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.


Do You Read The Comments?

Do you come back here and read the comments posted later on this page? If not, you are missing some good follow-up information.

Here are some recent comments pulled from their posted positions and presented here to show how people are responding to requests:

Comment on Query: Hood by Dorothy Harbin
from Comments for Wood County, Texas Genealogical Society by Dorothy Harbin
Hello: I will try to check on this on a Tuesday, whenever the library opens, I have been out of town.

Comment on Query: Sams by Dorothy Harbin
from Comments for Wood County, Texas Genealogical Society by Dorothy Harbin
We have OBITS starting 1983 in the Quitman Public Library, and will look for it on a Tuesday and also check micro film for the other date.

Comment on Query: Sams by Kathy Richey
from Comments for Wood County, Texas Genealogical Society by Kathy Richey
There are old copies of the Wood County Democrat online. Go to news.google.com. Look at the February 2, 1978 and it has C.O. Sams obit. Hope this helps.

Comment on Query (2nd Request): Stout by Francie Stout Easley
from Comments for Wood County, Texas Genealogical Society by Francie Stout Easley
I, too, am a descendant of Capt. Henry Stout! My father, Forrest Hilton Stout (passed last November) went to the cemetery in Quitman with my cousin, Edward Stout (also deceased) several years ago. I have not been there myself, but it is on my bucket list!
Francie Stout Easley

from Comments for Wood County, Texas Genealogical Society by Sandy Hooton (Rouse)
Will notes or a tape (CD) be available from this Oct 2012 meeting? I am out of state (CA) and unable to attend and very interested. I have a brickwall from this County and still hoping to break

Query (2nd Request): Stout

I queried your gmail 11-09-11 seeking help finding my ggg grandfather and ggg grandmother from Wood County. How would I locate that thread so I can monitor any responses to my queries about them?

I am looking for my ggg grandfather and ggg gmother. Benjamin P. Stout or B.P. Stout born 1829 in Red River Settlement, Tejas, Mexico, Texas Indian Territory. Benjamin was the 2nd son of Texas Ranger Captain and early Pioneers of that region, Captain John Henry Stout and Sarah Mary Talbot of Arkansas. Captain Stout was the first Sheriff of the combined Counties of Wood and Van Zandt and one of the first State Representatives of those counties.

B.P. Stout can be found living with his divorced mother Sarah Mary Talbot in Hopkins County 1850 Census 1st wife of Captain John Henry Stout. B.P. Stout married Amanda P Stout “maiden name unknown”, in 1851 in Hopkins County or Wood County. He and new wife moved to Wood County sometime in 1851 where his first daughter was born in 1852 in Wood County. He lived on his fathers farm in Quitman, Wood County until his death after the Civil War on or before December of 1875.

B.P. Stout enlisted as a Sergeant in 1861 with Company E, Texas, 22nd Infantry Hubbard’s Regiment. He was promoted to 1st Lieutenant in 1852 in the Confederate Army in the 22nd. He was a Confederate POW being captured July 14, 1863 and kept at Fort DeRussey, 21 Ramport St. “wherever that was” until July 22 1864. Benjamin returned to Quitman after the Civil War in 1865 and lived in Wood County until his death in 1875. If he is buried in Wood County I sure would appreciate someone locating, photographing that plot, stone, or grave marker so my family can locate and honor he and Amanda properly. There is a Stout family cemetery in Hopkins County but he is not listed as being buried in the Pine Forest Cemetery but his father is.

Amanda P. Stout “maiden name unknown” born: 1833 in Alabama, both her parents are listed as being born in South Carolina but their names are unknown to us. She migrated to Wood Texas in the early 1850’s and married B.P. Stout possibly in Hopkins County or Wood County about 1851. Benjamin is still living with his mother at 21 y.o. in Hopkins County in the 1850 census. B.P. and Amanda’s first daughter Mary (Stout) was born in Wood County in 1852 thus the 1851 marriage date, and migration to Wood County.

