1959 Yellowstone earthquake

I was hoping to find family trees for all the people mentioned in this item, but I was only able to find a couple and they never replied so I don’t know if they ever got the message .  I hope that this blog posting will get to all the other family members who lost someone in the August 1959 Yellowstone Earthquake. The item only listed the most recent names of the persons identified after the quake. I contacted University of Utah Seismograph Stations (1) and they wrote back saying that the total was 29 as they had found one more a few months after the 1959 newspaper item was published. 

Thank You.

UPDATE:
Here is a message I got from a person who was there. I post it as is:
“Donald Nelson
Submitted on 2013/11/14 at 11:22 am

I was there! I had just turned 14 on August 4th and was vacationing with my great uncle and aunt from Wyoming. My great uncle was in charge of the pump station located in Basin, Wy. We had camped at Teton Park for a number of days, then moved on to Yellowstone Park where we spent a few more days. The last leg of our roving vacation took us to a camp ground located in Madison Canyon. We spent two days there when I met another boy my age and we became good friends. We fished the creek around the clock catching brookies. which my great aunt cooked for everyone who wanted to taste the delightful snacks. She just removed the heads and entrails, washed them, rolled them in a little corn meal and into the deep fryer they went. The best tasting fish-fries you ever ate! Anyway… My newly found friend said their family was going to spend one more day at the camp ground before heading back home the morning of August 18th. We, my great uncle and great aunt, were leaving the day before my new friend. I begged and begged my great uncle and great aunt that we could stay one more night so I can be with my new friend one more night. My great aunt positively said NO and the next day, August 17, 1959, around noon or so, we packed up and headed for Billings where I lived with my parents and two sisters. I felt so sad that day, leaving my new friend. I had given him my address and he had given me his so we could write. We arrived where I lived in Billings sometime in the late afternoon. My great uncle and great aunt headed back to Basin, Wyoming where they lived so my great uncle could get ready to return to work.
I remember it was a very hot night as I laid sweating upon my bed sheet wishing a breeze would come through my open window. I had thoughts of my vacation and my new friend racing through my head when suddenly I felt shaking, then it got worse. I sprang from my bed and peered out the window and saw a puppy across the street yipping and fall off the neighbor’s steps. Then my dad hollered, accusing me of shaking his bed and being a practical joker. I hollered back that I was in my bedroom and that I thought it was an earthquake and was not me shaking my parent’s bed. All that I now remember afterwards is a phone call from my great aunt sometime in the morning of August 18th. She informed my mother that the earth quake had caused half a mountain to collapse upon the campground we had been staying at and a lot of people got buried. It hurt so deeply to know the fate of my new friend and his family. It still bothers me today, more then 50 years later.”

Yellowstone Quake 1959

“Quake Death Toll Now Listed at 28”

Newburgh, New York
Newburgh-Beacon News
Sep 1, 1959

To View the Original Select Newburgh-Beacon News in box:

===========================
1. University of Utah Seismograph Stations  http://www.seis.utah.edu/lqthreat/nehrp_htm/1959hebg/n1959he3.shtml

By Jose A Munoz

Retired General Motors designer who now works on subjects dealing with genealogy. I create trees using items I find in old Google News Archive newspapers and I contact other tree owners notifying them about the news item concerning their relative and send them a link to the tree I created. I post a screen print of the news item on the tree for others to copy, so that my work will benefit others. Occasionally, I will post about the tree I created or the item that I found, always with a "how to" in-bedded in the post. I want my blog posts to help others with their family trees or with their genealogy experiences.

16 comments

  1. I was there! I had just turned 14 on August 4th and was vacationing with my great uncle and aunt from Wyoming. My great uncle was in charge of the pump station located in Basin, Wy. We had camped at Teton Park for a number of days, then moved on to Yellowstone Park where we spent a few more days. The last leg of our roving vacation took us to a camp ground located in Madison Canyon. We spent two days there when I met another boy my age and we became good friends. We fished the creek around the clock catching brookies. which my great aunt cooked for everyone who wanted to taste the delightful snacks. She just removed the heads and entrails, washed them, rolled them in a little corn meal and into the deep
    fryer they went. The best tasting fish-fries you ever ate! Anyway… My newly found friend said their family was going to spend one more day at the camp ground before heading back home the morning of August 18th. We, my great uncle and great aunt, were leaving the day before my new friend. I begged and begged my great uncle and great aunt that we could stay one more night so I can be with my new friend one more night. My great aunt positively said NO and the next day, August 17, 1959, around noon or so, we packed up and headed for Billings where I lived with my parents and two sisters. I felt so sad that day, leaving my new friend. I had given him my address and he had given me his so we could write. We arrived where I lived in Billings sometime in the late afternoon. My great uncle and great aunt headed back to Basin, Wyoming where they lived so my great uncle could get ready to return to work.
    I remember it was a very hot night as I laid sweating upon my bed sheet wishing a breeze would come through my open window. I had thoughts of my vacation and my new friend racing through my head when suddenly I felt shaking, then it got worse. I sprang from my bed and peered out the window and saw a puppy across the street yipping and fall off the neighbor’s steps. Then my dad hollered, accusing me of shaking his bed and being a practical joker. I hollered back that I was in my bedroom and that I thought it was an earthquake and was not me shaking my parent’s bed. All that I now remember afterwards is a phone call from my great aunt sometime in the morning of August 18th. She informed my mother that the earth quake had caused half a mountain to collapse upon the campground we had been staying at and a lot of people got buried. It hurt so deeply to know the fate of my new friend and his family. It still bothers me today, more then 50 years later.

