Local History Books:
The Texas City Disaster, April 16-17, 1947

[Printable book list]

Hal Butler / J 973 BUTLER
Inferno!: Fourteen fiery tragedies of our time
Fourteen pages are devoted to the Texas City disaster in this book for older children, with no photos or illustrations. The writer included excerpts of personal accounts.

Mike Cox / 976.4 COX
Texas Disasters: True stories of tragedy and survival
Cox has an eleven-page section on the Texas City disaster.

A.A. Hoehling / 973 HOEHLING
Disaster: Major American catastrophes
Hoehling's account of the Texas City disaster is seventeen pages long.

Meriworth Mabry / 976.4139 MABRY
Texas City Memorial Cemetery (for the unidentified dead killed in the 1947 Disaster)
This book's text describing Texas City's background and the events of the disaster was used in the book We Were There and also in the book A Pictorial History: Texas City Explosion 1947. There are details regarding the embalming and the funerals held for the victims of the disaster. The book has photos of the 1991 Memorial Park dedication.

Bill Minutaglio / 976.4139 MINUTAGLIO
City on Fire
Minutaglio re-creates the disaster using varied citizens' accounts. Some photos are included.

Brian Mitchell / 976.4139 MITCHELL
From Catastrophe to Prosperity: The city that refused to die: Texas City, Texas
This work by a high school student from Copperas Cove, Texas, won the 1997 National History Day contest. The essay briefly recaps Texas City history and outlines the events of the disaster. Included is an extensive bibliography of articles, books and persons interviewed regarding the disaster. Some photocopies of photos are included.

976.4139 PICTORIAL
A Pictorial History: Texas City explosion 1947: remembering yesterday celebrating tomorrow
A commemorative book produced by a City of Texas City committee offering a review of the events of the disaster, preceded by a summary of Texas City history and followed by an account of the city rebuilding after the event. Provides background regarding the burial of unidentified dead, and includes a list of the known dead, and some photos.

Linda Scher / J 976.4139063 SCHER
The Texas City Disaster
This book for children about the disaster is illustrated, using blown up photographs. Information concerning the injuries and deaths are presented using personal statements made by victims and their families.

Hugh W. Stephens / 976.4139 STEPHENS
The Texas City Disaster, 1947
A detailed account of the disaster which examines how the disaster came about and under what circumstances another such accident might happen. Photos are included.

Ron Stone / 976.4139 STONE
Disaster at Texas City
An account of the disaster which uses the testimony of different victims to give an overall view of the event. Full page photos are included.

Elizabeth Lee Wheaton / 976.4 WHEATON
Texas City Remembers
This author narrates the events of the disaster and compiles it with recollections of witnesses and reports from the Red Cross, government officials and local organizations. A list of dead and missing are included, with photocopies of photos. Also included is a short history of Texas City by her husband Grant Wheaton.

Elizabeth Lee Wheaton / 976.4139 WHEATON
Texas City, Texas: its beginning, its destruction, its revitalization
A later publication in which Wheaton presents a brief history of Texas City compiled from different sources, a shorter version of her former narrative of the disaster events, and the development of Texas City after the disaster.

View online

1947 Texas City Disaster: April 16 & 17, 1947 by Daniel Stuart, Amelia Chau, and Samantha Johnson
This Moore Memorial Library online exhibit gives a condensed history of Texas City along with a chronology of the disaster events. There are a total of eight pages, with photos and graphics.

The Portal to Texas History by the University of North Texas Libraries Digital Projects Unit
Moore Memorial Public Library is a partner in this project and has contributed more than 300 photos of the Texas City disaster. Enter "disaster" in the search box to view the photographs.

