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Description: The Most Destructive Cyclone of Recent Years...

Date: July 13 1893

Newspaper published in: Lake City

Pomeroy is Only a Pile of Ruins

The Most Destructive Cyclone of Recent Years.


More Than Forty People Killed and a Hundred Badly Wounded--- A Lovely Calhoun County town Torn Up Completely ---Notes of the Storm

The awful work of the Pomeroy cyclone of last Thursday evening continues to be the principal topic of conversation and newspaper comment through out Iowa and the continent. And well it may be for a more terrible example of the wonderful power of warring elements is seldom witnessed.

Where stood, shortly before 7 o'clock in the evening of July 6, a hundred or more pleasant, comfortable, and some even luxurious, homes, a few minutes later was a wilderness of broken timbers and debris, with wounded, bleeding, dying and dead humanity upon every hand. No pen could ever picture the awful terror of that night. Strong men were pinned to the earth and forced to hear the shrieks and groans of the wounded and dying while unable to lend a helping hand. Fathers and mothers, husbands, brothers and sisters searched in vain amid the darkness and ruins for their loved ones, and children wept for their parents lying cold in death. Searching parties were organized as speedily as possible, but no lights were at hand and but comparatively little could be done toward securing the wounded until the welcome dawn appeared. Then the scene which met the eyes of the uninjured, must have made the strongest feel sick at heart. But willing hands soon conveyed the wounded and dead to some of the few buildings which remained standing in the town, and people poured in from the surrounding country and neighboring towns to render much needed assistance. Before noon Friday an organization had been effected and relief work was proceeding with considerable system. It was discovered that no less than thirty-eight people had been killed outright and more than a hundred injured, some of whom have since died and increased the death list of fifty-three at last accounts.


From the narratives of many who saw the storm cloud it appears that it was tornado of the compound sort-that is, it varied from the true balloon tornado in that it had four stems or funnels, instead of only one. At some places along the track of the storm it seems that one or more of these funnels simply touched the tops of the trees, while another, perhaps, would sweep the ground.

The first damage was done in the vicinity of Cherokee, and from there the storm seemed to pass a short distance south of the Illinois Central railroad track until it reached Pomeroy, where it spent its force and performed its greatest work of destruction. As is known by most of our readers, Pomeroy was situated almost entirely south of the railroad track, the business houses being nearest the track and the residence part of town being still farther south.

The main part of the storm struck the town almost in the center, north and south, and coming as it was from a north-westerly direction and then veering slightly northward after striking the town, it covered the residence portion of the town as completely as though it had been guided with that intent. A number of the business houses were also demolished, and nearly all more or less damaged, but the buildings along the railroad street, and some adjoining them on the south, were left standing. In the main track of the storm, which covers fifteen residence blocks, everything is broken up fine-hardly enough left of a piece of furniture or anything else to tell what it belonged to, and not enough lumber could be taken from the ruins to build a yard fence. The extent of the loss in dollars and cents is variously estimated at from $150,000 to $300,000.

Gov. Boles was on the ground Friday afternoon and made a personal inspection and promptly issued an appeal for aid to the people of the state. (Newspaper is torn )

Next column reads


MRS. D. S. OBRIEN and baby
JOHN BETLY and two children
OLLIE FROST, aged 18
MRS. QUINLAN and baby
MRS. DAHLGREN and baby
MRS. THOMAS and baby
MRS. G. R. GEORGE, boy and girl
S. RUSHTON, child


