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  Sharing Information (Page 4)
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  Guest Posts and Emails  
     
  7/12/2005 Me and my family visited your museum on Monday July the 11, 2005. We very much enjoyed the museum and felt the sorrow the town felt. My daughter is going into the 6th grade next year and she is going to participate in the history fair in her school, she has chosen to do her project on the explosion of the New London School. We came to the museum just for the purpose of her to research and get information to help her in preparing for the project. John (the tour guide) was very helpful to her. She researched the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 last year and received first place at school and second place in county. She was overjoyed to come home and share the information she received and learned with her big brothers and her cousin. She remembered the stories that John had shared with us. This will be something she enjoys learning about and something she will never forget. If there is anything that you may think of that might help her with her project please e-mail me and let me know it would be greatly appreciated. Once again thank-you for sharing and thank-you to the survivors for allowing my family to learn about what happened.

July 12, 2005
John & Shannon McIntosh
jsmc@marshalltx.com

Ed note: Many thanks for the kind words, but the museum is not "mine" but a separate entity from NLSE.ORG
 
     
  My grandfather, W. Ray Spears was a pharmaceutical sales rep who was in the New London area at the time of the explosion. He was there. He arranged for medicines to be sent to the hospitals directly from the drug companies. I heard that people who were taking buses were given the packages to hand carry. I have a picture he took of the scene--it was a number written on the blackboard. The photo may have been used by the pharmaceutical company in a brochure. I'm in the process of packing to move and will keep an eye out for these things. We often wondered why there was no museum or memorial to those who died.

May 31, 2005
Pam Bell Morris, Ph.D.
 
     
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  My father, David Neil Wakeman, was a roughneck driving a wench truck when the explosion happened. He was a couple of blocks away and was one of the first to arrive. He stayed there helping to dig bodies out until all of the bodies were recovered. My mom and uncle told me the story about it. My father died in 1950 in an oilfield accident.

March 2005
Dave Wakeman
 
     
  Even though my mother's family has lived in east Texas for many generations, I had heard very little about this disaster until December of last year, when my mother got a book about Texas cemeteries from the library. There was a whole chapter dedicated to the Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Rusk County, and the disaster that occurred in New London. I wanted to know more about it, and came upon this site.

My grandmother was in 10th grade at the high school in Elkhart, Texas (in Anderson County) at the time. The Goff and Womack who died may have been distant relatives of hers. Another victim, Glendell Sutherlin, who was about the same age as one of my great-aunts, lived near them for a while. I don't know if they knew each other. I don't recall Grandma ever talking about the disaster. The only memory my mother has of someone mentioning it was when she was a little girl, sometime in the 1960s or '70s. My grandfather, who was a plumber, had to fix some gas pipes in a school near Tyler, Texas. Mom remembers that everyone seemed to be very nervous about the leaking gas, and Mom didn't know why until someone told her that many years ago, a school had exploded due to a gas leak. I wish I could ask Grandma about it, but she is 84 and currently living at a nursing home in Palestine, Texas, and lost her ability to speak months ago.

I cry every time I look over the list of those who died, thinking of all those youngsters whose lives were cut short in such a tragic manner. Next time my family goes to that area to visit relatives, I am definitely stopping by the museum and the monument. Those poor children, teachers and others may be gone, but they will never be forgotten.

March 2005
Christie Marie Shepherd
 
     
 

  This picture is a Courtesy of Darlene Lummus! It was taken approx 1937 or 1938. Top row 3rd from left wearing a sweater and looking as if she would rather be somewhere else is Darlene's Mother "Mildred Josephine Wyatt" and her school chums called her "Mickey". Also in the picture Top row, 6th from the left is "Joe Graham King". He was a taxi driver for many years in Henderson. Later he became the Police Chief of Henderson, Texas. Charlice is my best friend, and Joe King was her father and he passed away in or about 1992 or 1993.

November 2004
Darlene Lummus
 
     
  Even though my mother's family has lived in east Texas for many generations, I had heard very little about this disaster until December of last year, when my mother got a book about Texas cemeteries from the library. There was a whole chapter dedicated to the Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Rusk County, and the disaster that occurred in New London. I wanted to know more about it, and came upon this site.

My grandmother was in 10th grade at the high school in Elkhart, Texas (in Anderson County) at the time. The Goff and Womack who died may have been distant relatives of hers. Another victim, Glendell Sutherlin, who was about the same age as one of my great-aunts, lived near them for awhile. I don't know if they knew each other. I don't recall Grandma ever talking about the disaster. The only memory my mother has of someone mentioning it was when she was a little girl, sometime in the 1960s or '70s. My grandfather, who was a plumber, had to fix some gas pipes in a school near Tyler, Texas. Mom remembers that everyone seemed to be very nervous about the leaking gas, and Mom didn't know why until someone told her that many years ago, a school had exploded due to a gas leak. I wish I could ask Grandma about it, but she is 84 and currently living at a nursing home in Palestine, Texas, and lost her ability to speak months ago.

I cry every time I look over the list of those who died, thinking of all those youngsters whose lives were cut short in such a tragic manner. Next time my family goes to that area to visit relatives, I am definitely stopping by the museum and the monument. Those poor children, teachers and others may be gone, but they will never be forgotten.

March 2005
Christie Marie Shepherd
 
     
  My grandmother was a survivor of the explosion. Her name was Margaret Nelson. Her Step Mother Johnnie Marie Nelson was one of the Teachers killed in the explosion. She told stories of the horrible experience, I remember her telling me that the beautiful, very popular girl who climbed out of the second or third story window in front of her and fell through the window below. My grandmother talked about having to climb over the girl to escape.

