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Lauderdale County History


The Great Meridian Cyclone of 1906

A Lauderdale County Web Exclusive
by Bill White


The Great Cyclone of 1906
Known Killed and Injured*



The information provided below is a consolidation of the lists of deceased appearing in the newspapers of the era.  Although many of these publications report that these names are taken from the “official” list of the city, one should not simply accept the veracity of these statements.  There appear to have been no “official” death notice documents released.

  1. Patrick (P. T.) McGinnis, a local man and freight conductor (engineer) for the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, was killed in Elmire’s Restaurant. 

  2. Mrs. J. W. (Ella) Singleton was killed at her home in the East End of Meridian.  The widow of John W. Singleton, she lived at 514 12th Avenue.

  3. Mackey Slaughter (Age 1), Mrs. Singleton’s granddaughter.  She was killed in Mrs. Singleton’s home by the falling roof.

  4. John R. Smith, of Selma, Alabama, an engineer on the Southern Railway, was killed in Elmire’s Restaurant.

  5. William R. Nelson, a former Chief of the Meridian Police Department and liveryman at Thornton’s Livery and Feed Stable, was killed in the collapse of the Thornton Transfer building.  He lived at 3901 8th Street.

  6. James P. Tarry, a Meridian Police Officer, was killed in Thornton’s Transfer Livery and Feed Stable.

  7. Claude P. Williams was killed in the Meyer Neville Hardware Company’s store where he was a salesman.  Williams lived at 2701 11th Avenue.

  8. Cliff Edwards, a flagman for the M&O railroad was killed in Elmire’s restaurant.  He lived at 1007 23rd Avenue.

  9. Mr. James Stewart of Cottondale, Sunflower County, Mississippi, was killed at Union Station.

  10. Clarence Stewart of Cottondale, Sunflower County, Mississippi, was killed at Union Station.  He was the son of James Stewart.

  11. Mrs. B. Smith of Cottondale, Sunflower County, Mississippi, was killed at Union Station.

  12. Colonel B. F. Elmire, Proprietor of Elmire’s Restaurant, initially injured in the collapse of the Restaurant, died a few days after the event.

  13. Edwards (no first name), a baker, was killed in the collapse of Elmire’s Restaurant.

  14. Mr. William Johnson

  15. Mr. Ben Potte (or Potterson) a cook at Elmire’s Restaurant

  16. Mr. Tom Sherrod, a clerk at the New Orleans and Northeastern freight depot

  17. Mr. Ed Brown

  18. Mr. John Ramsey

  19. Mrs. George Cook

  20. Infant White, the infant child of Mr. William White, a black worker at the Union Depot

  21. Mr. Tank Barney, a black worker at the Meridian Fertilizer Factory

  22. Unidentified Barney Child, the child of Mr. Tank Barney, also killed at the Meridian Fertilizer Factory

  23. Mrs. Dunn (first name unknown), a black resident of the Georgetown section of the city

  24. Mr. J. W. Prowell, a rural mail carrier, was killed in Meyer-Neville Hardware.

Further, it should be noted that the following reports were not reconciled in the newspaper accounts.  They may or may not represent additional deaths.

  • Eight unknowns, both black and white, were killed in Georgetown.  Their bodies had been recovered by the morning of 3 March, 1906.

  • Six unknowns, (race unknown), were killed in the fertilizer factory suburb.

  • Eight unknowns, black, found in different sections (excluding Georgetown) of the city.

  • Of the 21 persons in the Elmire Restaurant at the time of the storm, 17 were killed.  This does not reconcile with the known names.


Known Injured

  1. W. A. Garrett, a clerk at Cameron’s Restaurant, suffered a broken leg and other injuries.

  2. Grady Stone (black), suffered a broken leg and other internal injuries.

  3. W. J. Woodside suffered a gash in the head and other serious injuries

  4. T. H. Brown, the Chief Clerk at the Queen and Crescent Railroad, suffered a broken leg and broken ribs.

  5. Earnest Bennett

  6. Frank Woodruff of Anniston, Alabama, a clerk at Meyer-Neville Hardware, suffered a broken foot.

  7. Will Yarborough, of Bryson, Louisiana, a clerk in a local (unidentified) restaurant, minor injuries

  8. A. C. Morrison, unknown injuries

  9. W. H. Joseph of Tennessee, severe burns on back

  10. Ben Sparkman (black), an express driver, unknown injuries

  11. E. W. Dean, a telegraph operator for the Queen and Crescent Railroad, shoulder crushed

 * Where the race of victims was published in the research, that information was noted for genealogy research purposes.  It is believed that those not identified by race are, presumably, white.  However, this may not always be true.  Researchers should use caution when referring to this list.

Return to Part 3:  The Storm Strikes

Return to Part 4:  The Aftermath

Return to Part 5:  The Long Morning After

Continue to View References and Research Materials


Page Last Updated:   Sunday, 19 August 2018

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