Stormy Weather in Kentucky
The Storms of 1933
NEW From the May 17, 1933 edition of the Adair County News
Louisville Courier-Journal, Tuesday, May 9, 1933, section 1, page 1:
forecast for Kentucky and Tennessee: 'Showers and thunderstorms Tuesday, cooler
Tuesday night; Wednesday generally fair and cool.'
Louisville Courier-Journal, Wednesday, May 10, 1933, section 1, page 1:
'6 Killed as Gale Hits City, State'. Article deals mostly with damage in
Jefferson County KY and deaths & property damage in Tompkinsville KY. No
mention made of Adair or surrounding counties.
Louisville Courier-Journal, Thursday, May 11, 1933, section 1, pages 1 and 2:
headline across top of section 1, page 1: '37 Dead is State Tornado Toll'. Under
that, the sub-headlines read 'Bodies of 20 Discovered in Russell [County]';
'Scores Injured, 36 Seriously, as Storm Strikes Near Russell Springs'; '15 are
Dead in Monroe [County]'; 'Tennessee Reports 22 Killed, 20 at Beaty Swamps in
Overton County'. There's also a photograph captioned 'Tompkinsville Storm
of local, State and National relief agencies turned toward Russell County
Wednesday night when it was learned Tuesday night's tornado in South Central
Kentucky had taken its heaviest toll there, with twenty reported dead and
thirty-six injured seriously.
reports by messengers and later by partially restored telephone communication
brought the total reported deaths in Kentucky to thirty-seven.
its way in a broad arc through the counties of Monroe, Metcalfe, Adair and
Russell in Kentucky and accounting for thirty seven dead, the storm apparently
jumped the border line counties and swooped down again in Overton and Wilson
Counties, Tennessee, taking twenty-two more lives.
Tennessee, the storm did its greatest damage at Beaty Swamps, Overton County,
where twenty were killed and at least sixteen injured seriously. In Wilson
County two were killed.
in Monroe County [Kentucky] from which first reports of the catastrophe were
received late Tuesday night, discovered early Wednesday that the dead numbered
many more than first estimated, and at nightfall a total of fifteen bodies had
county [Kentucky] was struck by the storm near Columbia and two dead and eight
injured were reported. Six were injured in Metcalfe County [Kentucky].
[State] Board [of Health] previously had sent Robert Harris, also an assistant
sanitary engineer, into the storm-stricken counties of Adair and Monroe. It also
sent supplies of gauze, cotton, adhesive and other first-aid equipment.
soon as reports of the serious losses were received by the board Wednesday
morning, supplies, including tetanus antitoxin and chlorinated lime, were sent
to the are where the storm struck. Both Monroe and Adair County reported they
had sufficient medical personnel and nurses to cope with the situation.
to J.W. Hill, attorney at Russell Springs, at least sixteen bodies had been
found in Russell County, names of fourteen being given, and the most seriously
injured included thirty being treated in the Russell Springs Hotel and six in a
physician's office at Jamestown.
list of those killed in Russell, Monroe, and Adair counties is identical (with
the exception of minor variations in the spellings of given names) to the list
in the Wayne County Outlook.]
Adair County, the storm killed Robert Duvall and a Negro woman, Bessie Jones.
Six other members of the Duvall family, including the parents, Mr. and Mrs. Al
Duvall and four other children were injured seriously as their home crashed in
the storm. They are in critical condition at Elizabeth Hospital, Lebanon [Marion
The online KY death record abstracts show
an Ernestine Duvall, age 7, died in Adair County on 9 May 1933
an Alfred Dewball, age 55, died in Marion County on 11 May 1933. (Residence of
the deceased was rarely shown on pre-1940 KY death certificates.
relationship, if any, of these individuals to the Duvall family mentioned above
is unknown to me. There's no death record (that I can find) for a Robert Duvall
(died 1933), nor is there one for a Bessie Jones.