Abilene Reporter News (Newspaper) - February 18, 1938, Abilene, Texas
**>®je Abilene Reporter-J^eYos“WITHOUT, OR WITH OFFENSE TO FRIENDS OR FOES, W E SKETCH YOUR WORLD EXACTLY AS IT GOES, Byron__
VOL. LVII, NO. 273. AiMclatd Pre*# < AP*
ABILENE, TEXAS, FRIDAY EVENING, FEBRUARY 18, 1938—SIXTEEN PAGES
rutted Pres# (TP*
PRICE 5 CENTS
WITH INJURED BETWEEN 60 AND IOO-- • rnTornado Leaves 20 Known Dead In Louisiana Town
MORGUES CROWDED WITH DEAD—
SCENES REVIVE SCHOOL DISASTER HORROR
By ALFRF.D WEEKS Texarkana Gazette Staff
ATLANTA, Tex., Feb. 18—(AV-Eleven of the dead and ten o the injured from the little oil town ct Rodessa. La., struck by a tornado last night, crowded two morgue and overtaxed this city’s omy hospital today.
For horror, the mangled* bodies reminded one of the scenes witnessed at the New London school explosion disaster almost a year Ago.
In one mortuary here where there are sevrn bodies, one was
unidentified. There was little wonder; the head had bren severed from the body of a man in the ripping, tornadic storm.
Most pitiful of all was a nine months old baby named Perry that lay dead on an operating table—the storm had respect for neither youth nor age.
Bodies of the victims were of necessity lined on cots in garages of I the funeral homes to await em-; balming activities, so great was the I rush.
j At Ellington Memorial hospital, ; doctors and nurses found it taxed
to overflowing. Cots were set up In halls to care for the tornado injured.
Nurses were called from Texarkana to assist the regular staff at the Atlanta hospital.
There was little confusion even when heart-broken relatives went to the hospital to identify injured kin or went to the morgue to claim their dead. When the storm struck Rodessa, the son of Mr. and Mrs. B. E. Crowder was not at home. He had
Rain Hampers Rescue Crews’ Search Work
National Guardsmen And State Police At Rodessa To Direct Rehabilitation; Property Loss Fixed At $500,000
See SIDELIGHTS. Pg. 16. Col. 7
Hard Freeze In Prospect For Abilene Area Tonight
2-Day Closing Fear Exploded
Thompson Tells Oil Men He Is Against Plan
AUSTIN. Feb. 18.—(Jf'i—The state railroad communion apparently exploded today the possibility Texas' Sunday oil field shutdowns, In ef- J feet for several weeks, might be extended to two days weekly.
Ernest O. Thompson, commission , member, said at the monthly state- i wide proration hearing, there had been talk it might be necessary to substitute a two-day closing for the present one-day but he wanted to “say I am not for a tw’o-day shutdown.” pp J
The commission announced the federal bureau of mines had estimated 1,344.900 barrels of oil dally j would be required from Texas to supply the national market demand in March, which compared with the estimated current production of 1.-235,600 barrels.
When Thompson said he did not favor a two-day closing, another commissioner, Lon Smith, asked who had been responsible for the talk of the greater shutdown period.
Thompson replied he previously had considered a two-day closing might be necessary.
The position of some F.ast Texas operators that they have been discriminated against in favor of other fields entered into tire hearing soon after it began.
t v ^ RODESSA, La., Feb. 18.—(AP)—Twenty persons were wa* ^HatH^°rTtTnPri known dead today, killed by a tornado that roared during last
g< ne on an errs i night’s blackness into this rich Rodessa oil field town. Two ad
ditional were believed dead and scores were injured.
Unofficial estimates in the confusion attendant to the disaster placed the number of dead at between 25 and 30 persons, several of whom were still unaccounted for and the injured between 60 and IOO.
The tornado struck at 9:45 o’clock during heavy rains that raked adjoining portions of Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas and crashed “Supply Row” in the business section of Rodessa, causing an estimated j
FDR Moves For Price Balance
Problem Already Being Attacked,
He Tells Press
WASHINGTON, Feb. 18. OP)— President Roosevelt made public an interdepartmental committee report today declaring the administration's program "seeks a balanced system of pricts such as will promote a balanced expansion in production.”