Mrs. Kate A. Kealy, injury to eye
John Anderson, arm broken; serious
Mrs. John Anderson, injury to head and arm
Miss Kate Davy, puncture of Tro? and bruises
Harry Wegreve, skull fractured
Edward Sitesby, extensive flesh wounds of thigh; leg may have to be amputated.
Samuel W. Thomas, fractured rib, scalp wound and probably internal injuries
Lizzie Thomas, injury to foot and leg and scalp wound
Mrs. Frank Preng, injury to shoulder and scalp wound
Mrs. Samuel Maxwell, back arm and head bruised
Miss Ortman, injury to face.
Aurelia Kukiantz, fractured rib and injury to head and leg
John Kuklantz, injury to head and spine
Charles Randall, fractured jaw
Mrs. John Randall, fractured skull and injury to leg
Delia Black, aged 10, skull and right arm injured
Mrs. S. L. Black, injury to chest
Charles Black, aged 6, fracture of right arm
Joe De Mars, 24, fracture of ribs and wound in back
Julia Westercholt, 35, fracture of cocyx
Charles Dahlgren, 7, extensive contusion of head, also punctured wound in side
Roy Kiefer, 18, injury to left hip
Thomas Black, 3, scalp wound
Oscar Dahlgren, 2, would in head
Willie Dahlgren, 3, burn of hand and shoulder
J. E. Black, 23, contusion of face and limbs
C. W. Gilbert, 34, contusion of back
Henry Geick, 62, fracture of forearm and laceration of shoulder and leg
Eddie Nelson, 7, would of head
Willie Nelson, 3, punctured neck and body
Mike Quinlan, 24, scalp wound and injury to kidneys
Aiden Saltzman, scalp wound
Mrs. Aiden Saltzman, back and arm injured
J. F. Wilkins, injury to back
Mrs. A. Forche, contusion of shoulder
Ella Forche, scalp wound
Katie Forche, internal injury
Arthur Forche, arm broken
Frank Forche, thigh broken
Mary Knudson, injury to scalp and thigh
Mrs. J. A. Davy, fracture of skull
Wm. Maxwell, injury to scalp
Edith Maxwell, injury to scalp
Joseph Brownell, ribs fractured
F. J. Brownell, badly bruised
Mrs. Ed. Rankin, bruised
Emma Spies, back and head cut
George Stewart, left arm broken, head bruised
Thomas Harmon, left arm broken
Emma Harmon, leg wounded
Lloyd Harmon, bruised
Geo. Randall, bruised
Edwin Fecht, bruised
Earl Fecht, bruised
Fannie Fecht, bruised
Viola Fecht, bruised
Florence Fecht, bruised
Ed. Doyle, head and leg bruised
Mrs. James Miller, legs bruised
Mrs. James Miller, legs bruised
Mrs. Geo. Stewart, head, back and left leg bruised
Ray Stewart (baby) head bruised
John Dalin, ankle fractured
Nettie Frost, wound in back
Charles Barnhart, injury to scalp
Ray Barnhart, cut in arm
N. Fecht, fractured shoulder blade
Mrs. Fecht, badly bruised
Arthur George, bruised head and left arm
Dora George, knees cut and other bruises
Gertie Lundgren, injury to face
James Miller, fracture of ribs
Mary Miller, internal injuries
Mrs. Jacob Paps, scalp wound
August Meyer, internal injury
Cora Meyer, scalp wound
Nancy Rushton, fracture of thigh
Gust Linder, head injured
Anfred Linder, hip dislocated
Alma Linder, injury to head
Elvira Linder, contusion of face
Gottfred Linder, injury to head
Mrs. Gus Linder, foot and hip hurt
Minnie Stankling/Starkling, injury to arm
Anton Lundbland, injury to scalp
Mrs. Lundbland, injury to face
Anna Lundbland, injury to head
Auretta Lundbland, injury ???
James Pruden, injury to leg .
H. J. Elms, scalp wound
Mrs. Al. Lundgren, injury to head
George Guy, head and hands bruised
James Mellor, fractured ribs and hands.
Mary Soderstrom, left arm broken
Louida Olson, arm broken
Mrs. Anna Blomber, head and foot hurt
Eveline Blomber, left side and eye injured
Dina Blomberg, scalp wound Gilbert Fitzgerald, bruised
C. R. George, badly bruised
O. Childum, leg cut and bruised br> N. Brownell, leg and head bruised
ed Doyle, head bruised, right leg cut and badly bruised
Emma O. Hartman, injury to eye
Maud Moore, head injured
Mrs. R. C. Brownell, leg bruised


One man know to have been at his home when the storm struck was found, dead, in the second story of a building two blocks away. He had been blown that distance and in at the window of the house where found.
A babe was found alive and well on a pile of sharp-edged rocks. It had hardly a scratch, but its parents had been killed.

