Skip to Content

Alton, IL Tornado, May 1871

---The Alton Telegraph of the 10th says:
"The tornado that desolated East St. Louis on Wednesday, swept northward through the county, inflicting immense damage on the farming community. Everything in its path was swept away, or destroyed. The main track of the tornado was about midway between here and Edwardsville. The house of Mr. John W. KENDALL was struck by the tornado, the roof blown off and carried a distance of 300 yards, and the whole building completely wrecked. The furniture was broken to pieces: clothing and bed coverings were blown away and lost. A pocketbook containing $100, which was in a wardrobe, was blown away and lost. All the outbuildings on the farm were torn to pieces and the fences carried off: a valuable peach orchard was reduced to a pile of brush. The residences of Mr. COX, Mr. ROESCH, and Mr. MORRISON were all unroofed and badly damaged, and their stables, outbuildings, fences, graneries, hay-stacks, stock, etc., utterly destroyed. The loss is extremely heavy. Where the tornado struck, nothing was spared. Strange to say, none of the inmates of residences named were seriously injured. About the most startling statement is yet to come: Mr. KENDALL informs us that his premises are strewn with fragments of steamboats, strips of tin roofing, and pieces of boards torn from buildings, which had evidently been blown from East St. Louis. As Mr. KENDALL'S house is no less than eighteen miles north of St. Louis in an air-line, the fact seems almost incredible, but is none the less true. These fragments of buildings were found by Mr. K, three miles north of his farm."

Chicago Tribune, Chicago, IL 14 May 1871



article | by Dr. Radut