History 430: Theory and Practice
On the evening of February 24, 1935, a deadly tornado ravaged through the Tri-State District towns of Commerce, Douthat, Picher, Hockerville, Ok, Shoal Creek, Stapleton, MO, and Baxter Springs, KS. The total number of people impacted from the rare February tornado totaled 286. This disaster did not happen at an ordinary time in history, it happened at a time when many families were struggling to feed and cloth their families and at a time when the national unemployment rate exceeded twenty-five percent during the "Great Depression." During this time of great distress and unemployment, a community that was centered around mining and farming as a source of income was able to come together to help one another when a natural disaster struck. The Tri-State District community put their own struggles aside to join in on an effort to help one another recover from this horrible disaster even at a time when difficult was a way of life.
Prater, Andrew, "A Community Giving a Helping Hand: Tri-State District Tornado" (2011). Theory and Practice: Hist 430. 27.