Perished at Galveston

blewis leverett restored

Leverett Lewis, the sitter featured in this cabinet card photograph, was born 136 years ago on this day, February 6.  I think that makes this the perfect day to honor his life.

On June 9, 1900, Leverett was living with his parents in Genoa, Ohio when he traveled fifteen miles to Toledo and enlisted in the U.S. Army.  He was the “baby” of the family at seventeen years old but gave his age as 21. Three months later he was dead.

Before I continue with Leverett’s story, I’d like to thank Marija of My Retro Photo for her wonderful repair work on this image.  Just look at the difference! I highly recommend her digital restoration service.


Leverett was assigned to Battery O, First Artillery and was stationed at Galveston, Texas on September 8, 1900, when a hurricane swept through the city, killing upwards of six thousand.  Along with Leverett, twenty-seven fellow soldiers in his Battery perished in the storm.

1900 sep 10 thousands dead buffalo evening news buffalo ny

Buffalo Evening News, Buffalo, NY ~ Sep. 10, 1900

1900 sep 15 lewis leveritt lost in storm austin american statesman austin tx
Austin American Statesman, Austin, TX ~ Sep. 15, 1900

Tragically for William and Lydia Lewis, Leverett’s death was the fifth loss of a child the couple was forced to endure; Sarah died in 1869 at three months old, William Eli in 1878 at the age of seven, George in 1887 at age 11, and Emma at 16 in 1890. Of the three children who lived to adulthood, two were Lydia’s children from her first marriage, John and Hannah Snyder.  The surviving son of William and Lydia, Charles Lewis, lived to be 87.

1900 sep 16 loss of life to reach six thousand the times philadelphia pa
The Times, Philadelphia, PA ~ Sep. 16, 1900
1900 sep 27 burnin bodies the owensboro messenger owensboro ky
The Owensboro Messenger, Owensboro, KY ~ Sep. 27, 1900

Leverett’s body was never recovered but he has a memorial headstone beside his parents in the Woodville Cemetery.

Census records
The 1900 Storm
Haunting Photos Of The Galveston Hurricane Of 1900, The Deadliest Disaster In American History, by Joel Stice

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