Mansion in Judsonia that survived the 1952 tornado

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Advantage

 

Judsonia AR mansion

I blogged a few weeks ago about the vicious tornado that killed so many people in Judsonia Arkansas and left fear in the hearts of all survivors.  I had to go to Judsonia this week and because of blogging interest decided to drive by and see the mansion that survived the tornado.  I'm posting the picture of that mansion and again posting the picture that shows it after the tornado.  The tornado was in 1952.

It had quite a few flaws but it still looks pretty grand, doesn't it. 

Judsonia tornado

close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Location:
Arkansas White County Judsonia
Groups:
Almost Anything Goes
Arkansas Real Estate
Diary of a Realtor
Posts to Localism
Realtors®
Tags:
judsonia tornado
seary ar
real estate searcy
houses searcy
white county ar

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
736,128
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR

Rita B, I'm glad you found my blog.  Be sure to find the one written by a survivor.  If you can't find it comment again and I'll find it for you.

 

Dec 18, 2008 04:07 PM #18
Anonymous
Lisa Fry

Thanks for the photos.  My great grandfather Calvin Bryant was killed in that/those tornadoes. I wish I could find more information out about it.  Any other photos during that period?

Jan 09, 2009 04:59 PM #19
Rainmaker
736,128
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR

Lisa, I have another blog about it.  A lady gave testimonial about surviving it.  Check this one out.  http://activerain.com/blogsview/712000/The-most-vivid-memory-from-a-tornado-survivor-exclusive-to-ActiveRain-A-must-read

Jan 09, 2009 05:35 PM #20
Anonymous
Olieb@att.net

Ms. Duncan do you know of a Mary (Huntly) Cargile?  She e-mailed me and seems to know alot of the same people that I do and that she was at the same grade school before the tornado.  I haven't had much time to be on the computer as I'm trying to de-clutter and paint my house.  I hope to sell when this house market stops spiraling down.

Thank you,

Oleta Brill

Jan 26, 2009 12:50 PM #21
Rainmaker
736,128
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR

Mrs. Brill,

I do know her and told her about you and gave her the copy of your story about surviving the tornado.  She herself was blown around and wants to compare notes.  You'll enjoy visiting with her.  Her sister also survived and is named Hazel.

Thanks!

Jan 26, 2009 01:04 PM #22
Anonymous
Olieb@att.net

Ms Duncan,

Hello! from frozen land 21's now.  I was wondering if you know of a Mary (Huntly) Cargile?  She seems to know alot of the same people I once knew.  She said that she had talked to you.  I've not been on the internet much, I'm trying to de-clutter and paint my house.  I want to sell and move to a warmer climate.  I don't think Arkansas, too humid.  The market has picked up a bit here, only because the sellers have lowered their prices.  I'll be glade when it's back to normal.

 

Thanks,

 

Oleta Brill

 

 

Jan 28, 2009 01:23 PM #24
Anonymous
Olieb@att.net

Ms Duncan,

Hello! from frozen land 21's now.  I was wondering if you know of a Mary (Huntly) Cargile?  She seems to know alot of the same people I once knew.  She said that she had talked to you.  I've not been on the internet much, I'm trying to de-clutter and paint my house.  I want to sell and move to a warmer climate.  I don't think Arkansas, too humid.  The market has picked up a bit here, only because the sellers have lowered their prices.  I'll be glade when it's back to normal.

 

Thanks,

 

Oleta Brill

 

 

Jan 28, 2009 01:23 PM #25
Anonymous
Olieb@att.net

Ms Duncan:

Thanks for responding and sorry about the 3 e-mails, one was enough, I've found out that I need to brush up on sending e-mails.  Could you provide me with your e-mail address and also, could you contact Mary Cagile, for I've deleted her e-mail, it was in her husband's name.  I would like to chat with her, maybe I will remember her.

Thanks,

Oleta Brill

Jan 31, 2009 01:18 PM #26
Rainmaker
736,128
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR

Mrs. Brill, my email is barbara@barbarasduncan.com and Mary's is b.cargile@att.net . So email her.  She'd love to chat.  You'll really like her.

Jan 31, 2009 02:48 PM #27
Anonymous
Marilee Stripling

Do you have access to other photos of rural AR in March 21 & 22, 1952. Many communities were affected, not just Judonia. I'm esp interested in photos in and near England, AR.

