Mortality Schedule image below. Not all
of the names are readable, Here is the key sent in by Les Tate.
The information provided in the mortality schedule
allowed me to positively identify two of my distant relatives (Joseph Kearns
and his daughter Aurelia E.) who were killed by the tornado and which left
Joseph's wife (Mary Elizabeth Skinner Kearns) with a "wound in head" according
to the 1880 census taken a few days later. That census lists several people
in Savoy with wounds and broken bones resulting from the tornado.
The note at the bottom of the mortality schedule
appears to indicate that "some 12" people were killed, however the first
one in the schedule was crossed off because he died in June 1880 of wounds
received from the tornado and the schedule only applied to deaths occurring
during the 12 months up to May 31, 1880. Four people are known to have
died later from wounds caused by the tornado.
"Savoy acquired some historic notoriety by
reason of a great calamity that befell her in 1880. On the 28th day of
May of that year, a cyclone, such as is rarely seen even in the west, struck
the town without a moment's warning, almost totally annihilating it.
"The destruction of life and limb as well
as property was terrible, eleven were killed outright, and about sixty
were wounded, four of whom died from their injuries. In one short half
hour the busy, happy people were converted into a throng of mourners for
the dead and wounded among them, and the smiling thrifty town became a
mass of ruins and destruction, and trade was completely suspended."
Other information I found elsewhere indicates it
was a tornado of force F4, which is next to the highest rating.
Information at the bottom of the mortality schedule
on this page)
shows the tornado struck on the night of 28 May
Based on the mortality census, I prepared the following
list of people killed by the tornado, including one who died in June from
injuries, but whose entry was crossed out. These are presented in the same
order shown in the schedule.
1. ---, ??lard, 22, male, white, single, Mo Texas
Mo Tenn (should read TX MO TN), at school, died June, kill(ed by) cyclone,
22 years residence in county. (This entry is crossed out. The June date
indicates he died of wounds)
2. ----, Wm. F, 36, male, white, married, Geo Geo
Geo, Teaming (teamster...drove a team of horses), died May, killed by cyclone,
6 yrs residence in county.
3. ---- Joe, 44, male, white, married, Ala Ala
Ala, Dentist, died May, killed [by] cyclone, 7 yrs residence in county.
(This is Joseph Kearns, husband of Mary Elizabeth Skinner Kearns who was
injured ("wound in head") during the tornado. Joseph's birth info is incorrect
since the 1870 AL Wilcox County AL census shows he was born in KY. Joseph,
Mary, and their two children Aurelia E. and Marie A. came to Fannin County
TX from Wilcox County AL between 1871 and 1873.)
4. --- (Th)omas, 35, male, white, single, Mo Mo
Mo, Manufacturer, died May, killed [by] cyclone, 4 yrs residence in county.
5. --- Mattie, 8, female, white, single, Ill Ireland
Ill, died May, killed [by] cyclone, 6 yrs residence in county. (**See note
at bottom of page)
6. --- Aurelia, 12, female, white, single, Ala
Ala Ala, died May, killed [by] cyclone, 7 yrs residence in county. (This
is Aurelia E. Kearns, daughter of Joseph Kearns and Mary Elizabeth Skinner
Kearns. She and her younger sister Marie were born in Alabama prior to
their move to Texas. Marie and a younger sister Josie/Josephine are found
with their mother at Savoy in the 1880 Fannin County TX census.)
7. --- Erastus, 57, male, white, married, Tenn
Tenn Tenn, hardware mer(chant), died May, killed by cyclone, 4 yrs residence
8. --- (in)fant, 2 months, female, white, single,
Tex Tenn Tenn, died May, killed by cyclone, 2 months residence in county.
(This child appears to be the daughter of Erastus)
9. --- possibly David or Daniel, 38, male, white,
widowed, Mo Mo Mo, Wagon maker, died May, killed by cyclone7 yrs
residence in county.
10. --- Robert, 40, male, white, FeTenn Tenn Tenn
(intended TN TN TN), Farmer, died May, killed by cyclone, 10 yrs residence
11. --- Martha, 5, female, white, Texas Tenn
Ala, died May, killed by cyclone, 5 yrs residence in county. (This child
appears to be the daughter of either Robert or Erastus)
12. --- Panthea, 30, female, white, single, Tex
Tex Tex, died May, killed by cyclone, 30 yrs residence in county.