Eskridge, KS Tornado, Apr 1911

At Eskridge A High School Was Demolished and Twenty Pupils Suffered Injuries.

A day of sultriness and wind that blew straight ahead with great velocity gave rise to a tornado in Central Kansas about 4 o’clock yesterday afternoon.

The storm started near Eskridge, in Wabaunsee County, about twenty-five miles southwest of Topeka, and traveled in a northeasterly direction. It was the old-fashioned twisting wind and the funnel shaped cloud and wherever it dipped down to earth houses, barns, live stock – everything in its path – was caught up and dashed to the earth again.

Besides Eskridge, Netawake and Whiting in Jackson County, Powhattan, Hiawatha and Robinson in Brown County and other smaller towns were partly wrecked. Four persons were killed and upwards of fifty injured in this stretch of country.

George M. Scott, an Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe engineer, who was in Eskridge at the time of the storm, says at least fifteen houses were blown down.

After he left Eskridge, Scott said he could see the tornado sweeping across the country for a distance of ten miles, overturning houses, barns, and sheds in its path. He heard of no one being killed in Eskridge.

Benjamin Resch, a fireman in Scott’s engine, was blown out of the cab window and hurled across the street. The only injury he sustained was a slight cut on his head.

TOPEKA, April 12. – The storm struck Eskridge about 4 o’clock. The high school building, a 2-story brick structure, was blown down and twenty pupils injured.
The storm seemed to form southeast of Eskridge and it moved across the town towards the northeast. Eight houses were blown down and about twenty residences and other buildings damaged.

The Kansas City Times, Kansas City, MO 13 Apr 1911

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Eskridge is 25 miles south of Topeka, Kan. The storm struck at 3 o’clock. The new high school building was blown down and 20 students were injured. It is not believed that any of them were fatally wounded.

The Lima Daily News, Lima, OH 13 Apr 1911

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Children Injured.

Eskridge, Kan., April 12. – A tornado tore through the eastern part of this place at 4 o’clock last evening from the southwest, tearing buildings to pieces and injuring a number of children who were leaving the school. Daniel Cousins was seriously hurt, but is improved this morning. Thirty children were slightly injured.

Ben Resch, a Santa Fe fireman, was hit by a flying timber and seriously hurt. Thirty houses were blown down or damaged.
The house of Robert Strathern, six miles northeast of town, was destroyed and Mrs. Claire Rutledge, a married daughter, had an arm broken. The barn of Arthur Clark, in the same neighborhood, was destroyed.

The property loss here will be upward of $50,000.

The Evening Standard, Ogden City, UT 13 Apr 1911

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The injured....
Ben Resch, fireman on the Santa Fe train, injured at Eskridge by being hit with a flying scantling.
Thirty-five children and a number of adults at Eskridge.

The Galveston Daily News, Galveston, TX 13 Apr 1911

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INJURED

Benjamin Resch of Eskridge, Santa Fe fireman, blown from engine and bruised
Mary Bell, 10 years old, of Eskridge, ankle sprained, face cut.
William McCaulley, pupil at Eskridge School, bruised.
John Cousins, pupil at Eskridge, Kas., School, skull fractured; condition dangerous.
Eldon Parmiter, pupil at Eskridge School, scalp cut and body bruised.
Henry McKee, pupil at Eskridge School, bruised.
Warren Duff, pupil at Eskridge School, bruised.
William Parmiter of Eskridge, bruised.
A. H. Seymore of Eskridge, injured when rock was dislodged from foundation of his house.
Mrs. Claire Rutledge of Eskridge, one arm broken.
Claire Rutledge, head cut.

The Kansas City Times, Kansas City, MO 14 Apr 1911