Marilee Stripling

409.945.0083

Apr 21, 2009 11:24 PM #28
Rainmaker
736,128
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR

Marilee, I'm sorry but I don't have any other photos.  Thanks for finding my blog about Judsonia.

Apr 22, 2009 08:12 AM #29
Anonymous
Louis Anglin

Barbara....My parents Steve and Cindy have owned the Henson Mansion since  about 1997. The house was never "chopped up" so to speak before they bought it. They have been and still are in the process of restoring the house to it's early splendor. To answer on lady's question it does not have a basement but rather a cellar under the back porch that is entered thru a trap door. It is an amazing house from its hardwood floors throughout to the mahoganey walls in the dining room.

Jul 24, 2009 03:31 PM #30
Rainmaker
736,128
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR

Louis Anglin, thanks for contributing to this blog.  I remember the house was used for a form of keeping patients at one time.  I've been in real estate for so long things stick in my memory, not necessarily accurately but back there somewhere.  I hope the mansion can always be there and it would be wonderful if it were restored.  If you want to send interesting photos of it, I'll blog them for everyone to enjoy.

Jul 26, 2009 01:42 PM #31
Rainmaker
736,128
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR

Another account of the Judsonia tornado........................printed here with permission from the writer.

Just read the account of the lady's harrowing experience living through the Friday, March 21, 1952.  My parents, Emmett E. and Ella V. Moseley Cullum of Bald Knob, born and raised there, moved to Prairie Co. north of Hazen area in 1923   One of those 90- something tornadoes reported in Ark. that evening killed a number of people near our home north of Hazen about 4:15 p.m.. 

Preceding the tornado was a terrible rainstorm, blowing in on our front porch.  My father looked to see if my brother's motorbike was getting wet when called to my mother...Beating her to the front door, I yelled, "A Tornado!"  The sky had a low black cloud banked across the southwestern sky,,,,under that awful black bank, was a wide, thick stovepipe reaching the earth.  My mother, brother and I raced to the above-ground cellar, large and sturdily built of R.R. crossties and all the dirt from a pond. 

My father stayed in the front yard, watching the tornado.  Joining him, he said it was missing us.  However, it was taking the property and lives of several others in the Center Point neighborhood; SE of us,  an elderly couple, stripping off their clothes, plucking chickens, and destroying their log home.  Going further, it sucked over the Center Point Missionary Church, blowing down a tree in the corner of the cemetery prying up a coffin with its roots.

 Further on its deadly NE course, a house completely demolished and scattered over a field, killing all 3 young girls and badly injuring their mother.  Her family rushed over and found them, as did the husband and father of the victims who saw the storm in Hazen where he worked at Buster Guthrie's Feed Store.  The girls have one long flat pink grave marker in that cemetery. The elderly Cunningham couple,also. 

 The deadly storm progressed toward  Cotton Plant, crossed White River and totally wiped out a family, mother, father, and all 5 of their children....Both families were Mills,,brothers, Virgle and  Manley Mills.  Eight Mills cousins were killed that day,,,,miles apart, by the same tornado.   The youngest little girl near Center Point Community was a 6 year old pretty little blonde who sat just behind me that afternoon as we rode the schoolbus home.. I turned to see who was behind me,,,and she gave me a big smile.....I never noticed when she got off the bus....I have always remembered that sweet smile,,,,and less than an hour later, about 4:15 p.m.  she, and her 2 sisters would be dead, mother badly injured, and 5 of her cousins, uncle, and aunt, also dead across White River.  

 I was a Junior in Hazen High School that year, an FHA trip to Little Rock with a program in the Robinson Auditorium was going on that day and evening.  FHA girls from schools around Ark. were in attendance.  Judsonia FHA girls were in that auditorium in Little Rock when the storm that struck Judsonia that evening and were hysterical my classmates said....  For some odd reason, I had decided I did not want to attend the event, though, that was my last year to take Home Ec. and be in FHA. 

 Later that night, as my father sat by the radio listening to news of all the tornadoes that had hit across Ark, my parents were especially attentive to the Judsonia news of such destruction.....As the radio announcer read names of the Judsonia injured and dead throughout the night, he would call out to my mother in the kitchen, "Oh Ella, so-in-so was killed!".... Over and over,,,,They knew about 30 of those killed!  There may have been more Judsonia deaths, but a lot of  FHA girls were in Little Rock, thankfully.  A few days later, my father would take us for a drive via Griffthsville where we saw a lot of damage.

