Independence, IA Tornado, 1873

THE TORNADO OF 1873

“Disasters come not singly,” is an adage too frequently proven to allow of any argument, as the inhabitants of Independence thought when just two weeks after the big fire of 1873 a terrible storm to the magnitude of a hurricane visited the city and did much damage to property.

The track of the storm extended but four or five miles on either side of Independence—Jesup and Winthrop being outside its destructive force. Many residences and store buildings, some of them just completed, and some in process of erection, after the fire, were completely destroyed; the Methodist Episcopal Church suffered considerable damage and its spire was totally wrecked. Window panes were shattered and chimney tops blown off all over town. But out of town the effects of the wind were more serious and several people suffered injury. East of town the Bethel Church was moved off its foundation and numerous houses and fine large barns were totally wrecked. Mr. Boone was injured, but not seriously, by his house being blown off its foundation. The house of L. J. Whitney, about five miles southwest of Independence, was torn to pieces and the whole family of five were carried several rods away and all were severely though not fatally injured. In Cono Township the new residence of Daniel Matthais was completely demolished and some of the family severely hurt. At Quasqueton several houses and stores were destroyed and at Rowley it was especially severe—the Evans House was blown down and Mr. and Mrs. Evans and a man stopping in the house were badly hurt. The Methodist Episcopal Church was completely destroyed and one of the elevators unroofed. Miles of fences all over the county were torn to pieces and the damage to property reached a high figure.

History of Buchanan County, Iowa, and its people, 1914, pages 320-321