The Briggs Cyclone

Source: Burnet Bulletin, 19 April 1906

transcribed by JoAnn Myers from microfilm, Jan 2001


A cyclone... [words missing in copy] ...Thursday at 4 p.m., which was the most destructive this country ever experienced.

The following persons were severely hurt:

  • A.A. Tabor and wife wounded internally
  • Miss Inez Hickman, wounded in back
  • Miss Mabel DeWolf, arm broken and shoulder bruised
  • Herman Patterson, arm broken in two places
  • Jeptha Patterson severe scalp wound and jaw broken
  • J. T. Hall, nose broken
  • Georgie Dillingham, scalp wound
  • Ernest Langford, scalp wound

The following were slightly wounded:

  • Grover Williams,
  • Mrs. R.A. Patterson,
  • Mrs. Geo. Jolly,
  • Mrs. Alec Cloud and children,
  • Joe Hall and
  • Arthur Baker.

The following houses were entirely blown away:

  • A.A. Tabor
  • J.T. Gude
  • Ireland Joseph
  • Geo. Jolly
  • Alec Cloud
  • John Joice
  • blacksmith shop
  • R.A. Patterson's house, barn, blacksmith shop and windmill blown away and milk cow killed
  • the hardware bujilding erected by Harrel & Burns
  • the school house and
  • W.O.W. hall

The following building were unroofed or blown off their foundations:

  • Dr. Taylor's drugstore and barn
  • W.E. Clinkscales & Co storehouse
  • J.T. Hall's storehouse and dwelling
  • W.B. Moore storehouse
  • Central phone office
  • M.L. Langford's residence
  • Uncle Jim Montgomery's dwelling

Hardly any of the clothing, bedding or furniture escaped in the dwellings that were blown away. All the seats, furniture and fixtures in the school building and W.O.W. hall were b roken to pieces. Various other damage was done to cribs, wire fences and phone lines. The roof was blown from H.DeWolf's dining room and kitchen while his main building was unhurt. The streets were blocked with debris.

On Friday, contributions to the amount of seven or eight hundred dollars were donated here in Briggs by the fortunate ones who were here to view the destruction. Willing hands went to work putting houses on the pillars. It was estimated that fully a thousand people were here Friday to behold the sad sight. M.L. Langford came from Burnet Thursday night and Messrs Ater and Barton from Bertram with a crew of men, finished leveling up the houses Saturday evening; but it will take a considerable time and money to rebuild and replace all the buildings to their proper positions.

The cloud seemed to gather over Briggs and swooped down on the west side and went through the center, sweeping almost everything in its path. It was about 150 yards wide and lasted four or five miles. To add horror to the scene, it was followed by terrific rain and hail.

Prof. Price had dismissed school fifteen minutes earlier on account of the threatening cloud, consequently only eight children were with him when it struck the school house, and nearly every one remaininging was hurt. Had they all been in the school house, many would probably have been killed.

Hundreds of people have visited here daily and say it is much worse than they expected to see. Up to this writing (Sunday) the injured are doing reasonably well except Mrs. Beulah Tabor, who is still in a critical condition. To look upon the ruins, one can't realize why hundreds were not killed out right. What lumber and wire fences left standing are literally covered with feathers and lint cotton where feather beds, pillows and cotton mattresses were torn to pieces. It must be seen to realize the fearful but true existence of affairs.

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