Historic 1930s Dust Bowl as told by former Resident Lucian Doll

‘”Lucian Doll remembers being 14 and living on his family farm six miles north of Ellinwood when the storm hit.

He was in a field working with a team of horses.

“I had four horses pulling a harrow and I can see the horizon was black,” said Doll, now 89 and living in Wichita. “When I get to the end of the row, I turned around to face it. It must have been a half mile from me — just a boiling wall of dirt coming at me.”

Dust Storm Rolling over Hugoton, Ks

This is a postcard view of a dust storm rolling over Hugoton, Kansas, on Sunday, April 14, 1935.

He unhooked the horses and ran the animals a quarter mile back to the barn.

“By the time I put the horses in the stable and stepped out of the barn, I could not see the house 50 yards a way.”

The swirling clouds of red dust — topsoil from thousands of farms from Oklahoma, Texas, eastern Colorado and western Kansas — blocked the sun, stalled vehicles and uprooted rural Americans by the thousands.

his is a photograph of a dust cloud rolling over the prairie near Hugoton, Kansas. Southwest Kansas was among the hardest hit areas during the Dust Bowl. Dust storms, such as the one depicted here, could blow for a full day, coating everything in their path with a layer of dirt. It was taken by the Stovall Studio in Dodge City, Kansas on Sunday April 14, 1935.

Sunday, April 14, 1935 Near Hugoton, KS.

But Doll especially remembers the aftermath, when he walked his family’s stubble fields and saw all the wild animals that had died in the storm and dead cattle standing upright, surrounded by the drifts of sand and dirt, their lungs filled with dirt.

“I thought the world was coming to an end. It was that terrible,” he said.’

[(This excerpt is from an article published in the Wichita Eagle in 2010. To read the article in its entirety click here.)]”
[Photos from http://www.kansasmemory.org/]

Do you have memories of the dust bowl, or have you been told stories of the dust bowl by your grandparents or parents? Be sure to share them in the comments.