View at the library

George Armistead, Jr. / REF 976.4139 ARMISTEAD
Report to John G. Simmonds & Company Inc. oil insurance underwriters New York City, on the ship explosions at Texas City, Texas on April 16 and 17, 1947 and their results
A report undertaken by a chemical engineer for an insurance company to determine the significance of the disaster for all oil and chemical installations in regard to their possible dangers for life and property. The events of the disaster are recounted and descriptions of the wreckage are given. Photocopies of photos and an explanation of ammonium nitrate and its handling are included./p>

Ivy Stewart Deckard / REF 976.412 DECKARD
In the Twinkling of an Eye
Deckard's brother Basil was at the docks in Texas City at the time of the explosion. Deckard wrote this first person account of how she came from her home in Port Arthur with her family and mother to join her brother's wife and children in Texas City as they searched and waited for news of Basil./p>

John H. Hill / REF 976.412 HILL
Memories on the Street of Memories
John Hill's account of his experiences in the disaster is supplemented with disaster reports and memos issued by his employer Carbide and Carbon Chemicals Corp., later known as Union Carbide. Photocopies of photos are included, along with a copy of an article on the disaster by the Saturday Evening Post, and an article from a broadcasting newsletter./p>

G.M. Kintz, G.W. Jones, and Charles B. Carpenter / REF 976.4139 KINTZ
Report of investigations: explosions of ammonium nitrate
fertilizer on board the S.S. Grandcamp and S.S. High Flyer at Texas City, Tex., April 16, 17 1947 by This report was issued by the United States Department of the Interior's Bureau of Mines. Investigators arrived in Texas City after the first explosion. Their report details the chronology of events and also presents documentation regarding ammonium nitrate and their conclusions about how the disaster occurred. Part 1 of a report authorized by the United States Treasury regarding the disaster and the handling of ammonium nitrate is attached. Details of damage to properties in the blast area and photocopies of photos are included./p>

Fred Linton and Helen Linton Page / REF 976.4139 LINTON
True American: The memoirs of Fred W. Linton regarding the Texas City Disaster
Fred Linton, former undertaker of Texas City, wrote his account of the disaster, which focuses on how the funeral industry coped with the tragedy. The book was edited and published by Fred's daughter, Helen. Some photos are included./p>

REF 976.4139 ORION
Santa Fe Looks Back, 1947: A collection of interviews with Santa Fe citizens who survived the Texas City explosion of April 16, 1947
This book was a 1987 class project of a Santa Fe 7th grade class who interviewed survivors of the disaster. Their teacher was Marce Welch, a co-editor of the book We were there. Some of the narrators are also in the book We were there, but the stories are not identical./p>

Allan Pevoto / REF 976.4139 PEVOTO
Heroes and Survivors: Personal experiences of the Texas City Disaster
Pevoto tells his experience of the disaster as a schoolboy, along with some classmates' recollections and other witnesses. While a few of the stories are in the book We were there, these accounts are longer. The book includes photos and the entire 1947 report co-authored by the Fire Prevention and Engineering Bureau of Texas and the National Board of Fire Underwriters. (see next)

Fire Prevention and Engineering Bureau of Texas and the National Board of Fire Underwriters / REF 976.4139 PEVOTO
Texas City, Texas, Disaster: Report
This report is in the Moore Memorial Public Library archives, but it was reprinted, along with the photos, in Pevoto's book Heroes and Survivors. The report covers an analysis of ammonium nitrate and the two organizations' investigation. The companies located in the disaster area are described, with an estimate of their losses. The report includes recommendations for future handling of this type of cargo.

Diana Rasmussen / REF 976.4139 RASMUSSEN
The Texas City Disaster, April 16-17, 1947
Written for a Texas State Historical marker, Rasmussen's essay provides a short overview of the city's history and general facts regarding the disaster. Bound with the essay is the first section of the book Texas City Remembers, an article from a fire insurance newsletter, a personal recollection, and photocopies of maps and photos from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

REF 976.4139 SCRAPBOOK
Scrapbook of the Texas City Disaster, April 16, 1947
Moore Memorial Public Library staff photocopied articles and photos about the disaster from newspapers and magazines that were published at the time of the disaster. The publications are local and national, and some are unidentified./p>

Ralph Walter Stenzel, Jr. / REF 976.4139 STENZEL
Texas City: A history in postcards
Twenty-three pages of this book have postcards of the Texas City disaster./p>

REF 976.4139 WE
We Were There: A collection of the personal stories of survivors of the 1947 ship explosions in Texas City, Texas
A commemorative publication by a City of Texas City committee which gathered personal accounts of the disaster, of which some were selected and then edited. The book contains a brief history of the city and the disaster, with accompanying photos, and a cross index of persons and places.