Evansville, IN Tornado, May 1886

$300,000 Damage.

EVANSVILLE, Ind., May 12. – A terrific wind and rain storm struck this city, tearing roofs off houses, breaking windows, tearing up trees by their roots and doing other damage. No loss of life has as yet been reported. The estimated loss to property is $300,000.

Newark Daily Advocate, Newark, OH 12 May 1886



A Regular Cyclone, Accompanied by Hail and Rain, Passes Over Missouri, Destroying a Vast Amount of Property and Crops.

Chicago, May 12.

A special dispatch from Evansville, Ind., places the loss by Tuesday night’s storm at very high figures. It gives the principal losses as follows:

MACKEY, NESBIT & CO., dry goods, roof of three story building blown off and entire stock deluged, loss $30,000; JOHN L. SMIZCH, side of building caved in and roof crushed through to the floor ruining stock worth $15,000, building $50,000; SWEETZER, CALDWELL & CO., notions, roof off and stock ruined, loss $25,000; BOETTSCHER, KELLOGG & CO., hardware, loss by water $15,000; ARMSTRONG FURNITURE CO., roof off and stock deluged, loss $10,000; MILLER BROS., dry goods, roof off and stock deluged, loss $10,000.

Besides these there are reports form 35 other merchants whose losses range from $50 to $200. Various dwelling houses are also damaged more or less by the destruction of roofs and deluge of water.

Steamer Jennie Campbell had a thrilling episode on her way up from Henderson. When opposite the cotton mills in the lower part of the city the storm struck her and blew the steamer into a raft of saw logs, carrying her over until the water got into her coal boxes. Her chimneys were blown off and carried up river a quarter of a mile, while her bell was blown 150 feet on shore. Everything was intense excitement and terror for a few minutes, but the coolness of the officers did much to restore confidence. The boat whistled for assistance and tug Isabel went down in the storm and towed her up to the city.

Two men attempted to cross the river in a skiff as the storm broke out and it is probable that they were lost. Nothing has yet been heard from neighboring towns as telephone and telegraph wires are all down, but the loss must be great.

Daily Kennebec Journal, Augusta, ME 13 May 1886