He said thus did not mean inflation or further devaluation of the dollar.
To ll Low Here
Abilene On South Fringe Of Snow And Sleet Belt
Changes in the Austrian cabinet brought new hope to Nazis favoring closer cooperation with Germany. Among those involved in the shifts was Gido Schmidt <above >, who became foreign affairs minister.
More cold weather is in prospect for the Abilene area tonight.
The mercury took a dip to 27 degrees for today’s minimum after a night that brought light rain, sleet and snow.
‘ Mostly cloudy and much colder tonight, hard freeze” is the prediction for this section. Saturday is to be partly cloudy with rising temperatures.
The moisture amounted to .23 inch, to bring tile week's total here to more than an inch.
FRUIT GROWERS ALARMED Prospects of a hard freeze caused , a,‘prehension among fruit growers. ( At Clyde all was wfel* this morning, : with a low temperature of 28 de-First snow blanket of the new year w’as on the ground at Stamford this morning, estimated at one , inch. This will make the moisture | total for the week there over four inches.
grees, light sleet and snow. But not even the moisture received this , week can protect the already blooming peaches, plums and pears j
$250,000 to $500,000 property damage within a space of less than five minutes.
WATER VALLEY HIT
It then bounded out toward Arkansas to the northeast and ended up in a path across north Missis- j Sippi, causing several thousands of dollars in property damage around ; Water Valley.
There were no casualties at Water Valley but felled trees clogged streets, windows were blown out of residences and outhouses were levelled.
Pitiful stories were told by sur- . vivors in the Rodessa area where oil derricks and construction woik were laid low and gas and oil spouted. adding to the danger of fires.
Continued heavy precipitation interfered seriously with rescue work and it was with great difficulty that the Injured were removed to hospitals in nearby cities, Shreve-
Seas Buffet Ship
BOSTON, Feb. 18. -J’—Helpless
with 51 persons aboard, a vessel identified onl> as tbs S. S. Azalea wallowed in the pounding North Atlantic today with her propeller gone, while the coast guard cutter Tahoe steamed 300 miles to her ald.
What Is Your NEWS I. Q.?
Sale Of Rodeo Ducais Pushed
Towns Announce Welcome Plans For Trippers
Local advance ticket sale for the world's championship rodeo to be held here March 1-3 took on new vigor today. Roscoe Blankenship and W. P. Wright, first team to report, sold 75 of the advance ducats in one building.
Meanwhile, welcome arrange-j ments from towns on the itinerary | of the Rotary club tour next Tuesday were being received at the -
'chamber of commerce office and abilene «n,i vicinity; Mostly cloudy
and much colder with hard freer* tonight; announcement of the schedule for Saturday partK cloudy with ruing temperature
Commenting on the report which declared that Ai the present situa-
..... . tion a “moderate rise in the general
! port, And Vivian, La., and Atlanta, price level is desirable, and that
Early this morning gov. Richard W. Leche of Louisiana sent Captain Murphy J. Roden, assistant superintendent of state police to Rodessa to direct rescue work.
CI EARING SLOW PROCESS Although martial law was not declared, several scores of national guardsmen, armed, were placed about the ruins of Rodessa to protect them from sightseers and main-
By AP Feature Service.
Each question counts 20; each part of a two-part question. IO. A score of 60 is fair; 80 good.
1. Who is this man? What government agency docs he head?
2. What anniversary are Methodists observing this year?
3. Did Representative Siro\ich suggest that the U. S. get rid of Japanese fishermen in Alaskan waters by ta) dropping warnings from a plane, (b) protesting to Toyko, or tc) bombing them?
4. What English invention Is designed to enable a heavily-loaded plane to fly without the usual take-off?
5. The London naval treaty of 1936 set no limit to the size of ships. True or false? Did Japan sign it? Answers on page six,
the Kiwanis club tour the same day was released.
Ollie Clarke, secretary manager of the Albany chamber of commerce notified fair association officials that the Rotary group would receive a hearty welcome in Albany. Hunter M. Jones of the Breckenridge chamber of commerce sent assurances of proper entertainment for the group and the presence of a delegation of citizens at luncheon.
