Wellington, KS Tornado, May 1892


Never In the History of Kansas Was There Anything Like It.


Language Cannot Describe the Scenes at Wellington and Harper.

WELLINGTON, Kan., May 28. --- The destruction to life and the havoc to property wrought by last night's cyclone is terrible. In the darkness of the night and the confusion incident to such a catastrophy [sic] it was not possible to realize the enormity of the calamity. The light of day invests the scene of destruction with the distinct and awful realization of its scope. The loss of life is appalling and the ruin to property is great.
The storm came from the south-west and approached the city with a rotary motion, appearing to be some distance over the town. When it reached here it descended upon the center of the city with appalling force, suddenly lifting, sucking everything into its grasp and as suddenly dropping it. Trees were torn from their roots, and stoves were actually lifted until they landed on the upper floors of the ruins. Freight cars which stood on the track of the Rock Island road were picked up and carried a distance of 200 feet.
In one instance a horse was actually taken from the ground and carried to the top of a two-story building. A little child was taken out of its cradle, carried a distance of two blocks and deposited upon the ground without being injured.
The loss of property alone in this city will amount to fully $5,000,000, as mostly all the large stocks of goods in the city were destroyed by the cloudburst which followed the tornado after it had taken all roofs away. The reports from all the country to the west are very discouraging. While there is no detailed news from the country in this immediate vicinity, the indications are that the damage is terrible.