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Newspaper Clipping about Tornado

Selma Newspaper

Transcribed by Martha Wright




Doctors and Nurses Depart With Medical Supplies




Death Toll Heavy and Losses Feared Staggering


    Selma became the center for relief to storm sufferers both west and north of this section early Tuesday evening, when first news of the devastation caused by cyclonic winds thru a wide area called ambulances, doctors and nurses into action. Many relief workers left the city for Plantersville and Faunsdale in cars to aid in searching the wreckage for bodies.

    Dr. Drayton Doherty, Dr. Monroe A. Maas and Dr. A. S. Chisolm, with six nurses and other relief workers left for Clanton at 4 o'clock Tuesday morning carrying with them more than $300 worth of hospital supplies with which to minister to the injured. Call for aid was given out by H. G. Boyd, vice president to the City National Bank and by H. H. Frasier, who visited that section and found conditions acute there.

Relief Sent to Marion

    Dr. W. W. Burns, Dr. P. Y. Donald and Dr. Richard Grayson went to Marion in response to a call issued from there fro medical aid by Judge Irby Pope. A number of negroes were being treated there, and Marion has become a center for concentrating the injured from the ???? section around.

    Plantersville just on the edge of the storm area became a relief center also early in the evening, wehn members of the stricken Latham family were brought to physicians offices there for treatment, two of them dying within a short time after reaching the offices. Many homes at Riderville, along the highway just north of the little village were demolished, and their owners were taken into homes in Plantersville and vicintiy.

    Drs. A. D. Wallace, T. M. Martin, and A. B. Pickering treated many accident victims during the night and Dr. E. B. DuBose at Maplesville also worked for long hours.

Wreckage Strews Highways

    Wreckage strewed the highway for several miles, with tangled telephone wires, farm machinery, fodder, and splintered plants bearing mute evidence to the terrific force of the cyclone.

    The storm struck over form Marion by way of Barnestown, where it divided, one wing going up Sand Mountain to Shoultz Settlement and on toward Tuscaloosa and the other Cutting thru near Plantersville, Stanton, Pletcher, Thorsby and Jemison.

    Its path was traced between midnight and 4 o'clock Tuesday morning by J. L. Sherrer, automobile man of Selma, with C. ?. Wallace, and G. G. Sewell who made a 190 mile loop thru the sparsely settled area, aiding in the work of rescue and bringing to Selma hospitals several injured.

Miraculous Escape

    The J. W. Gay family of seven persons living two and a half miles north of Plantersville, had their home, a solid structure a story and a half high, blown from over their heads and were uninjured. Their escape was listed as among the miracles of the storm. Mr. Gay shucking corn in the crib back of the house, looked up to see flying timbers and debris coming over the hill back of his home. Shouting to his sons, Robert and William and to his wife and their two daughters, Evan and Claudia who had just returned from school he rushed to the house where Mrs. Gay's Mother, Mrs. Mary Barnes, 72, joined them. The family gathered for shelter in the second room from the rear of the house, which was the only one with walls standing when the blow had passed, the timbers twisted crazily like a tepee over their heads.

    Mrs. Barnes was blown from one bed to another in the room and was unhurt.

    Mr. Gay received a slight blow on the head, but did not require medical treatment. The R. A. Harris home also was blown away without injuring members of the family.

Pit Saves Barnes Family

    The Shelby Barnes family, living near-by, rushed to a storm pit in the yard of their home and escaped injury when their home was demolished. The family of six emerged from the pit a few minutes later to find that a heavy lumber truck which had been parked in the yard twisted and wrecked into bits after the storm had picked it up and carried it for 100 yards, and two bales of cotton blown 300 yards away.

    The Willie Rush family of five lost their home and all possessions on the Martin place; the John McKinney family of eight on the W. F. Reynolds place were made homeless. Homes of Jeff Parnell and Jeff Dyer in this general vicinity also were wrecked.

    Parnell Hill, a negro settlement in the Riderville section also was hard hit, but no deaths were reported.

    Enos Heard's wife and two children, negroes were injured, and a number of other negroes were treated both at Plantersville and at Selma.

Schoultz Settlement Hit

    In the Shoultz settlement district, which lies on a sand ridge in the Maplesville area more than 15 houses were razed and their occupants suffered more or less serious in juries. Several are among those under treatment at the Baptist Hospital.

    Roy Wallace, his wife and 15 months old baby, all were injured severely. Wallace was removed in an ambulance, and his wife and infant were found some time later in the wreckage, the infant witha  broker bone sticking thru its flesh, by Mr. Sherrer and a party of searchers. Other homes swept away were occupied by Charlie Bearden, Porter Schultz, Ike Mull, Gus Wallace, where the mother and son were injured:  Tom Wallace, whose dead body was found 150 yards from the house; Lawson Peeples, Woodie McKee, Tom Garner. The Crawford Schultz store-house, barn and toher buildings were blown down.