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

Here are the stats on this event from Thomas Grazulis:

Hit at 1715 local time.  There were 6 injuries and 2 fatalities.  The path length was 5 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.

Tornado Path

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.  The start and end points are unknown.

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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