This summary looks back at an estimated F3 tornado from December 12, 1928. It crossed through parts of Angelina County, TX. Information for this event came from the following resources:
- Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes
- Newspaper articles via newspapers.com
Here are the stats on this event from Thomas Grazulis:
Hit at 1715 local time. There were six injuries and two fatalities. The path length was five miles and the width 100 yards. Rating given: F3.
Details from Grazulis:
- Moved North near Zavalla. Two homes completely destroyed here.
- A “substantial” home of the “well-known Jones family” was swept away. The owner was killed.
- A woman near Sulphur Springs was killed when tall pine trees fell on her home.
Additional Details from newspapers:
Here is a clip from the December 13, 1928 edition of The Vernon Daily Record, about Mrs. C.C. Fridell, the woman killed near Sulphur Springs:
I could not find information on the “well-known Jones family” mentioned by Grazulis in his book. He states that the owner was killed in Angelina County. There were several reports from the newspapers at the time of a John Jones, tenant farmer who was killed in Tenaha. That is in Shelby County. He lived on the Board Plantation. His wife and four children were hurt. There was a tornado in Shelby County mentioned in Grazulis’ book. He gave it a path length of 10 miles and a rating of F2.
I will have to do more research, but there may be only 1 fatality associated with this tornado.
Other details from the December 13, 1928 edition of The Vernon Daily Record:
- The home of Allen Shievers was “blown down on the occupants.” Shievers along with his wife and children were buried under the debris but escaped with minor injuries.
- J.H. Wideman was another storm victim. The walls and roof of the room he was in were torn away, “leaving him sitting on a trunk.”
A note about “Sulphur Springs”. I had to look this up as the only Sulphur Springs I knew about was the one in Hopkins County, TX. Per the Texas State Historical Association, “Sulphur Springs is on U.S. Highway 69 twenty-four miles southeast of Lufkin in southeastern Angelina County. In the 1930s, the settlement was the site of a logging camp, a church, and a number of houses. Many of the residents later left the area, but as late as the 1980s a church and store remained in the vicinity. Though Sulphur Springs was shown on county highway maps in 2000, no population estimates were available.”
I found a “Sulphur Springs Church” on Google Maps. It is location with a Zavalla address south of town. I used that to put an approximate location for Sulphur Springs on the track map below.
Since we don’t have official coordinates, I used the information from Thomas Grazulis to map the tornado track. He stated the tornado moved to the north near Zavalla for 5 miles.
Approximate Coordinates based on Grazulis:
Start: 31.099234/-94.433105 End: 31.173432/-94.433918
Note: Exact tornado path may not be straight and/or continuous.
Grazulis, Thomas P. (1993). Significant Tornadoes 1680-1991: A Chronology and Analysis of Events. St. Johnsbury, VT: The Tornado Project of Environmental Films. Page 822.
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