Historical Marker Workshop Correction

The Texas Historical Commission Marker Research Workshop will be from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. rather than to 1:30 p.m. as reported in an earlier Bulletin posting. Thanks to Lou Mallory, Wood County Historical Commission chairperson and member of our society, for sharing this information.

1919 Cyclone — Worst Tragedy to Hit Wood County

By Lou Mallory, Chairperson of the Wood County Historical Commission

When residents of Wood County, after a hard day’s work, retired to their beds on the night of Tuesday, April 8, 1919, little did they know that by early Wednesday morning April 9, 1919 many lives would be lost or changed forever.

The cyclone on that morning took the lives of many of them and many others were injured. It should be noted that many of the farmers and others had white and black tenants who lived in small “shotgun” houses and were not built to withstand high wind or a storm as deadly as this one.

This cyclone (tornado) was the greatest catastrophe to ever hit Wood County. In a small rural county whose population was slightly less then 2,300 in the 1920 census the loss of life and injuries plus the destruction of many houses, schoolhouses and outbuildings this storm” had a profound effect. The damages and loss was estimated at nearly a half million dollars but worst yet was the 23 county residents whose lives were lost, and the 56 others who were injured. The damages covered the 71 homes completely wrecked and the 55 others damaged along with two schoolhouses.

The lives lost in this catastrophe were more than the county lost in the First World War just ended.

As bad as the storm and the deaths, injuries and property damages that occurred If not for the residents who heard the wind and rain and went to their storm cellars from the reports gathered about 50 residents had escaped physical harm while their dwelling places were completely destroyed.

The storm entered Wood County about a mile and a half southeast of Mineola and was said to have cut a path a mile wide through the entire county.

Some of the areas documented to have sustained heavy damage were Mineola, the Lake Fork area, and the communities of Oak Grove, Stout, Vernon, Westbrook, Musgrove and Spring Hill. After the devastation caused in these small communities, they began to decline and are today gone and virtually forgotten.

Based on both oral and written reports, the storm is believed to have first hit Canton this morning and that is documented by a Dallas Morning News article dated April 10, 1919. Other Dallas Morning News reports of April 10 described the damage done in the Winnsboro area, and another tells of the storm that hit Bonham the same morning.

The storm in the Bonham area causes extensive damages, and it was reported that the storm first struck near Trenton and extended in spots to the Red River.

The citizens of Wood County weathered this catastrophe and through the years have worked hard to bring back the beauty and splendor or this beautiful area of East Texas.

Query: Thompson/Austin

Lost and now found in the clutter of an overstuffed email inbox is this email from member Lou Mallory.

Hi,

Wanted you all to see this and if you can find anything. You will note below I have sent them a message and also have sent them the article on the Clover Hill Community from Texas Handbook Online.

Thanks,
Lou

—– Original Message —–
From: Lou Mallory
To: sage.myst@gmail.com
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2011 11:56 AM
Subject: Thompson/Austin

Hi,

As you will note, your inquiry was forwarded to me. I have discovered that Elder Blaylock was a pastor at one time at Clover Hill
Baptist Church
northeast of Quitman. The community has all but become a ghost community. There was a community nearby called Pleasant Grove and the church members at Clover Hill may have joined the church at Pleasant Grove.

The only record of marriages that I know of here in Wood County are the county records of which you mention. Also a check was made of cemetery records and we did not find either of your great grandparents being buried here in the county.

I am going to send this inquiry to the Wood County Genealogical Society as they might possibly have some information on the Thompson genealogical line.

Thanks,

Lou Mallory, Chairman
Wood County Historical Commission

Wood County 1850-1900 Still Available

Another request has been received for the place to purchase a copy of “Wood County 1850-1900.” Members Shirley Patrick and Lou Mallory have supplied the request and answer for inclusion here.

They are available at several locations including from the Wood County Historical Commission (gmallory@suddenlink.net) the front desk at the Quitman Public Library, The Mineola Chamber of Commerce, and the City Hall in Mineola. The price quoted by Lou Mallory (chairman of the historical commission) last year was $15 per book and $4.00 for postage for each copy mailed.

Speaker about Capt. McDonald in Canton This Week

Lou MALLORY, a WCGS member and Chairperson of The Wood County Historical Commission, passed along information about a the author of the book on the life of Captain Bill MCDONALD of Mineola, a deputy sheriff in Wood County and later a captain of the Frontier Battalion of the Texas Rangers who will speak to the Van Zandt County Genealogical Society at 2 p.m. Saturday, October 23.

The speaker and author is Harold J. WEISS, JR. whose book on McDonald has recently been published. Lou added that there is a historical plaque for McDonald in Mineola and a street named for him.

She added that the meeting is at the Van Zandt County Library’s Buchanan Room at 317 FM 859 in Canton.

Members Tour Wood County Historical Museum

A group of members who gathered for the July “eating meeting” followed up fellowship, fun, and planning for the WCGS booth at the Old Settlers Reunion August 4-7 in Quitman and finished the evening touring the Wood County Historical Museum in Quitman. Hosts were members Lou Mallory and Barbara Coleman, members of the Wood County Historical Commission. Lou is president of the historical commission.

WCGS members tour historical museum

From left, front row, Patsy McCall, Barbara Coleman, Dorothy Harbin, Nita Munoz, Lou Mallory, Lakoma Clanton, back row, John McCall, Ronnie Vance, Jean Davis, Gene Pilgrim, Karen Pilgrim, Sally Allcorn, Mary Beth Ramage. Inset, photographer Shirley Bates.

“SOUNDING” AT FORD-GREEN CEMETERY This Friday

Thanks to society member and Wood County Historical Commission Chair Person Lou Mallory for sending the following email which we are passing on to all members:

“Next Friday, May 21, a “sounding” will take place at the Ford-Green Cemetery.
“For your information, a “sounding” is a process where by using a metal detector or other means unknown graves may be found.
Ford-Green Cemetery, long abandoned and forgotten, was adopted by the Junior Historians and the Landmark Commission several years ago.
Today, it is a cemetery association with both State and Federal tax exemption, and organized and approved by the District Court in 2009.
The cemetery association now has ownership and has agreed with the Texas Funeral Commission to do the following:
1. Erect a new fence.
2. Locate unknown graves and mark same.
3. Provide needed maintenance and care.
Anyone who would like to observe the “sounding” is welcome to attend as well as anyone who might be interested in learning the procedure.
“The “sounding” will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Ford-Green Cemetery which is located at the intersection of Country Club Drive and Green Road (County Road 2205).

Mallory Receives Honor

Member Lou Mallory was honored with special recognition for her work with Wood County history at a recent Wood County Commissioners Court meeting.

Lou received the Commissioners Court distinguished Service Award for outstanding preservation work during the previous year. Husband and also member Gene Mallory was present when she received the plaque from the county. Lou is Chairman of the Wood County Historical Commission.

New address for Wood County book

Thanks to member Lou Mallory who brought us up to date on the site for address for buying “Wood County 1850-1890″. It has been corrected on the Publications Page of this website. FYI: Lou Mallory, P. O. Box 255, Mineola, Texas 75773. Lou’s email is gmallory@suddenlink.net. The book costs $15.00 plus $4.00 postage. Lou is Wood County Historical Commission chairman.

Wood County Peace Officers

Member Lou Mallory‘s latest column, published regularly in the Hawkins-Holly Lake Gazette, features nine Wood County peace officers killed as the pursued their duties. You can read her column series new offerings in the Gazette every two weeks. Her previous columns are in the Gazette at its website: http://hlrgazette.com.

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