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James Bell Ralston - Cyclone (1905)


Posted By: Judy Wight Branson (email)
Date: 11/8/2010 at 18:38:51

Note: James Bell Ralston and his wife, Mary Florence (Hamilton) Ralston were married in Madison County, Iowa and some of their children were born there.


The Altus Weekly News, Altus, Greer County, Oklahoma Territory
Thursday, May 11, 1905

A Cyclone Leaves Death and Destruction in its Path Through Greer and Kiowa Counties
About One Hundred Killed and Seventy Wounded. Thousands of Dollars Worth of Stock and Property Destroyed

Between 8 and 9 o'clock a cyclone formed at Carmel, a small hamlet in the southern part of Greer on the Red River, traveled in a northeasterly direction, crossing North Fork southeast of Headrick and struck the town of Snyder, almost wiping it from the face of the earth.

Two miles west and miles south of Olustee, Mr. R. R. Hughes, and his wife and son, Richard were killed. Also, at the J. B. Ralston residence, Mr. Ralston, his son Fred and his daughter, Miss Jessie received fatal injuries.

The Mangum Star, Mangum, Greer County, Oklahoma Territory
May 18, 1905

The editor and wife returned Sunday afternoon from the "stricken field," south of Lock, where they attended the death bed and funeral of Miss Jessie Ralston, the third member of that ill fated family to give her life to the fury of the cyclone which visited that section of the county Wednesday evening of last week. She was buried Saturday evening just as the sun went down, surrounded by a host of friends from the community, from Altus, Vernon and Mangum, and the presence of her solitary and heartbroken sister - the only surviving member of the family, her father and brother having proceeded her to the grave by just 48 hours.

Miss Cora Ralston, the surviving sister, who is well and favorably known here and elsewhere as one of the brightest and most business like women in this part of Oklahoma, was in Oklahoma City and therefore escaped but the homecoming to her was sufficient to cause her to envy the other members of the family whom under the circumstances she felt were better off than she.

J. B. Ralston, the father, was one of the best known business men in Texas a few years ago, he having been for many years on of the best-known traveling men for hardware and implement houses on the road; later he was a pioneer business man of Vernon, Texas, wherein the panic of 1893 he failed in business because of his general bigheartedness and his refusal to crowd his credit customers whose misfortunes were as his own, since which time he has spent the greater part of his time on his farm, nine miles south of Altus.

His son Fred, who was killed at the same time, was at man's estate and was of an estimable disposition.

Miss Jessie, the youngest daughter was a most refined and lovable young lady; was a graduate of a leading Seminary of the South and for many years had spent the greater part of each year as a teacher in south Texas.

Miss Cora, the surviving sister is entitled, and is the recipient of the utmost sympathy of a generous and kind hearted people in this, her time of overwhelming and overpowering affliction.

The Altus Weekly News, Altus, Greer County, Oklahoma Territory
Thursday, May 18, 1905, page 1

Ravages of the Cyclone -

J. B. Ralston, son and daughter were killed and everything but their stock destroyed.


Madison Documents maintained by Linda Griffith Smith.
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