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.