In one place among the ruins a plank is seen that was blown clear through a house. The hole is as square as though it had been chiseled out by a skillful mechanic.

The DROMMER family of three sought refuge in a cellar 8x10. A horse was blown in upon them, but they escaped without scratch.

In one cave three families were saved. The cave was quite small and it was greatly crowded. A house was blown upon the cave, but all escaped.

In a cellar 8x8 and only four feet deep eight full grown persons sought refuge and were saved without even the slightest injury.

A young man by the name of Louis METSEN was driving a buggy about three miles west of town on the evening of the storm. He was picked up and hurled about eighty rods, lodging in a barbed wire fence. One of the horses was killed. METSEN is terribly bruised and cut up, but he will recover.

Among the ruins a wounded man was found with his legs pinned together by a splinter passing through both of his calves. Apparently he was about to run when the splinter struck him. He may recover.

Chickens in the path of the storm were totally devoid of feathers after the storm had passed. Many chickens and turkeys were blown out into the country for nearly a mile.

The rumors of dead bodies being found several days after the storm are wholly without foundations. Every place in the ruins where a body could have been buried or pinned down was diligently searched on Friday and all the missing were duly accounted for. One body was found that could not be identified.

A billiard hall served as the improvised morgue, and two pool tables, together with two long tables made of rough planks held the dead while they were being prepared for burial. The bodies on the tables at one time, each enveloped in a mullin cloth and with great pieces of ice between them, almost represented the seven ages of man.

There was a tiny baby, perhaps eight months old, a boy in knickerbockers, a girl a few years older, a youth, a young man just past his majority, a middle-aged woman and an old man. The baby did not have a mark on it and looked as clean as if it had just come from the bath. The others were battered and torn and bleeding. The water from the melting ice mingles with the blood on the floor, where it stood several inches deep.

There are three temporary hospitals in the stricken city - one in the Good Templars lodge room, another in the Odd Fellows' hall, and a third in the hotel back of the Pomeroy State Bank. These are filled with cots and beds, and here the wounded are carefully attended by physicians and volunteer nurses.

There were five Lake City doctors and a hundred or more other of our citizens at the scene of the disaster within three or fur hours after the news was received here by telegraph. All had to drive across the country, a distance of twenty-three miles, and the roads wee bad and the day very hot.

One man is said to have lost $10,000.00 in money that he had drawn from the bank only a few days before. The story is that he found the pocket book but it had not money in it.

Mrs. G. G. Smith
In the Blade of last week mention was made of the departure of Mrs. Smith and her husband to Chicago where they had gone for the purpose of having the operation of ovaryostomy performed, and a host of friends had hoped that everything would be successful and that the lady would return to Lake city with assurance of entire recovery, but in this they were very much disappointed. The first news after the operation was performed was very discouraging but still friends her were hopeful until about twenty-four hours later a message was received that the lady was dead, and that her remains would be brought back to this city for burial.

At 2:30 on Friday the remains arrived and were taken to the beautiful little home, which she in company with her husband had labored hard to make comfortable. In this they had succeeded admirably, but in the midst of all earthly possession that heart might wish or hope for death was no respector. The funeral services were held at the Presbyterian church on Saturday morning at 10 o'clock and were conducted by Rev. S. W. Stophlet, who had in the winter of 1889 received her in full membership in the Presbyterian church, and she remained an active member of that church until death. The church was filled with the friends this good lady had drawn to her through her beautiful life, and the floral offerings were profuse.

Mary Viola Ferry was born in Pennsylvania, December 5, 1857, moved to Wisconsin when in childhood, was married to G. G. Smith August 18, 1875, came with her husband to Lake City, October, 1882; died June 29, 1893, aged 35 years, 6 months and 24 days.

Mr. Smith desires to return his heartfelt thanks to the neighbors and friends for the many kind offices rendered during the severe trials attending his bereavement.

