA 10 Mar 1909

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Of the know dead 14 are white people as follows:

ISSAC REED, MRS. ISAAC REED, RUSSELL REED, RAYMOND REED, PORTER FOOTE, J.L. STARRETT, HARRY STOVAL, JR., MRS. ETHEL PHILLPS, MRS. BELLE DARDEN, two children of MRS. DARDEN, CHARLES FRENAZE, A. M. HOOD. unidentified man.

Many women are among the seriously injured, some of them sustaining broken bones and wounds from which recovery is improbable.

Church Escapes Damage

The tornado shrieked above the city only a few minutes, but its work of destruction was complete. The Roman Catholic church, standing directly in the path of the storm, alone escaped damage or destruction and stands grimly in a scene of desolation. It has been converted into a hospital. Main Street and Cypress avenue, the two principal thoroughfares of the town, are not impassable and are piled high with wreckage from end to end. Every business house is in ruins and there is hardly a home that has not at least suffered the loss of a rood or a window.

Belleville News-Democrat, Belleville, IL 10 Mar 1909

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