    1. Thank You for this story. I wonder how many people have had the same experience; just missing being a victim. I am glad that you lived to tell your story.

  2. Hey outstanding website! Does running a blog similar to
    this require a large amount of work? I’ve very little expertise in programming however I was hoping to start my own blog
    in the near future. Anyhow, if you have any ideas or tips for new blog
    owners please share. I know this is off subject but I simply wanted to ask.
    Many thanks!

    1. Hello, I think it’s wonderful for what you are doing. I wish I had access to the tree you created on Ancestry.com. Could you tell me if a boy of about 13 or 14 years old is known to have been buried in that slide? I used to know his name, my new friend back then, but I have since forgotten it. Every once in a while the memory of that quake comes to haunt me and I begin to cry. Since then I have had a number of very close calls and it makes me believe God has much more for me to accomplish. Sincerely, Donald Nelson Fromberg, Mt 59029

      1. Thank you for visiting my site and thank you for the kind words. I am sending you an invite to the tree and it should show up as a message from Ancestry.com. As a guest you will not have to pay for access but you will only be able to view the one tree. I hope my instructions on the tree are sufficient to allow you to navigate the various branches. Please let me know any problems you have with the navigation and give me feedback on what you think should be changed or fixed.
        Thank You.
        Jose from Clarkston, Michigan

      2. Donald,
        I didn’t recognize the e-mail address as being the same one that was on the nice message I use on my blog.

        You were there so you might be able to find your friends name on one of the many newspaper accounts of the August 17, 1959 earthquake.

        Here is a link to a web site that contains the many different newspaper accounts of what happened.

        http://www.seis.utah.edu/lqthreat/nehrp_htm/1959hebg/n1959he1.shtml

        If you notice the last part of the link “/n1959he1.shtml” you can see that the “n1959he1” has a number at the end of it “1”. Once you are on that page and want to go to the next web page, all you have to do is change the “1” to “2, 3, 4, 5” as you see here: “/n1959he2.shtml”, “/n1959he3.shtml”, “/n1959he4.shtml”, “/n1959he5.shtml”. Each one of the web pages has many different newspaper accounts from 17 Aug through 23 Aug and some have information about the people involved in the quake but others deal with other activity going on because of the quake. I hope this helps you in your search for your long lost friend.
        Thank You.
        Jose from Clarkston, Michigan

  3. I wonder if his new found friend was the Provost’s son? Sadly the whole family perished in the earthquake. I keep hearing these stories of people who were late getting there, also left early and things like that. It’s amazing that we are placed where we should be; good or bad. I truly believe our Father in Heaven has a plan for us all and we have an appointed time for death.. He was fifteen years old.

    1. Yes, Anita I too think it was the Provost son. The comment was put on there back in 2016 and I was sending the two post to my family who knew something about the Yellowstone story but had not seen the blog posts.

      1. I met a woman who lost her former husband and her two sons. She said they were buried in the quake. I think she
        might have been the former wife of Mr. Provist.
        I think that Mrs Provost may be his mother, not
        his wife. Even after all this time, I cannot forget the
        sadness of the lady I met in Long Beach, Ca.
        I’m trying to identify her.

  4. I am sure that Dayle Provost is the mother of Richard Rodger Provost, who was lost that terrible night
    when buried by the mountain. His parents were divorced, and Elizabeth Provost who also died, may have been his step-mother.
    Richard was to attend Millikan High School in Long Beach, California. Dayle was a Unitarian and services
    were held at the church in Long Beach, California in homor of her son Richard. At the church, I was in charge of a small mobile Provost Memorial Library
    dedicated to the Provost memory and love of Dayle for her son.

    That is my recollection of it. A Long Beach Press Telegram newspaper article confirms some of these details. Richards mother and her sadness have always stayed with me. I hope the Ancestry trees can reflect her story of love and loss. She needs to be acknowledged.

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