Great Bend, KS Tornado, May 1909
Kansas City, May 14. - - A series of tornadoes in Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma late today killed at least seven, injured fifty-five, laid waste one town, wrecked a train and did great
damage to property. Twenty-five were injured by a storm that swept over Mount Washington and Fairmont park, suburbs of Kansas City. At least two of these are thought to be fatally injured and others seriously.
Two Dead in Great Bend.
Near Great Bend a tornado killed two and injured twenty. All wires were down in that vicinity, and it is feared that the death list may be great.
William Ackerly, a Santa Fe engineer, and Frank Nicholson, a conductor, were killed while with a bridge gang between Great Bend and Kinsley. The tornado wrecked the work train, of which Ackerly was engineer and blew it into a ditch. Several members of the crew were blown 100 feet. The piledriver toppled over, crushing Ackerly to death in his cab, where he remained with his hand on the throttle.
Following are those injured in the Great Bend storm: Lester Preston, Ranson Middaugh, Portor Thomas, R. E. Rucker, R. M. Brown, T. E. Fulkerson, Clarence Avery, Brakeman Murray. Twelve unidentified.
Most of the victims in this case were members of the Santa Fe bridge crew in the train wrecked by the wind. The wind spread over a large area, injuring many whose names could not be obtained tonight. Many conflicting reports have been received. One had ten killed.
The Nebraska State Journal, Lincoln, NE, 15 May 1909
William Ackerly, a Santa Fe engineer, and Frank Nicholson, a conductor, were killed while with a bridge gang between Great Bend and Kindsley.
The tornado wrecked the train on which Ackerly was engineer and blew it into the ditch. Most of the victims were members of the Santa Fe gang. The wind spread over a wide area and injured many whose names cannot be obtained tonight. Conflicting reports are received, one saying that ten were killed.
The Durango Democrat, Durango, CO, 15 May 1909