old jail right on the edge of the road - The only building left standing in Glazier
after the 1947 tornado. Photo courtesy Barclay
Gibson, July 2009|
in a Pecan Shell|
Glazier was born with the arrival of the Panhandle and Santa Fe Railway.
It was reportedly named for one H. C. Glazier, who was a friend of the man whose
ranch provided the townsite. For the curious, merchant J. F. Johnson was the man,
and the town was platted in 1887. Glazier became a cattle shipping point and a
grain elevator at the railroad made it a grain shipping point as well.
By 1915 Glazier had a healthy population of 300 but the following year an expansion
of the Santa Fe railroad drew off much of the cattle and wheat business.
In June of 1916 most of the business district was destroyed in a fire.
By 1920 the population had been reduced to about half of the 1915 population
Disaster gave Glazier a break until April
1947 when a tornado struck - killing 12 of the remaining townfolk.
The post office closed in 1959 and by the mid 80s no businesses were reported
Hotels > Book
Your Hotel Here & Save
and Higgins Tornado of April, 1947
Dear TE, The recent pictures of the Greenburg, Kansas tornado brought back
memories of the tornado that hit Hemphill County back in 1947. I was 12 years
old on April 9, 1947 when I witnessed the tornado that hit Higgins
and Glazier. It was just southwest of the airport at Canadian,
Texas, where my father Thomas L. McCurdy was the airport manager. The tornado
was so large that there were five or six smaller twisters circling the main column.
The tornado was so close that the air seemed to be all sucked up. It was such
weird feeling. The main tornado lifted as it crossed the South Canadian River
but went back on the ground after reaching the north side. We were so frightened
by it, that we talked about it for hours after it had passed. The next morning
someone was banging on the door at the airport. The man who ran the paper at Canadian
was saying that Glazier was wiped out. My dad flew the photographer over the area
and took the original pictures of the devastation. After returning to the airport,
my dad flew back to Glazier and landed on the highway to pick up two of the injured
and bring them back to the Canadian hospital. He remained in that plane for the
next two days flying people from Higgins
and Glazier because the highway from Canadian to Higgins was impassable. All the
barbed wire and telephone/ telegraph lines were twisted together and wove back
and forth on the highway for many miles. Cars couldn't drive over it because of
the barbed wire, so Dad's airplane was the main lifeline between Canadian
and the other two towns. On the second day the Army flew in with stretcher planes
and helped. Dadís plane was a Stinson Voyager with a stretcher in it. He could
carry one in the stretcher and one in the back seat. I donít know how many trips
he made but I know he was in the airplane for two solid days. The local gasoline
dealer brought kerosene smuge pots to the airport and lined both sides of the
runaway. They did the same in Glazier and Higgins
and he flew all night long to bring the injured to Canadian.
The basements of the Baptist and Methodist churches were filled with injured people
after the hospital had run out of room. The high school gym was also used. Even
though I was only twelve at the time, my memories of that event remain vivid.
- Otto W. (Bill) McCurdy, Houston Texas, May 14, 2007
Hello, Editor! Today I am writing about April 9, 1947 in
Glazier,Texas. I am the grandson of a victim of the 1947 tornado there. My grandfather
was in Amarillo that day and when he went back home April 10, 1947 at 10:30 AM
he said he found his home totally destroyed. He told me only one damaged structure
remained standing. All his cows were gone or dead on the floor with other animals.
His diner was completely wiped out and only ripped clothes and mud was left in
the entire home village. - Sebastian Lara Velazco-Weiss, September 24, 2006
town of Glazier
My dad, Richard King, was born April 10, 1947 in Perryton,
Texas. There was only one doctor and one nurse at the hospital because all
other medical personel had been sent to help with the tornado victims of Glazier.
- Sharon Thomas, Pampa, Texas, July 20, 2006
The tornado that destroyed Glazier actually occurred on
April 9th, 1947. It moved on to destroy much of Higgins, then to Woodward, Ok.,
before moving into Kansas, thus making it the Tri-State Tornado of 1947. The only
building left standing in Glazier was the jail cell pictured.
missed fact...the tornado was one of the most destructive and deadly in US history,
but was eclipsed one week later by the colossal Texas City Explosion of the Grandcamp
and High Flier.....Kenny, Wimberley, Texas, April 25, 2006