Sunday, January 30, 2011

Bexar tornado in 1924

Newspapers are a wonderful source of information and often an underused research tool by genealogists.  I found the following death information about my great-great grandfather, Samuel Lewis Cofield's, first cousin James Lewis Cofield.  The Cofield cousins, Sam and Lewis, were grandsons of Thomas Nathan Cofield and among the very few Cofields who left Randolph County, Alabama in the late 1800's for western Alabama.

The newspaper article, dated May 29, 1924 was abstracted by Bob Franks and published in the Spring 2010 issue of Itawamba Settlers magazine.   For my purpose, I have only included the portion referencing the Cofield family.   On Monday evening, May 27, 1924, a tornado struck the community of Evergreen in western Itawamba County, killing one and destroying many homes and businesses.  Damage was also done at Van Buren and James Creek before the tornado moved on across the state line at Bexar, Alabama.

"At Bexar, Ala., Mrs. Lewis Cofield was killed and Mr. Cofield and his son and grandson were hurt.  Mr. Cofield is mail carrier on Bexar Route 2 which comes into this county and supplies mail to quite a number of people.  John Akers and some of his people are said to have been severely wounded.  Several bridges between there and Hamilton are said to be gone, and one bridge between Bexar and Tremont is gone, so that communication is almost cut off from Bexar.  Several residences are said to have been blown away in the Bexar community."

James Lewis Cofield was the son of Cosby Vina Cofield and Nancy Ann Harden, Georgia natives who moved to Randolph County, Alabama.  Lewis may have been the only sibling to move across the state to Marion County. His wife who was killed in the tornado was Ellen Cato Cofield, a second wife, and I show that they had children named Bessie, Cicero, Walter and Prince.  


Anonymous said...

I remember that Mr. Cofield's son (I believe he was named John)also drove the Rural Route 2 in the '30's and '40's when my granddaddy Morman B. Stone drove Route 1 which went north out of the Bexar postoffice thru Shottsville, Bull Mountain, Bethlehem etc. The old U.S. 78 or Bankhead Hwy. was the dividing of these two rural mail routes. Mr. Cofield delivered both sides of the highway as the route went west to the MS stateline while granddaddy delivered both sides heading east toward Hamilton (Alabama). I mention this because there is also a Hamilton, Mississippi down in Monroe County!

Mona, thank you for digging up some of these old happenings in our ancestors era. Time really passed this area by when the newer highways were being built - as one travels east from the Tremont area toward Hamilton, there isn't a thing to remind people of "our" past buried just a mile or two south in Bexar and the positions they played on settling western Alabama and the Mississippi Territory.

1782 born John Stone (my paternal GGG grandfather) and his sons and sons-in-law truly were pioneers to settling Marion Co. AL and Itawamba Co. MS! How soon did the Robinson's come into Stonecrossroads/Tremont that brought the marriages of the Robinson and Stone clans? bettye

Anonymous said...

Bessie Cofield was my maternal grandmother.
Cathy Akers-Jordan (
Davison, MI