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Baxter Springs, KS Cyclone Destruction, July 1895

FIVE KILLED HERE.

BAXTER SPRINGS VICTIMS OF A TERRIFIC WIND.

Baxter Springs, Kan., July 6. -- A cyclone, which struck Baxter Springs last night killed five people outright, and several others were injured, and are not expected to live. A dozen people were seriously injured, Cooper & Hodgkin's dry goods store was destroyed, the Methodist, Christian and Colored Methodist churches were blown down, and a dozen residences and many barns totally wrecked. A complete list of the dead is as follows:
SALLIE WEBSTER, aged 70.
FLORENCE WEBSTER, aged 36.
RALPH WEBSTER, aged 2.
THOMAS SHIELDS' baby.
H. H. HIBBS.
The injured are:
MRS. NEAL, both collar bones broken and internal injuries.
JAMES NEAL, scalp wound and internal injuries.
ROY WEBSTER, right arm broken, right hip and left elbow dislocated.
MRS. MARTHA SMITH, hips dislocated and internal injuries.
ELLA SMITH, internal injuries.
GEORGE A. DICKER, head injured.
A. G. HANBACK, head injured.
Three members of A. SHARPE'S family, badly injured.
MRS. THOMAS SHIELDS, living nine miles south, fatally injured.
The injuries of the mother of JAMES NEAL and A. G. HANBECK will prove fatal.
The storm struck the city at 6 o'clock accompanied by a violent rain storm, which was as quick and destructive as a waterspout. Fully twenty people were more or less injured. The storm was not anticipated and no preparations were made by the citizens to get out of the way.
When it had abated and the work of rescue begun a dozen homeless families were found in the streets or in the ruins of their homes. MRS. WEBSTER and her mother and daughter were found in their wrecked house. HIBBS was killed in his house. Cooper & Hodgkin's brick store building, the best structure in town, was demolished, one wall and rear end having been blown in, destroying the stock of dry goods. Twenty-seven box cars were blown from the Kansas City, Fort Scott & Memphis track. The freight and passenger depots were almost demolished, and much damage to freight resulted. Several fine residences and many small buildings and outbuildings were blown away. In Shaft 49, of the Kansas & Texas Coal company, at Weir City, where many miners were engaged, the water rushed in with such rapidity that the miners barely escaped with their lives. Every mule in the shaft was drowned. Three creeks were swollen beyond their banks within a few hours, and fuller reports from the country roundabout cannot but bring news of damage to life and property from the combined forces of wind and water. The Memphis railroad's wrecking train and bridge crews were called from this city this morning to repair its depots and small washouts, which will not interfere with traffic.
There seem to have been two currents of wind which struck Baxter Springs, one from the north and the other from the west, and they met near the Methodist church, joined forces and turned east, doing serious damage to property before meeting and completing the destruction after coming together.

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article | by Dr. Radut