Amanda is found in the 1860, 1870, and 1880 census in Wood County. She is listed in ancestry.com in the 1870 Censes as Henanda Stout because of a transcription error. She is living with B.P. and children in Wood in that 1870 census. She is widowed in the 1880 census in Wood County.

It is only assumed that Amanda may have either died in Wood County after 1880 or she may have remarried in Wood County sometime after the 1880 census. If she died in Wood County, is there any lists of persons buried in Wood County by the name Amanda P. Stout, Amanda Stout, or A.P. Stout? If she remarried are there any persons of the same name listed in any marriage records in Wood County for that period after 1880? If so, can someone contact me at my e-mail address with that information. I have looked at the Wood County Genealogical Society web page and cannot make heads or tails out of the site for research purposes, but that is not unusual for me.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated in locating these two family members if they are buried or have personal records in your county. The distance is long and the expense is great for me.

J.H. Russell

Query: Stout

Benjamin Franklin Stout b: TX 1829 and Amanda P. Stout b: 1833 Alabama

I am looking for my ggg grandfather Benjamin P. Stout or known to my family as B.P. Stout. He was the son of Texas Ranger Captain and Sheriff John Henry Stout first State Representative and first Sheriff of Wood and Van Zandt Counties. Benjamin was a Confederate Civil War POW veteran and 1st Lieutenant of Company E, 22 Hubbard Texas Infantry Regiment. He was born in 1829 in Red River Settlement, Tejas, Mexico, lived in Texas and died on or about November or before December 25, 1875 in Wood County.

Benjamin can be found in Hopkins County living with his divorced mother Sarah Stout i.e. “Sarah Mary Talbot Stout” in 1850 census. He married Amanda P. maiden name unknown and place of marriage unknown in 1851. He can be found in Wood County in 1860 census, 1870 census, and Amanda can be found widowed in Wood County in the 1880 census. She is also listed (transcription error as Henanda Stout along with B.P. Stout in 1870 Wood County census).

1st Lieutenant B.P. Stout joined the Civil War effort in 1861 as a Sergeant of Co E 22 Texas Infantry Regiment, he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant in 1862, he returned to Wood County sometime after his POW status, (he was captured on July 22, 1864 and was kept in Fort De Russey sp?), wherever that is. He lived next to Henry Stout, his father in Quitman in 1870 with wife Amanda and children.

What I am looking for is;

Where are Benjamin and/or Amanda buried? I assume that the Confederate Soldiers Society may know if he is buried in Wood county if they place flags on Confederate grave sites or if anyone takes photos of graves in that area from your society, they may have run across their burial site. I just do not know how to get started on that road or get in touch with those folks.

What is the name of the burial Cemetery of B.P. Stout and Amanda? If you can find that out, that would be helpful since B.P. died in Wood County! His father John Henry Stout was buried in the Pine Forest cemetery in Hopkins County although he lived in Wood county most of his late adult life 1840 – 1892.

Does Wood County or Hopkins County have records relating to B.P.’s and Amanda’s marriage in about 1851? Benjamin was living with his mother in 1850 in Hopkins Co., and their first daughter was born in 1852 in Wood County, hence the 1851 date.

Is there any way to find out what Amanda’s maiden name was? My family says that she and her children are listed somewhere as Full Blood Indian or Indian by Blood. I’ve been told Cherokee or Chickasaw sp?. Without knowing Amanda’s maiden name, I have no way to research that tidbit of oral history.

Did Amanda remain in Wood county after 1880? Maybe there are tax records available to you in Wood County since there is no 1890 census. If she re-married after 1880, I would have no way to know that information. If you have any marriage records of an Amanda P. Stout in Wood county after 1880 if she married someone else, re-marrage would be helpful to track her travels down.

I can say that her daughter Martha “Mattie” H. Stout born in Wood County, married John W. Fore of Hood and Van Zandt County and that marriage took place in Oklahoma.

Any help your society could give would be greatly helpful and appreciated.