Schedule for the Kiwanis tom: leave Abilene at 9 o’clock. Lawn, 9:30 to 9:50; Goldsboro, 10:15 to 1C:25; Novice 10:40 to 10:50; Silver Valley, 11:05 to 11:15: Coleman,
11:30 to 130 (lunch with Kiwanis club); Valera. I 45 to 1:55; Talpa. 2:10 to 2:20; Benoit. 2:35 to 2:45; Ballinger, 3:00 to 3:40; Hatchell, 3:55 to 4:05: Winters. 4:20 to 4:45; Bradshaw. 5:05 to 5:20; Ovalo, 5:35 to 5:45; Tuscola. 550 to 6:10. Arrive in Abilene 6:40.
The tour will cover 147 miles with « scheduled running time of 4 1-2 J. I. Moore and
Several dozen special deputies al-Dioommg peaches, plums and pean I Jn t0 aid m the re-
from a hard freeze, it was pointed ... def dlrectlon 0f the Red
Abilene was in the southern Continued rains and sloppy conynge of the snow and sleet belt. d mad the clearm? up of
Haskell reported snow varying from dcbrLs a slow proceM after oil trucks half to three fourth of an , had hauled
away the dead and injured in sight.
Bodies of several persons were terribly mangled and twisted into portions of metal, roof, shattered building materials and debris in general.
The tornado cut a half mile path ! through the town and blew' down a ; half dozen derricks. Rescuers unable to penetrate east of the railroad tracks said they feared a group of cabins there had been struck. POWER SYSTEM FAILS Ors. Morrison and Holt said many of the injured were in a critical condition.
The storm struck at 9:42 p. rn. It blew in from the north and roared like a freight train, witnesses said.
inch blanketing that section.
At Munday, it was still cloudy with a low- temperature of 25 degrees, and two to three inches of snow on the ground after an all-night flurry. Snow stopped about 8:30 this morning.
Quanah reported between 3 and
See WEATHER, Pg. J5. Col. 8
West TVxa.- Fair, coner in southeast and central portion* temperance near freesia* in southea.'-t portion Ionium; Sat- ______
, For two minutes it swirled along
hast Texas: Mostly cloudy and much 4
Colder, hard free** in rth portion ’em- Supply Street, leveling litany t\et>
perjure near freezing in interior of south structure ill a block and a half
portion tonight; Saturday partly cloudy. I „
colder on i an. ruing temperature in! square area. Small frame houses
I’REt IPI r \TIO\ ;
24 hour# ending 6:30 a. rn. Fn. 23 inch
Since first of year..... .....2.28 inches
Same period last ....... 0(1 inch
Normal since first of \ear .... I 59 inches
Highest temperature yesterday ....38 Lowest to lo a. rn. Pits moraine .."7 TEMPERATl’REf
r*rv thermometer . 36* Wet thermometer . 36* Relative humidity . 98
a.m. 12.33 p.m. 29* 3ft*
hours. Leon Ranson, J. I. Moore ana iv%wi pc E. H. Moore are members of the •'vlACj tour committee. W. V. Womack is > — ——
^",htlnt'r''lulir'1,l“;R0ARIN6 OVER BUENOS AIRES
collapsed like cracker boxes, tumbling in on their occupants.
The pow’er system failed, throwing the town into darkness.
Communication and power lines snapped, crackled and dangled dangerously throughout the area. Oil derricks toppled. One fell across a highway, blocking traffic. Another, uprooted and carried from the well, permitted oil to blow wild.
Eddie Hill, a 20-year-old oil field worker, said the tornado “sounded like a huge freight train rumbling through the town.”
He was sitting with his wife in their hotel room discussing the storm when they heard a “terrific roar.” They rushed into the street.
"There was plenty of confusion,” lie said. “People were running about wildly and some asked what
Sec TORNADO, Fg. 16. Col. 3
this rise need not and shou* r tat extend to all prices,” the president at a press conference, anticipating questions as to what was to be done about it, said the problem was be- i ing attacked on a good many fronts.
