Black Sunday April 14, 1935

This story comes to me from my father and grandparents telling me. The dust bowl was raging across the mid sections of the United States and Dodge City was right in the middle of some of the worst of it.

On this day one of the worst storms of the period occurred and this is the story about that day.

My grandfather had gone to town that morning which was South on Second Avenue about 6 to 10 blocks from what I can recall. He had parked facing North on 2nd Avenue and was in the Drugstore getting a Sunday paper when the dust storm hit. Immediately the visibility was reduced to zero and although it was dangerous, he knew that his wife would be worried sick about him.

He found his car by feel and started driving North up Second Avenue. He was the City Engineer at the time and knew Dodge City inside and out and so kept the right wheel of the car against the curb feeling his way North. Remembering there were no cars parked along the street he felt his way North. Counting each driveway cut as his tires found them and the intersections he miraculously found his way home.

My dad recalls his mother hanging sheets over the windows wetting them to catch the dirt that sifted in every crack. My grandmother told of being so scared with a 5 year old boy in the house and many children dying of pneumonia from the dust and how worried she was about granddad being gone.

Many people got lost and died out in the storms and it was a horrible time for all. People lost their farms and houses and all that they had. There was no crops or work to be had either.