Benj. Franklin Dwyer

Was born at Wabash, Indiana, March, 1844; enlisted with the 100 day men at the opening of the war; re-enlisted in company K, ninth Indiana volunteer infantry, and afterwards in Company L, United States cavalry, serving his country well and faithfully for three years and eleven months. At the close of the war he returned to Indiana and afterwards moved to Michigan, where he was married on September 27, 1868. He settled in this locality seventeen years ago, and was therefore among the old settlers of our county.

In the early part of February, 1892, there appeared on one of his cheeks a hard lump, to all intents resembling a tumor. He at once began a course of medical treatment, but to no avail, and later it developed into a cancer which he sought to have removed by physicians skilled in that line, but after each treatment the matter grew worse and it became evident that the only thing that could be done was to bear the burden until little by little, day by day, his life was eaten away, and on the morning of July 4th, he breathed his last at 5 a. m. It was a most horrible death, yet he bore his sufferings in a brave, soldierly manner.

The funeral services were held from his home on Wednesday afternoon and were conducted by Rev. R. W. Stophlet. At the grave the honors were paid by Lander Post No. 156, G. A. R. of which deceased was a member.

Deceased leaves a wife and seven children to mourn the loss of husband and father.

The Holy Bonds
On Sunday evening last, as the residence of the bride's father, Miss Nettie Jones was united in marriage to Mr. Austin Mote. The young people are well and favorable known in Lake city and their many friends will wish them a long and happy married life.

Under the heading, "A Probable Candidate for Representative," the Lohrville Enterprise says: "It is currently reported that Elm Grove township is to have a candidate in the person of Henry Olsen. We are pleased to hear of their making such a good choice, and they should congratulate themselves on having a man that could represent them and our county in a creditable manner. Mr. Olsen is a man of good judgement and has a thorough understanding of political affairs and the wants of the people, and the faculty of standing before audiences and telling what he knows in a forcible and entertaining manner. Should he decide to announce himself a candidate and succeed in being elected, he would undoubtedly do honor to Calhoun county in that august body of men."

The death of Miss Kate Davy and three others was reported form Pomeroy last evening.

A gloom was thrown over all scenes of gaiety in the world's fair city this week by the burning of the cold storage building, a the fair grounds, in which a number of lives were lost. At last accounts the bodies of seventeen brave firemen had been taken from the ruins and others were still missing.

On Saturday, July 1, a pocket-book containing $7 in money, besides some small change, was lost in Lake City. Finder will please leave same at this office.

For six per cent farm loans call on O. J. Jolley. Interest payable annually. Principal payable in multiples of $100. any year at option of borrower.

To close out my stock of trimmed hats, I will sell at a great reduction for the 30 days. Mrs. M. G. Sacrider

Relief Work
Contributions for the relief fo the cyclone sufferers at Pomeroy are pouring in at a rate which is very gratifying to all concerned. It is said that more supplies in the way of cloting have been received than can be used at present. But there is no danger of sending too much money. It will take $250,000,or more, to rebuild Pomeroy as it was before, and this is what should be done. Lake City people have raised in the neighborhood of $1,500, cash, and the work of collecting contributions still goes on.

The relief organization at the scene of disaster is in good working order and all contributions will be applied where they will do the most food.

Kentner Items

Dan Swender made a flying trip to Ida Grove yesterday.

The Graham young people of Carroll, visited with R. E. Grahams's over Sunday.

Newt Johnson, of Auburn, ahs moved to Kentner and is running the Clapper building.

Mrs. Reinhart left last Saturday for Kickapoo, Illinois, where she will visit a daughter and will attend the world's fair before returning home.

Will Answer to the Grand Jury
Dr. M. J. Land, the Farnhamville physician accused of seducing a 15 year-old girl patient, waived examination in "Squire Earl's court and was placed under $1,000 bonds to appear before the grand jury at the next term of district court. The charge preferred against the doctor is a very serious one, and, if anything like ample grounds exist for it, it is almost a wonder that he is allowed to reside peacefully in a christian community. It is claimed that the young girl was under his treatment for some female disease and he convinced her that it was necessary for her to submit to his desires in order to save her life. The doctor claims that it is simply a case of blackmail.

Submitted: 05/22/05

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