He said examples of steps already taken toward recovery and a better balance of prices were the new farm act, the new’ housing construction program and the added $250,000,000 for relief. He added all these elements would help.
Does the program mean inflation? the president asked himself and replied with a flat no.
Mr. Roosevelt gave the same answer to a self asked query wheth-
See FOR. Pf. 15, Cot 8
Dr. Townsend On Way To Jail Cell
LOS ANGELES. Feb. 18 —b—Dr Francis E. Townsend. 71, gray haired, bespectacled old age pension leader, was on his way by train today to Washington, D. C., to serve a jail term for contempt.
The Long Beach physician, who walked out on the bell congression-i a1 committee which was questioning him on how his $200-a-month pension campaign was financed, left last night amid the cheers of several hundred followers.
They sang songs, and several women wept.
Behind the jail bars. Dr. Townsend plans to finish writing a book about his life and philosophy.
Merkel Trode Board Names Warren Head
MERKEL, Feb. 18— (Spl.>—Dt-| rectors of the Merchants Trade Extension association cf Merkel I met last night to elect officers and 1 discuss plans for a summer recreation program.
Booth Warren was elected presi-, dent, R. T. Graves vice-president, 1 Joe P. Self treasurer, and C. J. Glover secretary.
Final decision was not made on the program recommendations. For the past four years the association has sponsored a series of free rodfos summer entertainment, and sports contests.
Ranger Request Not Received Says Allred
AUSTIN, Feb. 18— (UP)—Request for ranger interference at San Antonio where police are prohibiting picketing the pecan shellers has not reached Gov. James V. Allred, he said today on arriving home from Washington.
The governor came In on a train delayed by North Texas floods. He said if there were any requests or communications he would see them * the office later today, and would have no statement to make until Afternoon.
Flying Fortresses' End 5,OOO-Mile Good Will Hop
BUENOS AIRES. Feb. 18 .—(/PT— | A squadron of five huge bombers of the United States army roared over j Buenos Aires at 11:08 a. rn. Eastern Standard time, today at the end of a 5.000-mile good will flight from Miami. Fla.
The planes approached El Palo- J mar military air base with their 20 motors—four on each of the "flying fortresses’’—performing excellently. They had come from the United States with only one stop. at Lima, Peru. ® I
They completed the 2.500-mile Luna-Buenos Aires leg in a little more than 12 hours. The first plane swept down to a graceful landing or El Palomar field one minute after the squadron Lew over the city.
The sixth plane of the original squadron which yesterday flew nonstop from Miami, Fla., to Lima. Peru,—2.695 miles In 15 hours and 40 minutes—followed the others from the Peruvian capital.
Oritz, Argentina's president-eltct.
It had been held up at Lima by
GRAPHIC STORY OF HAVOC WREAKED AT MERTZON
Top photo shows all that waa left standing of M. H. Wagner’s Sinclair gasoline and oil storage plant in Mertzon Thursday morning after the southwestern had vented its fury. And the tanks showing were emptied of
9.000 gallons of gasoline through burst pipes. To the left rear is seen the shambles of Mexican shack homes.
Jim Longs home (middle photo) a mile southwest of Mertzon, was made into match
kindling as if a giant hand had smashed dowm on a child's box toy.
S. P. Spurlin's home (bottom photo) was twisted off its foundation and the roof crushed in, making almost a total wreck of th? residence as pictured.
THREE SUSPECTS IN TRI STATE Towns Survey FORGERY GANG FACE CHARGES Storm Damage
Taylor And Jones County Officers Take Trio In Custody At Wichita Falls
E. A. Wilcher, 34. believed to be the “king pin” of a forgery gang operating from Shreveport, La., to Hobbs, New Mexico, was charged in Justice of Peace Theo Ash's court this morning with unlawfully making a false instrument in writing with the intent to injure and defraud. Wilcher waived examining trial and his bond was set at IECXX).
Two other members of the gang.
I Lester Harvey and G. M Biles, were charged with forgery in Anson this morning, two cases being filed against each man. They are to bv
brought to Abilene later to answer similar charges.
