Clyde, TX Tornado, Jun 1938

10 Known Dead, Number Missing and Forty Injured When Tornado Strikes Clyde, West Texas Village

Freight Train Overturned

Ambulances, Doctors, Nurses and Fire Equipment Are Sent From Abilene

CLYDE, Texas, Jun 19 (AP). - A creeping, roaring tornado struck this tiny West Texas town Friday night, killing at least ten persons in the devastating trip through the western edge of the village.

Several more, reported missing, possibly were dead, and at least forty were injured, several seriously.

The brown column of destruction ripped apart two-score houses and split in two a freight train, tumbling box cars along the right of way.

The lives of many in the 300-yard wide swath of the storm were saved because the slowly-moving tornado gave them opportunity to seek shelter in storm cellars.

Rescue work was progressing swiftly, but it was feared other bodies might be found in the wreckage.

A detachment of National Guardsmen was rushed here from Abilene and the Red Cross set up an emergency station.

The known dead:

MRS. J. B. EASTERLING, about 60.
MRS. J. F. BONNER, 75.
J. E. GRAHAM, 55.
MRS. J. E. GRAHAM, 55.
M. E. SULLIVAN, about 65.

An unidentified man found crushed to death in a box car.

Four of the injured were taken to Abilene in a serious condition. They were rs. M. E. Sullivan, T. W. Briscoe, principal of the ward school; his wife, and Mrs. J. H. Baxter, mother of Mrs. Easterling.

The storm caught a Texas & Pacific freight train in its center, scattering boxcars along the right-of-way.

Ralph Short, a free-lance newspaperman, reported that possibly ten to twenty were killed and that the number of injured was almost impossible to estimate.

He said the storm moved into the northwest corner of the town and thence slightly southeast across its west edge.

"The tornado could be seen for miles," he said. "It came steadily but very slowly. Residents told me it seemed an eternity before it struck. I was eight miles from Clyde when I spotted it. It was so solid it looked like a vast column of brown earth, in a big brown bowl."

The disturbance was accompanied by a violent electrical, rain and hailstorm.

The Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 11 Jun 1938


Clyde Tornado Photos Snapshot Photos online from Charles Chaney. The photos belonged to his mother, Maudie Ruth Canady Chaney.



How many were killed in the

How many were killed in the school that got caught on the 2nd floor?

1938 Tornado

On June 10, 1938, a tornado ripped through Clyde from the north, killing fourteen persons and destroying twenty-one homes and many other buildings, most notably the school. A freight train was also derailed. Temporary classes were held at the local churches. - Handbook of Texas Online