Mt Carmel, IL Tornado, Jun 1887

A Terrible Disaster at Mt. Carmel, Ill.

Mt. Carmel, Ill., A thriving town of 3,000 inhabitants, on the Cairo & Vincennes Railroad, was struck by a cyclone on the 4th, a number of lives being lost and $500,000 worth of property destroyed. The storm came from the southwest, and its line of destruction embraced all of four streets and a large part of the territory between Third and Fifth streets. The duration of the wind did not exceed two minutes, but the rain continued to fall for some time after the cyclone passed on. The velocity of the wind is estimated at 150 miles per hour. During its prevalence the air was filled with flying roofs, windows, doors, lumber, rails, clothing, etc. Much of the debris was carried more than a mile away. Thirteen persons were killed outright, and many others will undoubtedly die of their injuries. There are also several others reported missing who are probably buried in the ruins. It being a rainy day, many farmers who could not work at home were in town. The county court was also in session, which caused many people to be in the city.

Men, women and children were blown a distance of 400 feet, as if they were feathers. The best part of the town Is destroyed. Some seventy families were rendered houseless and much distress is anticipated.

Those known to be killed are as follows: JAMES GOODRICH, GEORGE BRINES, WILLIAM NEWKIRK, GEORGE WATKINS, GEO. MOORE, CHARLES NORMAN, JOHN A. EDGAR, CHARLES L. POOLE, FRED GOAK, WILLIE WALLER, B.F. BALLARD and DR. LEBAUER. Two of the wounded have since died, but their names are not given.

The most seriously wounded are: MR. BUCKER, THOMAS STONE, a child of THOMAS HIGBEE, fatally; JOHN FENNIS, fatally; the wife of CHARLES BURTON, probably mortally; MRS. DUORER, fatally. M.J. HOBBETON and ROBERT PARKINSON, both old men, probably will not survive. The total number wounded will probably reach seventy or eighty.

There are eighty-five buildings in ruins, a number of them being among the largest business houses in the place, and contained valuable stocks of goods. The most prominent buildings destroyed were the court house, two newspaper offices, thee churches, one of which was the finest in southern Illinois, and two school houses.

The calamity which has befallen this city has not been overstated. Fourteen blocks of beautiful homes and business houses in ruins, and a hundred families houseless and helpless, a score of dead and seventy badly hurt, in a population of 3,500, a loss of not less than $300,000 is to heavy a loss for this heart stricken people to carry alone, and help must come from the country at large. Any aid from cities or towns that may be sent to R.S. Gordon, Mayor or Judge T.J. Shannon, of the banking house of Shannon & Beal, Chairman of the Relief Committee, will be wisely and faithfully appropriated toward those who are worthy and needy.

The Elyria Constitution, Elyria, OH 14 Jun 1887