I suppose it is the very stormy weather that caused me to remember the tornado of the spring of 1938 (I do not remember the exact date.) that created such havoc in the Sidney, Cotton Grove, New Hope communities, located about twelve or so miles northwest of the town of Comanche. The funnel itself seemed to form somewhere near the Round Mountain area and headed straight toward the community of Cotton Grove, picking up monstrous power as it raced toward New Hope, where it did the most damage.
Although not one person was injured, the storm caused unbelievable damage for several families, including the loss of homes, barns, and livestock. Reports of hundreds of beheaded and plucked chickens were not exaggerated as people reported things they had never before seen.
The tornado first struck the home of W.H. Dean, totally destroying the house, barn, vehicles, and feed. Mr. Dean’s mother, Ida Dean, who lived with the family also suffered a huge loss when the storm carried away a fifty dollar bill that the old woman had saved. You can just imagine how much $50.00 was in 1938!
The George Daniel place was the next place visited by the swirling monster, who took the barns, fences, crops, and the garage with it as it twisted on across the land.
At the John Lightfoot home, the twister took the roof of the house as well as most of the furniture. Before leaving, it also demanded the barn.
From Lightfoot’s place, the tornado made its way to the W.E. Schupp home. As unbelievable as it sounds, the Schupps had lost their home to fire just a few months previous; however, before the tornado left, it had taken their new home with it as well as most everything else. This poor family also found itself in a situation that I have always feared. They were saved because of their storm cellar; however, the bulk of the house fell on the door of the cellar, trapping them inside where they remained until friends found them!
The William Keith home was located just west of New Hope and, like the others, it was completely destroyed.
It is almost laughable today but in 1938, the total damage was estimated at $25,000.00