52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2015 Edition Week 10-Stormy Weather.
From the headline of the Tampa Morning Tribune 6 April 1925
3 DEAD, 23 HURT IN MIAMI STORM
The article lists among the dead F.E. Sullivan, Westwood Inn. The dead man was Francis "Frank" Emerson Sullivan, Sr. (1880-1925). He was the father of my maternal Step Grandfather Francis "Frank" Emerson Sullivan, Jr.
I first learned about the tragic death of Frank Sr. from his death certificate.. I am not sure why Frank was in Miami in 1925. According to the 1920 Census, he was single and at Camp Jackson, Richland, South Carolina. By 1923, he had married Christine Williams and son Frank, Jr. had been born. What took him to Florida? Some in the family believe that he and Christine had moved to Miami because Christine had TB. Frank Jr. was left with his mother's parents in Camden, Kershaw, South Carolina.
|Miami Florida Death Certificate of F.E.Sullivan|
Searching for a newspaper account of the tornado gave me a few more pieces of information about Frank, Sr. or F.E. as he is named in the paper. I was amazed at how many newspapers from all across the country carried the story. Most were just copies of the same A.P. report but some had additional pieces of information. There were also some with pictures of the devastation.
|Rockford Republic 6 April 1925, page 2|
that F, E Sullivan was" formally a city fireman".
|Riverside Daily Press|
6 April, 1925 page 1
The Riverside, California paper described the Westwood Inn as a roadhouse near Little River and said that it was hit by the tornado. Two died and several were injured in the Inn, including F.E. Sullivan.
Volunteers Searching Through the Rubble
Greensboro Daily Record, 8 April 1925 page 1
|Many Homeless and Property Destroyed|
Seattle Daily Times
14 April 1925 page 8
|The Actual Tornado|
The Sunday Repository
19 April 2012 page 11
From these newspapers, I learned that Frank Sullivan Sr. was living in a boarding house named The Westwood Inn located in Little River, Fla. He had been working as a Fireman. He and another person were killed when the tornado hit and destroyed the boarding house where they were living. The tornado was reported as the worst the area had ever seen. There were no mentions in any of the papers about his family.
The broader newspaper search of this natural disaster really paid off. Instead of just his name in the local paper I was able to get much more detail by looking at reports elsewhere.
Frank Sullivan Jr became an orphan due to the death of his father in 1925 in the storm and by the death of his mother just a few years later. He was raised by his grandparents.
Has a Natural Disaster happened in your family? What has the impacted been for them?
Are we kin? Please contact me. Together we can find our people.
Thanks so much for stopping by.