This web site is a wonderful tribute. Thank you so much for your dedication.

October 2004
Karie Martin
 
     
  Have just been extensively reading your website on the New London explosion. You all have done a great job on the site!

My family connections to the New London explosion are thru Mrs. J. D. (Johnnie) Nelson, an elementary school teacher, and Anna Ray Purcell, who's brother Tom Purcell was guardian. I believe Anna was in the 8th grade at the time of the explosion. Tom Purcell was Johnnie Nelson's father. I have genealogy information on that family and would love to share with anyone interested.

August 2004
Geneva Cole
genevacole@earthlink.net
 
     
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  I was raised in Leesville, La. As a child and adult I would visit our family cemetery. At the gate I always stop at a grave by the gate and look at the headstone of a young child. His name was Walter Thompson and it told that he was killed in the New London school explosion. I now live near New London and decided to look it up on the internet. I had no ideal of the magnitude of this explosion and how many children and teachers lost their lives. I tried talking about it to my friends around here and they didn't know anything about it. It truly has affected me and makes me realize that you should kiss your children every day and tell them you love them. I couldn't imagine the grief the community went through. I want to donate something to the museum as soon as I can. We mustn't let these children be forgotten.

August 2004
Name Withheld
 
     
  Maybe someone remembers my Mother?
My mother attended the school and she told me that was the only day of school she missed, as her mother was a strict displinarian when it came to education. I thank the Lord for that one day of absenteeism of my mother's. Mother was born in 1923, so I figured her to be either in the 5th or 6th grade at the time of explosion. Her name was " Mildred Josephine Wyatt ". I do know that Mother said the children called her Mickey, as her first name was Mildred. Thank you again for all the research and the dedication you have devoted to this tragedy. It still brings tears to my eyes when I visit New London or to the cemetery where all the children were buried. If anyone remembers my mother, Please let me know at the E-Mail below.
TejasGal1957@aol.com

July 2004
Darlene
 
     
  About the New London school tragedy. I was born in 1926 near Waco and well remember it. We went to a neighbors who had a radio and listened to the sad news. I am glad you cleared up some things. I thought it was the steam heat boiler had burned dry causing the explosion. Years later I lived in Killeen and became friends with a lady, her sister, dad and her husband and when they told me they were from New London I asked about it and she was at home sick and her husband to be had a paper route and had left school early. Her dad talked about being part of the rescue crowd and he had lost two children. It was a very emotional thing for us all even though I was a child but remember it well. Thanks for posting the story. I am 78 and was sitting here thinking about it and came to the computer and found your story.
Thanks,

July 2004
Marie Rush
 
     
  My Great aunt was May Braswell. She was married to Edwin Solon Holt; They leased the land the school sits on. Infact, their home place sits next door. Renee (Ed's son) resides there now. It was truly, a dark time in Rusk County's history. May's younger sister "Myrtle Braswell ( Mert )" was a teacher at New London. At the time of the explosion, she was in an unattached building. Her student's were putting on a play for their parents. Mert took it very hard, from what I've been told.

July 2004
Jason E. Braswell
 
     
  Sirs, I know very little of the tragedy and can contribute but a small second-hand childhood remembrance from the 1960s.I recollect my choir teacher named Mrs. Marlow telling us children in class at Gladewater, Texas about the explosion and aftermath. She was somehow connected to the Red Cross and stated she and others were rushed to the site on hearing of the tragic event. She remembered the rows and rows of small bodies and the family members frantically searching for their loved ones. My folks drove us to the site of the school when I was a lad (1963) and it was a haunting experience. So very sad...

June 27, 2004
R.D.Morgan
 
     
  Just a short note to let you know what a wonderful project your website is!
My Dad, DC Rogers, related his personal story of how he and my Mother's Father, W.H Ferguson were cutting firewood in the Good Hope Community off of Hwy 64 about a mile east of the Gaston School Campus when they heard the explosion. Not knowing what it was they continued their chore. Someone came along and told the horrible news and they left for New London to help in any way possible. Needless to say the devastation was unspeakful as they worked nonstop for the day or so.
My Grandmother, Werda Lloyd Rogers, told me of Pickup trucks being used for herses passing her house on Hwy 323. Most of our family is buried in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery and I have looked at the photos of the forever childen attached to their tombstones over the years - now sadly disappearing.
Best Regards and Thank You!

May 29, 2004
Kenneth(Ken) Rogers
 
     
  My granddad Phil Snyder also went to school in New London. He had skipped school that day. He went back to help in the rescue efforts and then helped to dig the graves for the children killed. He died in 1986 and is buried at Pleasant Hill Cemetery east of New London. If anyone wants to talk or share pictures please e-mail me. Thank you very much.

Unknown date
Cindy Rives
cinisajoy@prodigy.net
 
     
  I first learned of this tragedy as a 7th grader at Cushing Jr. High. Our math teacher, Joe Dan Satterwhite, told us about it, describing in some graphic detail the events of that day. How he was connected with the school explosion, I cannot remember, but he must have been there to assist in the recovery and cleanup of the site. You have done a wonderful job with this website to memorialize those children, teachers and others who lost their lives that sad day in March 1938. May their souls find sweet peace.

May 1st 2004
Marsha Rawlinson Perkins
Cushing, Texas
 
     
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