1874 STORM



We may all congratulate ourselves the damage has been no greater, and as all take pride in something that is hard to excel, we may boast to one of the heaviest storms known by the people ________ Texas.


The storm has not extended for the __________ this place being the farthest point in that direction of which any damage has been reported. But to the south, continued reports come in of disaster upon disaster, the whole country being overflowed, stock destroyed, buildings injured, fences blown down, and all manner of trouble experienced by those who happened to be within the track of the storm.


Sixteen to twenty feet of water is reported in the Ship Channel since the storm, caused by the immense volume of water that had to gain an outlet.


It is reported that the position of Aransas bar has changed very materially, while its depth has very considerably increased.  So that he old adage, that “it’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good, “ is exemplified in this instance.


Mr. Archer found over half his tools that were lost from the little house on Central wharf when it went down Saturday afternoon.  He is lucky.


Half the chickens and turkeys in Corpus found an untimely fate during the storm.  Capt. Berry’s wild geese enjoyed it better than the Captain—but that’s just like a goose.


The land that was swept away from the front of Capt. Foster’s place on the beach—some fifty or more feet—has helped increase Judge McCampbell’s lots, further down.  The Captain says if he could only identify his property he might bring suit.  He forgets that old Neptune has a first lien on that little slice.


The Islands—St. Joseph and Mustang—while surrounded with high water, escaped serious damage.


Beyond a few fences blown down and several small vessels lost, the damage was slight.


At San Diego and Banquette but little damage was done by the wind, though the loss to the sheep interest has been great.


The loss here is under rather than over the estimates given in the extra of Wednesday.


Throughout the length of Padre Island the storm was felt with as much force as here.  In many places the Gulf broke over the Island, which will account for the tremendous high tide here.


The Oso rose to an unprecedented height during the storm, and has swept away Capt. Kenedy’s bridge and considerable of his fencing.


At Brazos Santiago the storm commenced a day earlier than here, and considerable loss of life, and great damage to property are reported. At eight o’clock on September 4th everybody had gone, and the storm was at its height.  The French bark Coromandel went a shore a Bagdad, and soon broke up, eleven of her crew being lost.


Brownsville, on the _______ was all right, though considerable rain had fallen.


The Rio Grande is reported to be six miles wide below Brownsville, having almost obliterated its banks.


The wind scattered the leaves from our trees. Saturday night, and nearly ruined our summer parlor.


A letter from Conception, received too late for insertion, says the storm was the most severe ever known—the creek seven feet above highest water mark—twenty per cent of the sheep drowned—and the rest scattered generally.


 Selected news items from same page



The San Antonio mail rider returned Thursday afternoon.  He could not cross the Nueces, the river was rising rapidly.  The Rio Grande mail came in last night, fifty hours behind time.



From the storm, in the way of dead dogs, rats, cats, etc. and the disgusting green slime that was over everything Tuesday and Wednesday, was enough to sicken.  As fast as possible everything was remedied.



Of Mrs. George Pettigrew died in the height of the storm Saturday night, just when the alarm bell was ringing.  Mrs. Pettigrew was alone, he buffeting the storm on the prairie, returning home at a late hour in the night to find his wife prostrated with grief and fear.



Mr. Wm. L. Rogers suffered a heavy loss during Saturday night in the drowning at the Quinton Motts, of 2,000 ewe lambs, which he valued at $4,000.  They were of improved stock, and had been just separated from the flock.  This is one of the heaviest losses of the great storm.



A youngster, scarcely of sufficient height to keep his head above the water, was following his mother through the water by Gusset’s Saturday night and lagging behind was called to find where he was.  His treble voice was hear, during a lull in the gale, saying—“Don’t bother about me.  I’m all hunky and able to take care of myself. It awful wet but Ill yank through the business, you bet!”


Source: Nueces Valley, September 12, 1874, p 3, col.2-3

Research by:  Msgr. Michael A. Howell

Transcription by:  Geraldine D. McGloin,

Nueces County Historical Commission

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