St. Louis, MO Tornado, May 1896 - Business in Ruin

CHURCHES IN RUINS

Long List of Holy Edifices Razed by the Cyclone.

SIXTEEN COSTLY CHURCH HOUSES

In the Neighborhood of Lafayette Park Either Totally or Partially Destroyed, Entailing Losses Aggregating a Quarter of a Million.

A long list of houses of worship ruined and damaged by the storm.
Churches Estimated losses
Lafayette Park Presbyterian . . . . . . . $16,000
Lafayette Park Methodist . . . . . . . . . 10,000
Lafayette Park Baptist . . . . . . . . . . . 8,000
Church of the Unity . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10,000
Mount Calvary Episcopal . . . . . . . . . . 20,000
Memorial German M. E. . . . . . . . . . . 20,000
Holy Cross, Saxon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12,000
Compton Hill Congregational . . . . . . . . 1,000
Compton Heights Christian . . . . . . . . . 1,000
St. Henry's Catholic . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10,000
St. Paul's Evangical . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20,000
Trinity Lutheran . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18,000
St. Vincent's Catholic . . . . . . . . . . . . 3,000
SS Peter and Paul . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30,000
St. John's Episcopal . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13,000
Annunciation Catholic . . . . . . . . . . . .18,000

Over forty St. Louis churches were smitten by the elements Wednesday night.

Rain poured into the unroofed buildings, flooded the basements and ruined the furniture.

Falling steeples added to the general havoc.

Nearly every church near the desolate districts that escaped damage is used for hospital and shelter purposes.

The houses of worship around Lafayette park, all of them of the costliest kind, felt the blow more than the others.

The Presbyterian church at Missouri and Albion was damaged. Rev. S. C. Palmer is its pastor. His home, at the eastern front of the park, was demolished. The roof of the church landed near the center of Lafayette park. The church was of rough stone, and its Sunday school is, next to Wanamaker's in Philadelphia, the largest in the United States.

Lafayette Park M. E. church, Rev. S. C. Werlein, Pastor, at Missouri and Lafayette, was partly ruined by the falling steeple. The pink stone walls littered the vacant lot on the north, as well as the auditorium. This church is noted for the sociability of its young people.

On the north side of the park, corner of Armstrong and Park, is the Church of the Unity. This is a white stone building, rather small, and is on an elevation. The roof was lifted off and deposited in sections in the park.

Southeast of the park is the Baptist church, at Lafayette and Mississippi, a brick building, which sustained about $8,000 damage.

The Baptist Orphans' home, immediately east, was partly wrecked.

Southwest of Lafayette park, Mt. Calvary Episcopal church, Rev. P. Fauntleroy rector, at Jefferson and Lafayette, was entirely wrecked. Part of it is on the Union club and the rest of it covers the street car tracks.

Continued