Udall museum to host memorial, book event on 1955 tornado

(Photo courtesy Udall Community Historical Society)

The Udall Community Historical Society Museum will be hosting a tornado memorial and book event at the end of the month.

“Please join the town of Udall in remembering those who lost their lives in the 1955 tornado,” the museum said. “We will also have a book signing with esteemed author, Jim Minick, who recently published ‘Without Warning,’ a book containing true events straight from survivors of the tornado.”

(Photo courtesy Kansas Historical Society)

According the Kansas Historical Society, shortly after 10:30 p.m. May 25, 1955, the tornado struck the south end of Udall without warning.

The south half of town was completely leveled.

The northern half fared little better, as all houses, except one, were damaged. The only remaining businesses were the bank, post office, and the Odd Fellows Home. Gone were 192 buildings and 170 homes. The remaining homes were found unlivable.

The biggest loss came in lives.

Nearly half of the families of Udall lost one or more members. The death toll eventually reached 87, with approximately 200 injured. 20 percent of the population was gone.

The museum, located at 109 E. 1st, will open at 5:30 p.m. on May 25 for the memorial.

A rock dedication and moment of silence will take place at 6:30 p.m. in front of the museum, with the book event taking place at 7 p.m. at the Community Building on 102. E. 1st.