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Remembering the Galveston Storm of 1900
Produced by John Burnett

Galveston, Texas - September 8, 1900
Photograph courtesy the Rosenberg Library.

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    Mary Louise Bristol Hopkins

    Mary Louise Britsol Hopkins, daughter of William Bristol and Cassandra "Cassie" Stump, was born July 11,1893. Her father died when she was only five months old, leaving her mother, two older brothers, and an older sister.

    Louise Bristol took her first job at Flatto's Shoe Store and then worked for eleven years at the Santa Fe Railroad. She secretly married Oscar Hopkins in January, 1913, but they continued to live apart until her family learned of the union. The couple married again in February 1914. Mrs. Hopkins often spoke to schoolchildren in Houston and Galveston about her life and experiences during the 1900 storm. She gave this interview July, 1982, five years before her death on November 18, 1987.

    "I wasn't permitted to leave the house. As soon as the water went down, my two brothers left to see about some relatives that lived not too far away. They were conscripted to help with the burying of the dead and getting people that were under the wreckage. There was no identification and no prayers said or anything else, the bodies were just put in the ground. ...There were so many of them that they couldn't find any more ground to bury them. They took them out to sea and then they washed back in again, so they had to be burned.

    It was a terrible time. I was saved all that, but I heard the stories of women with long hair who had been caught in the trees by their hair and cut to pieces with slate that had been flying off the roofs of houses."

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