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Newspaper Clipping about Latham Family
from Selma Newspaper, Unknown Date in 1932
Transcribed by Martha Wright
Unaware of the tremendous problem which rehabilitating a family of four orphaned children presents, Katie Latham, 7, keeps her big brown eyes fixed most of the time on two vividly-dressed dolls, which are perched on a bedside stand, near her head.
Now she lies quietly in her bed at the Vaughan Memorial and answers all queries as to how she feels with a serious assurance that she feels better, thank you. Then she will point to her bandaged head, and show you exactly where the biggest bump came. The nurses say she is a darling, but they say that, too about baby Elvin, 3, who has been desperately injured, but is better now, and L. J. 9 and Louis, 4. All are as good as gold.
Some of the time Katie spends in wondering what became of Beauty and Ruth and Oxie and Birdie, the two cows with their calves which may have jumped over the moon, she agreed when the idea was presented to her. She had no doubt but that the rushing winds which hurled her and her parents and her brothers and sisters from their home into a near-by cotton field killing seven of them could send old Beauty and the other straight over the moon, goal of all ambitious cows.
If she thinks of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Latham, or fo the five older sister and brother who lost their lives the past Monday she does not speak of it, but her serious brown eyes are brooding at times, and are more speculative than indifferent.
She was in the house with her mother, near the open fireplace about which the big family gathered for their happiest hours, when the storm roared over their home. In a halting little voice she talked of that sound which spelled doom to her family.
"It was like a great big train, but it was louder," she wxplained, it hit the house and Katie was whirled out of doors, "before I knew it", she explained. The next impression whci her little mind picked up was of her mother's still body nearby, and one of the smaller children within a short distance, and Mr. Rush, a neighbor, coming to them over the newly ploughed field which engulfed them all in mud.
The Possibility that they may be placed in a Baptist Orphanage is under consideration but no steps have been taken.
STORM ORPHANS LEAVE HOSPITAL
Latham Children Find New Home with Bruces Here
Their young hearts filled with joy, four happy Latham children went Monday to their new home from Vaughan Memorial Hospital where they have been the center of interest since the disastrous tornado of March 21 which swept away their home near Plantersville killing their parents and five older brothers and sisters.
The four, L.J., 9; Katie, 7, Louis, 5, and Elvin 2 1/2, have been adopted by W. E. Bruce well known Selma business man, and Mrs. Bruce, and they have turned to their newfound protectors with affection and trust. An uncle of the four orphaned children gave consent Friday to their adoption, clearing the way for the filing of the necessary papers.
Although overjoyed over being able to go to their new well-to-do and happy home, the four youngsters also were reluctant to leave the hospital where they have been the recipients of so many attentions and thoughtful care since the tragic buffeting which the storm brought to them just three weeks ago. Every hospital attendant, from Miss Ruth Davis, superintendent of nurses, on down through the last orderly, and the members of the medical staff have vied with each other in making the children's stay in the hospital so enjoyable that no shadow of the tragedy which invaded their home would hover near. Gifts from Selma individuals also were showered upon them. When the four children first came to the hospital no hope was held for the recovery of the two younger boys, but they pulled through remarkably.
Miss Birdie Joe Mason, popular member of the hospital nursing staff, has been a constant attendant at the children's bedsides in the last few weeks, devoting her services unselfishly to bringing the four back to health and happiness.