Ruth and Wesley Skaggs lived on North Main Street in 1968 when the tornado hit Greenwood killing Ruth’s mother Ilene Harrison (48) and her sister Donna Harrison (19).
According to Ruth some ladies from her church as well as her mother and sister had met at her house that morning to work on a fundraiser.
“When we finished around noon my mother and sister returned home, which was on hwy. 10 west near where SWEPCO is now,” said Skaggs.
Ruth left with her mother in law, Doris to drive to Fort Smith. On their way home the skies turned dark. “Doris wanted me to go home with her because she had a rock house and mine was a wood frame house but I told her I needed to get home.”
Ruth returned home to find trash cans blown into the yard and some of her shingles standing straight up only to find out later that a tornado had hit Greenwood.
Wesley, who was working in Fort Smith at the time, heard about the twister on the radio and drove home to check on Ruth and their two children because the reports on the radio stated that the school had been hit near their home.
The Skaggs then drove to Ruth’s mother home, which was in the path of destruction.
“When Wesley stopped the car I asked him why he was stopping,” said Ruth. “He said, ‘This where your parents home was’, but I could not believe it so I began to look around and saw some landmarks I recognized and then I knew that it was true. There was not a stick of lumber left on their property”.
Ruth’s mother and sister were found a block away from the house. Ruth’s father was at work in Fort Smith at the time of the storm.