TexasEscapes.com  
HOME : : NEW : : TEXAS TOWNS : : GHOST TOWNS : : TEXAS HOTELS : : FEATURES : : COLUMNS : : BUILDINGS : : IMAGES : : ARCHIVE : : SITE MAP
PEOPLE : : PLACES : : THINGS : : HOTELS : : VACATION PACKAGES
TEXAS TOWNS
Texas Escapes
Online Magazine
Texas | Features | Books

Henderson (Rusk County) Tornado
1866

By Marlene Bradford

During the Civil War the Masonic Lodge organized the Henderson Masonic Female Institute at Henderson. The school held its classes in the old Methodist Church building about fifty yards east of a newer building that housed the Masonic Lodge and the Henderson Masonic Institute (for males).

Shortly after noon on December 5, 1866, a tornado formed about four miles southwest of Henderson and roared toward the town. Several buildings on the outskirts of town were destroyed. The storm toppled gravestones at the old city cemetery and demolished businesses and homes along its two hundred-yard wide path through Henderson. On the second floor of the male school building the Masons had adjourned from a meeting only twenty minutes before the tornado demolished the structure. Four students on the first floor died when the building collapsed around them. Loss of life might have been greater, but most of the boys were outside enjoying their lunch break when the storm struck. The old church building that housed the female academy was moved several inches off its foundation, but no young women were killed. Two died in a home about fifty yards west of the institute.

© Marlene Bradford
February 1, 2015 guest column

Wood County Texas  1920s  map
Rusk County 1920s map showing Henderson
Courtesy Texas General Land Office
See Texas Tornadoes: The Lone Star State’s Deadliest Twisters

See
Henderson


Related Topics:

Texas Storms
Texas Towns
Texas History
Texas Books
Columns
Texas

Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic photos, please contact us.

Custom Search
TEXAS ESCAPES CONTENTS
HOME | TEXAS ESCAPES ONLINE MAGAZINE | HOTELS | SEARCH SITE
TEXAS TOWN LIST | TEXAS GHOST TOWNS | TEXAS COUNTIES

Texas Hill Country | East Texas | Central Texas North | Central Texas South | West Texas | Texas Panhandle | South Texas | Texas Gulf Coast
TRIPS | STATES PARKS | RIVERS | LAKES | DRIVES | FORTS | MAPS

Texas Attractions
TEXAS FEATURES
People | Ghosts | Historic Trees | Cemeteries | Small Town Sagas | WWII | History | Texas Centennial | Black History | Art | Music | Animals | Books | Food
COLUMNS : History, Humor, Topical and Opinion

TEXAS ARCHITECTURE | IMAGES
Courthouses | Jails | Churches | Gas Stations | Schoolhouses | Bridges | Theaters | Monuments/Statues | Depots | Water Towers | Post Offices | Grain Elevators | Lodges | Museums | Rooms with a Past | Gargoyles | Cornerstones | Pitted Dates | Stores | Banks | Drive-by Architecture | Signs | Ghost Signs | Old Neon | Murals | Then & Now
Vintage Photos

TRAVEL RESERVATIONS | USA | MEXICO

Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Contributors | Staff | Contact TE
Website Content Copyright Texas Escapes. All Rights Reserved