Biles was charged with cashing j forged checks at Pittard drug store in Anson and Crump s cafe in Stamford, each check being for $29 *0
propeller trouble. Adjustments were quickly made, however, and Major J V. Meloy, its commander, was able to take off seven hours and 20 minutes after departure of the other five.
The six ships carried 49 men and the flight from Miami was the longest non-stop flight ever made by the United States army air corps.
On Sunday the visitors will take part In ceremonies connected with the inauguration of Roberto M.
Ex-Convict Charged In Officer Shooting
Patrolman Key Is Recovering
AUSTIN. Feb. 18.—(T—W E. Garner, youthful ex-convict, today faced charges of assault with attempt to murder and robber; with firearms as an aftermath to the wounding yesterday of Highway Patrolman C. H4 Key. Key is ’•* covering.
Gamer, who was shot and captured n^a ■ Buckholts, said 'Im not saying I didn’t do it; I Just don't remember.”
The 50-mile crime ride started near Hearne, Robertson county, where Key was shot in a scuffle while he was trying to administer first aid to a woman who had been a passenger in an automobile driven bv Garner. The automobile had crashed.
Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher Willis, Cape Giiarcieau. Mo.. Mr. and Mrs. William Tripp? of Reno. Nev., and E. D. Blalock of Aransas Pass, had been picked un on the highway. It was Mrs. Willis who was injured.:
16 Injured, IOO Homeless; Five Buildings Razed
MERTZON. Feb. 18.—(Ah—Residents of the West Texas towns ol Mertzon and Sherwood surveyed Harvey was held on charges that, the damage today of a tornado that he passed forged checks to Yates jeft 1(J persons injured and IOO drug in Stamford and Barnes drug I h ltf& A 5COre 0f buildings were in Anson, these checks also being for $29.70 each. ( damaged.
Biles is to be charged here with Five buildings here were demol-cashing a $29 70 check at Waikow ished. A dozen buildings and nu-dry goods store. The check was drawn on M. P. Delaney, drilling contractor. A check-up showed that no such account was carried bv the Dallas bank on which the
^WikhV/andUir two men held at ! Spital. 35 miles from here. Other, Anson were arrested in Wichita | seriously injured included Sweet
merous windmills and tanks were wrecked at Sherwood.
Three-year-old Manuelo Martinea was near death in a San Angelo
Falls yesterday by Deputy Sheriff Ruck Sibley, Police Captain W. W. West and Sheriff Jim Lee Gordon of Jones county.
Wilcher declined to make any statement in writing to County Attorney Esco Walter when arraigned this moning but talked freely about his business. He gave Haynesville La., as his home address, stated i that he w as a cousin of the sheriff in that parish and also claimed to have known the late Huey Long personally. Wilcher gives oil well drilling as his profession.
Davis, 40, agent for an oil company, and Mrs. Viente Martinez, 26.
The storm whipped in from th«
southwest early yesterday, hit the business section and part of the residential area, and struck again a few minutes later at Sherwood.
Abilenians' Daughter Hurt In Auto Crash
BIG SPRING. Feb. 18.—(**>—
Sibley and West stated after their i Mrs. L. D Chrane of Big Spring
wa?, in a serious condition at local hospital as the result of a car crash 1° miles east of here early
return from Wichita Falls that the chain of bad checks similar to those known to have been cashed by the
men held extended over 15 or 20. .. , . .
counties in Texas, as well as in today. Che suffered back injuries. Louisiana and New Mexico. Ah Her husband and John C. Short, were written on drilling contrac- driver 0f A tank truck with which tors who didn’t exis* and most the chranes car collided were discharged after emergency treatment at, the hospital.
1 Chrane wrestled in Abilene last night, meeting Bob Cummings in the curtain raiser at the Sporta-torium.
Mrs. Chrane, the former Margaret Weed, daughter of Mr. ansi Mrs. J. T Weed. 1642 North Eighth, accompanied her husband here yesterday.
checks were for $29.70.
Urges Wool Fund
WASHINGTON, Feb. 18. UP'— Representative South (D-Tex)
I said he had urged a house appropriations subcommittee to approve a $40,000 item in the agriculture department appropriations bill for [the continuance of wool research.