Tornado Leaves Ruin In County

By Bobby Joe Seales

Buck Creek Cotton Mill

Buck Creek Cotton Mill
April 18, 1953

$3,000,000 worth of damage - That's the figure estimated by State Senator J.T. Phillips on the damage to his tornado-blasted Buck Creek Cotton Mill at Siluria. The storm damage to the mill is expected to throw between 600 and 800 workers out of jobs for four to six months. Mr. Phillips is making tentative plans to rebuild the mill promptly. Some machinery and equipment were salvaged from the ruined plant.

Shelby County Reporter-Democrat
Thursday, April 23, 1953

A miraculous escape from death was experienced by many citizens of Shelby County, when a tornado struck towns in this county last Saturday afternoon, leaving in its path, destruction of property worth millions of dollars, but with only two deaths reported, namely Lena McCloud, age 60, and Ruby Sheppard, age 10 years, who resided near Wilsonville.

The Red Cross authorities have moved into Columbiana and opened offices in the old Courthouse. Applicants in need of assistance should see them immediately so that proper investigation can be made with as little delay as possible.

Towns suffering from this tornado include Siluria, where the Buck Creek Cotton Mill lies in ruins today. This mill, owned and operated by Senator J.T. Phillips, furnished work for approximately 700 people and homes of some of these people were completely demolished. Mr. Phillips estimates his loss, according to the papers, at over two million dollars.

Other towns to feel the brunt of this storm include Alabaster, Genery's Gap, Byersville, Longview, Joiner Town, Cates Crossing (near Columbiana) and the Kingdom community.

The Red Cross is on the job. Contact them in the old courthouse building, or thru Executive Home Service Director, Mrs. Conrad M. Fowler, Columbiana, phone 5252.

It was reported from the survey of the damages to this tornado
there were in Shelby County Alabama 2 people killed, 23 injured, and 4 hospitalized.

Excellent coverage about this tornado, with photos and articles, appeared in
The Birmingham News, Sunday, April 19, 1953, and The Birmingham Post-Herald, Monday, April 20, 1953.