 Marrying and moving to Wichita, Kansas, 1957-1969, my little children and I experienced several close tornado calls,,,,one left debre a block away, skipped over the city, leveled several blacks of fine new expensive homes,,,one hit the airport and radio station that was keeping us posted on the tornado,,,,

Then, the 1976 tornado that hit Cabot, narrowly missing the High School where ALL the bus students had been schuttled to catch their buses home,,,God was watching over this district's school children,,,Five persons were killed in the downtown area, a toddler in his bed,.... a 10 year old girl home sick for the day, and her  mother, both related to my husband,  a retired Airman repairing a typewriter, all in a Realty building, and another unfortunate person somewhere.  People had scary experiences,,,,no warnings were sounded,,,,though LR Airforce Base to the SW had notified Cabot a tornado was headed our way. 

 The Hazen/Prairie Co. tornade was tracked from extreme SE Arkansas, taking 2 hours to reach Hazen,,,but in those days,,,,no warnings were given by radio, apparently,,,,,I believe from that day forward, storms were tracked and alarms were announced via radio and TV, as best as technology allowed in those days....In Wichita, I had recurring nightmares of a mile-wide black stovepipe bearing down on me.  I have a large storm shelter in my backyard today, large enough for a lot of people if needed.  Thanks for sharing this lady's account of her childhood experience of the "52 Judsonia tornado, neither of us is like to forget that awful day!.

Jo Cullum Woodiel, Cabot.  Aug. l, 2009.  .  . 

Aug 06, 2009 07:36 AM #32
Rainmaker
736,128
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR

Jo Cullum Woodiel, thanks for letting me copy your email to the blog.  Your last email was also noteworthy so I'm putting it here.

Yes, Barbara,  you may print my letter, thanks.  However, rereading it, I see a few errors I had not noticed, "black" for block, and I did not check my spelling of another word, and meant to say that Manley Mills saw the tornado from Hazen, not in Hazen, but I am sure folks will understand.  That storm was tracked from Dierks, AR, SW corner of the state,,,could not remember exactly the town when writing.  When it crossed the RR crossing between Hazen and Carlisle at Screeton Switch, the tornado literally twisted the RR Crossing sign out of the ground. 

 One lady by the name of Fox who raised large white chickens near where the tornado struck said her windows were taken out and she just sat down in a chair, and watched as her furniture whirrled around the room.  She lost a lot of her chickens.  Also, it was reported that a 55 gal. oil drum picked up at that farm was dropped near Cotton Plant, about 50 miles away.  I believe that tornado  would be rated F5 today.  The 1996 tornado that leveled a lot of downtown Cabot appeared as a long white whip, from my vantage point of our then only elementary school where I was teaching, I had no idea such a tame looking thing compared to the 1952 black stovepipe sweeping the ground from a black bank could do so much harm.

  Some people out drove the storm,,some almost drove into it,,,,Our mailcarrier's wife and a teacher reported she knew she should grab something before they headed out,,,and grabbed her camera!  Have a blessed day.  Geraldine "Jo" Cullum Woodiel, Cabot 

Aug 06, 2009 07:38 AM #33
Anonymous
Jackie Wrinkles

I remember it(Tornado) because we kived ib depot town the area a little behind the ice plant in fact my grand dad stayed in that same shack untill he passed in the mid 80s.I remember things like the barn leaning sideways.

May 10, 2011 10:34 PM #34
Rainmaker
736,128
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR

Jackie Wrinkles, thanks for adding to our tornado history.  We appreciate your reading and commenting.

May 11, 2011 10:24 AM #35
Anonymous
Jackie Wrinkles

You are welcome Barbara and If anyone remembers Herman Gossien and his family feel free to yell back

May 11, 2011 10:35 AM #36
Anonymous
Don Garner

I have the same 2 photos you have Barbara. Sorry!

Jun 29, 2012 09:02 AM #37
Rainmaker
736,128
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR

Don, thanks for looking.  Please remind Mary to search through the old family pictures and see if she has some made either inside or outside and let me know.  My personal email is barbara@barbarasduncan.com.

Thanks.

Jun 29, 2012 10:36 AM #38
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
736,128

Barbara S. Duncan

CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR
Ask me a question
*
*
*
Spam prevention