Oneta Kerley
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In Remembrance of

Oneta Kerley
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Child Killed, Others Injured in Wind and Hail Storm in Spur County Monday

Death and destruction stalked in the path of one of the greatest hail and wind storms that ever visited Dickens County assuming at times cyclonic proportions, covering an area of 40 miles in length and from 10 to 20 miles wide.

The storm formed in Northwest Spur, early Monday afternoon. It was thought at one time that we were in for a good rain, however, before reaching Spur, the clouds were seen to break, one shifted to the northeast and the other one passing to the southwest; no one at that time had any idea that such danger was lurking in the two clouds.

The cloud passing to the southeast was soon destroying everything in its path. Hail stones of enormous size fell, killing livestock and tearing gaping holes in roofs, laying to waste the young cotton and feed crop that was just up.

A deplorable tragedy of this storm was the death of little Margie Kerley, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J.A. Kerley, of the Red Hill Community, Margie and two of her sisters, and four of the Jones children and Bertha May Young were on their way home from school when the storm swept down on them in all its fury, resulting in the death of the little girl, and seriously injuring the others, who we understand will recover.

The Red Hill Community, to the northeast of Spur was the heaviest sufferer, being in the center of the storm at its height, Girard, a few miles east of Jayton felt the devastating effects of this storm.

We are unable at this time to give particulars to the cloud passing to the southwest, meager details are to the effect that it duplicated the destructive force of the storm passing to the northeast.

The Texas Spur, Vol. 14, No. 29, Friday, May 16, 1924, by Louise Green

NOTE: The name in the paper is a mistake, it was Oneta not Margie that was killed. Below is a picture of Margie, Cleo and Nellie, Dorothy was not born when this picture was taken.

On May 12, 1924, the four Kerley girls (Nellie, Cleo, Oneta, Dorothy) were caught in the open during one of the worst hail storms ever to hit Texas. Even though frightened for her own life, young Nellie pushed Dorothy under a small mesquite tree and then shielded her baby sister as best as she could with her own body, never releasing her grip of Dorothy´s hand. After the storm passed, Oneta´s body was found draped over a barbed-wire fence where she´d been blown, and beaten to death by the hail stones.

©The Texas Spur, May 1921
Born: Aug 9, 1915
Father: Joseph Arthur KERLEY
Mother: Frances Susan TRIMBLE


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