St. Louis, MO Tornado, May 1896 - Cyclone's Deadly Work

Hospital in Ruins

The city hospital looks like a ruin. The surgical ward is partly demolished and portions of the other buildings are unroofed and the walls cracked. Physicians at once began the removal of patients to temporary quarters. The weakened structure it is feared will collapse. Four hundred and fifty-six were in the hospital when the storm came, and a number were injured. The convention hall and the four courts were in the path of the storm. The former lost a part of the roof and the walls were punctured in several places by flying missiles. It can be restored in ten days. A section of the brick wall of the jail went down but the prisoners were too panic stricken to escape. In the district between Sixth street and the river, north from Chateau avenue, the tornado tore a diagonal path through the older portions of the business district. Every building in its path was damaged. The streets are impassable in this section. Had the tornado came a little later the loss of life on the river would have been much greater as the excursion steamer would have been going out.

A million dollars will not cover the damage to property. How any person in the path of the cyclone escaped is a mystery to all who passed over the devastated region. Four square blocks were absolutely swept away. Many inmates are beneath the ruins. The Lake house, the Groes building, Tremont hotel, Martell house, Vandalia round house, with twenty dwellings around it, the Howe Institute, the Vandalia freight house in the last of which all were killed, are a few of the buildings which went down before the blast. The boats known to be sunk are the S. C. Club, Henry Stockman, Tug Rescue, Milsken, Christie, Wiggins, Medill and all the wharf boats. It is asserted that not a perfect line of wire remains in the western states.

The Death Roll.

St. Louis, May 28 -- 3 p.m. --The following is a corrected list of the dead in East St. Louis: Charles Wait, William Surrer, Mrs. Stock. J. A. Porter, Cincinnati drummer, name unknown, L. Richardson, flagman Vandalia road, Amelia Suiter, John Reams, Scott Hayward, Peter Walmsley, John Anderson, Mrs. Bruce, Emma Sullivan, Jacob Kintzet, P. J. Scrickle, unknown woman and two children, near Drury ice house, messenger boy on bridge, seven unknown dead in the Dublin house, Michael Kildea, Thomas Keef, Bert Farrell, Wm. Farrell, Frank McCormack, Joseph Franks, unknown man and woman near Broadway river, ex-Policeman Thomas Griffin and family of three, Frank Rose, foreman at Elliott's works, Robert Bland, John Valentine, City Collector David S. Sage and wife, Phillip Strickler and mother, Judge Foulke of Vandalia, Ill., Mrs. Martell and all the boarders of the Martell house, except Judge Hope of Alton, A. R. and Mrs. John Hayes, Will Hayes, all boarders at the Trenton house, estimated at sixteen; Tyler Mitchell, Wm. Mitchell, six unidentified bodies at the bridge tower, two of whom are supposed to be William Sullivan and wife, Mrs. John Reid, Patrick Dean and family of six, John Buchart, two boarders at Stacey's boarding house, Edward O'Brien, John Breen, Ida C. Labdue, Mrs. Roofe, Albert Volkman, Joseph Mitchell, John Sullivan, Wm. Rickey, unknown man on Collinsville avenue, son of Mr. Ira Kent, Henry Winterman, Jacob --ert and sixteen unidentified bodies at Winslay park.