1900 Storm Victims on Avenue O

 1900 Storm Victims on Avenue O
Looking east down Ave. O. Avenue O ran through the region of total destruction. Tipp/Nevill 1900 Storm Album, SC204-8. Courtesy of Rosenberg Library, Galveston, Texas.

1900 Storm Victims Who Lived in One Block

The 1900 Storm systematically destroyed Galveston. Flood tides zigzagged along streets, collapsing houses and killing persons taking refuge inside them.

Many residents died along certain streets, such as Avenue O. The 1900 Storm Victim Database includes neighbors who even died in the same block. The following casualties, for instance, occurred in the 1700 block of Avenue O.

George Ormond, 38 years old, was a railroad engineer. An English immigrant, he and his wife Sarah Ormond, age 36, lived at 1710 Avenue O. Their five children died. Sarah likely died with them, although her name went unrecorded. George remarried about 1902 according to the 1910 Galveston County census.

Fred Jansen, age 50, a native of Denmark, was a ship’s cook. He, his wife Mary, and their five children resided at 1718 Avenue O. The entire family perished. Victim lists sometimes render the surname as “Gensen.”

Bessie Lees, age 54, was a widow and an Irish immigrant. She boarded at 1719 Avenue O with the Ben C. Hill family. Although she died, Hill survived, being enumerated in the 1910 Galveston County census. He remarried about 1904.

Alex C. Bell, age 68, a native of Scotland, was a cotton inspector. He, his wife Eugenia, and their four children lived at 1727 Avenue O. Alex and Eugenia were victims. The hurricane also claimed their son, Guy M. Bell, and daughter Buelah.

The Galveston and Texas History Center has prepared a database of approximately 5,000 1900 Storm victims. The database will eventually be uploaded to the History Center’s website, becoming available for searching by the general public.

Casey Edward Greene, Rosenberg Scholar