The Times Dispatch from Richmond, Virginia on October 2, 1959 · 4
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The Times Dispatch from Richmond, Virginia · 4

Richmond, Virginia
Issue Date:
Friday, October 2, 1959
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ip p P I i F Adligooloomitk1at INEOrVmmkinmongfiaMIOW Searcher Russell Ray Probes Debris Where lith Body Wu Found Child Parts of House Blown 200 'Yards by Tornado in Albemarle 1110101 0 Fr Ma Oct 2 lf:1 Houses Similar to Thls and 100 Yards Away Were Demolished Three Homes in Group Of Five Were Leveled by Wednesday's Winds óiiiad'oe§''in-"AJliéfläi II40:11-th:Vkti':1 - Cantina from First Page Hospital released this list of ' the fatalities early in the day: Mrs Lillie S Bruce 52 wife of Raymond C Bruce Ervin Morris Sr 42 Mrs Frances ' In Morris 42 wife of Ervin r George Morris 40 brother of tf Ervin James Morris 18 son of : t Ervin and Frances Ruby !dor' ris F ' 15 daughter of Ervin and 1 : Frances Wilmer Morris 15 ' crippled -nephew of Ervin and son of Clayton Morris of Ear I lysville Mrs Frances Morris 18 wife of Ervin Morris Jr ' Shirley Ann Morris 3 daughter of Ervin and Frances Morris Jr Peggy Morris nearly 2 ' daughter of Ervin and Frances Morris Jr and Michael Mor 2-is 7 months son of Ervin and F rances Morris Jr The injured members of the : Morris family besides Frances : Ann are Ervin Morris Jr 21 : in satisfactory condition at University Hospital and Her bert C Morris 8 son of Ervin and Frances Morris Sr He was t I in satisfactory condition as was v Raymond C Bruce 58 hus- t band of Mrs Lillie S Bruce Other injured persons were treated and released from the hospital or treated by members of their families : I tropical storm Gracie struck with no advance warning Explaining why there was no warning the Weather Bureau said the weather wasn't the type that would justify a continuous watch on the radar screen Radar Images denoting squally weather weren't strong enough to indicate tornadoes the bureau said The first twister whirled down on Ivy about 62:30 pm but did not cause severe damage The second two hours later hit Lindsay's orchard five miles southwest of Ivy It claimed 11 lives then swung north and inflicted heavy darn-age to houses and other buildings at Mechum's River' Rains before and after the tornado es washed out two bridgeaL--' one of them a 60-foot span—and a large drain pipe in the northwestern part of Albemarle The Rivanna river in Charlottesville overflowed its banks during the heavy rain Wednesday night causing an estimated $25000 damage to carnival equipment at the Charlottesville-Albemarle Fair Persons who saw the tor 4k44' 43' Girl The twisters spawned in theinadoes gave vivid descriptions backwash of air from dyingtof the phenomena Ralph Ilol land a service station operator on U S Rt 250 just west of Charlottesville said the 2:30 psn twister was like a huge column of dust" Mr and Mrs C H Lichtfeld of Milwaukee who were visiting David Mc Keith all his home west of Ivy saw a "peculiar white light" from their automobile just before 2:30 Then they saw over the brim of a hill near Iyy what Mrs Lichtfeld described as a towering column from the top of which "things spewed out--way above the highest trees" Her husband said "tops of trees 20 feet long were like balloons in the air around tbe column" M P Mitchell who liVes in 'a Mechurn's River home where General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson is believed to have stopped shortly before the start of his Shenandoah valley campaign said the 4:30 twister caught him by surprise: "I didn't know it was here until it I started tearing down trees" Mitchell said The roof of his tome was torn off by the twister and blown 600 yards away - - —To ?lows Surma Ptak !-rzze i it tine r Liza &hoot b Greene Coomty Wes Destroyed Attheritles Eatntatel D7-7z0 e There at More Than 100003 Staff Photos by Charles nosson and Times-Dispateh News Bureau 1:-4i:p-4k4--: 4po4h:-:foti:Jo--' of Family :'4$-- By Larry Week ley " Times:Diapatch Staff Writer Ivy Oct 1—It was the end of everything Wednesday for 10 members -of a simple Albemarle county family named Morris It could hardly have come more quickly or more violently The weather which often stranded them two miles back up the dirt road where they lived ended their lives in a burst of wrath For the Morris ftunily the day began like many others It was raining and the men didn't go to their laborers' jobs at a Crozet lumber yard where they earned a dollar an hour - Two daughters did walk the two milés and catch a school bus leaving 13 members of the family at home In the days when the W z Lindsay apple orchard was fruitful the Morris house was used as a bunkhouse for apple pickers Lindsay is in his nineties now and his orchard doesn't produce much any more neighbors said He rented the bunkhouse to the Morris family for 515 a dons month actording to Raymond H ol- E Bruce36 another Lindsay tenant - ator Lived In Three Rooms t of The bunkhouse was a wooden 2 30 structure of three rooms on the iuge main floor- Below was a storage cellar and above was a sin- gle hig attic room which the Lelu Morris family didn't use Ttle Isa 15 of them lived in three monis e The house had electric lights l'Ita0r and an old refrigerator There u was no plumbing Water had to be toted in from a spring mitn