Butler County Times Gazette
  • Rotary holds tornado memorial ceremony

  • Remembering the 1958 tornado victims
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  • Rotarians and community members gathered at 5:45 Tuesday evening at the Tornado Memorial in Graham Park in El Dorado to remember the tornado that swept through town 56 years ago, causing much damage and killing 13.
    “Fifty-six years ago the weather was a lot different,” said Rotarian David Stewart, opening the ceremony.
    He then offered a word of prayer, asking the Lord to continue to watch over this city and neighborhood.
    They then observed a moment of silence as the names of the victims were read and they were acknowledged with the ringing of a bell.
    Stewart then asked if anyone had any memories they would like to share.
    Kay Fisher recalled being at the Girl Scout camp east of the lake when the wind started blowing and it got dark.
    “They put us in a shelter underground and we didn’t know what was going on,” she said. “Pretty soon our parents came out to get us and we had to go home two days early.”
    Tom Hackler also shared his memory of being on their farm north of town.
    “Dad walked out on a peak and looked toward town,” he said. “There were two tornados and we saw them go together.”
    Others remembered hiding under tables and beds as the tornado came through, as well as the sound.
    To conclude, Stewart acknowledged the passing of their dear friend Steve Pershall, who played a significant role in getting the memorial constructed.
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