Three of the men in the fain-Mrs Hy each had an automobile wer- several years old which they ) of kept parked beside the dwell-way Mg Their supervisors- at the Her R L Yancey Lumber CO said 20 the four Morris men who It In worked there never came to work as many as five days a s in week - here One reason for this was rail" transportation difficulties Two lave of the men couldn't read and tart therefore couldn't qualify for am- state driver's permits - s ter Good Workers "They were good workers lere when they got here" R L own Yency Jr said Thursday "But roof two or three of them had been the caught for driving without trds licenses so we usually sent a truck back there to pick them up in the morning But we didn't do it on rainy days be- cause we can't work the men in the rain and we would have had to turn around and take them home again" The Morris men were Ervin 1 Morris Sr about 42 his broth er George Morris about 40 1 7' Ervin Morris Jr 21 and James Morris 18 James was a son of Ervin Sr Also living in the house was I Ervin Sr's wife Mrs Frances Morris about 40 and their I younger children Ruby Morris younger Ichildren These were t Ruby Morris 15 Georgia Mor- t his 13 Mary Morris 11 Her- t bert Morris 8 Frances Ann Morris 5 r 'The oldest Morris son Otis s 23 married five years ago and s moved to Afton with his wife The next oldest Ervin Ir 21 s married about four Years ago 1 After shifting about for them- g selves Ervin Jr and his Nile Frances 18 moved in with fi his parents about a year ago Ervin Jr and his wife had three ihildren— Shirley Ann n 3 Peggy 2 and Michael 7- C months—and all of this younger family lived in the bunk- n I house too The 15th occuPant was Wihner Morris 15 a crip- S pled nephew of Ervin Sr C When the day was over all b k of the 13 at home that day except Ervin Jr Frances Ann and Herbert were dead d The day which for the Mot' 0 rises started with rain saw e more and harder rain later in t the morning About 2:30 pm e the firit of at least six tor- nadoes in the central Virginia n area was seen in the Ivy area k It kept raining the next two hours At about 4:30 pm a a tornado came to Lindsay's or- chard Its 'approach was seen e by a neighbor of the Morris t family Raymond C Bruce 58 t whose wife was killed "It was a big black twirling Y thing" he said - - One of the Morris men must - e have seen it coming- too a cause Bruce saw him running toward the house Whether he made it and what the rest of the family was doing at this moment only the three sur vivors can know They are in the hospital unable to talk : about it Warm Sun A warm sun shone into the orchard Thursday in from a bright-blue sky sPan" gled with fluffy white clouds I On the ground in a 1000-yardr ong hollow and up the hillsides was the tangled debris of three houses and apple packing sheds 1 It was hard to find two boards still nailed together The door was wrenched off the old re frigerator which was slammed 100 yards up the hollow The first people to reach the scene may have been the two I daughters who had gone to school Their school bus was late and they arrived home about 5 pm with a neighbor boy Paul Evam 14 who told a reporter: "We could see trees were down Mary and Georgia went on over the hills to their house and heard one of them start crying for her mother I went down there and found two of t their brothers dead "Everything was torn up One of the men wak 500 yards up the hollow He was all mangled About 200 yards from t where the house was I saw a man and a little boy and a ! little girl lying close together The MEW'S arm was over them like he was trying to protect t them I guess he couldn't do much" - Phone Lino Deed Paul led the two sisters back up to his mother's house where 3 he tried to phone for an arnbu- ! lance The phone line was dead 5 It was not known who got ''- out of the orchard and made '1 It to the nearest working phone But the county sheriff W S Cook and ambulances began to arrive a little after 6 pm It took rescue workers three hours to find 10 bodies The llth was found at daybreak Thursday Three of the injured and killed were found in an autrimobile Sheriff Cook said he was told a Negro maid from the Lindsay house caMe down the hill picked the three off the ground and put them into the car out of the rain Dr E D Davis Jr the Albemerle county medical examiner said most of them died instantly "It was God's will I guess" said an in-law Mrs Janie May Toombs of Ivy "They were good people" ( Otis Morris arrived from Afton during the morning "Nobody told me anything" he said "I can't believe it And Mum- 1- ma and Daddy Oh God Oh God" - - ' t A funeral service for the 10 members of the Morris family fv was tentatively set for 2 pm - Saturday at Hebron Baptist Church Nelson county with burial in the church cemetery Raymond E Bruce Ponders Tornado Tragedy at !tubs of His Homo He and His Family Were Away His Mother Was Killed In House Nearby k N National Guardsmen Clear Road to Spot Tornado Struck Uprooted and Broken Trees Hindered Efforts of Rescuers 1ftwxdcqctilirvemermnetsummomp73 1 sp 4 i N! V V9001f MFMMU“VMff11M 11 icon Mk s Istorie Rome at Itlechum's rblver Dated by Twister - Stonewall Jackson Stopped Here On Way To Famous Valley Campaign I 4) I 4 I a - 4 tichona Tirzes-Vx ww- -w- -&- j - - --- --- :

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