Bush, IL Tornado, Apr 1912

At Bush, Ill., 18 dead, 40 injured.

Chicago, April 22. -- A tornado that swept from Cairo to Grand Park, Ill., crossing the Indiana state line a little below the Kankakee river and bringing desolation to the county near Morocco, Ind., brought death to 35 persons, according to reports of the disaster that have been received today.

Wires are still postrated in many parts of the stricken district and it is believed that complete details may increase the list of dead. Hundreds of persons were injured.

The latest reports show 18 killed at Bush, Ill; five killed at Willisville; three killed at Campus and nine killed at Moroco, [sic] Ind.

The storm left a trail of wreckage for its entire course, but the greatest devastation was near Murpshysboro, Ill., and Morocco, Ind. .....

The town of Bush is near Murphysboro. The storm struck there before 6 o'clock last night. The village was practically wiped out of existence.

Houses were crumpled up and toppled over and 12 persons were killed outright. News of the disaster was telephoned to Murphsboro [sic] and a special train send out. Two hours later the train carrying 42 injured reached Murphysboro.

The Newark Advocate, Newark, OH 22 Apr 1912


Chicago, April 23. -- Latest figures regarding the storm which swept over Illinois and Indiana Sunday evening show 72 dead, 200 injured and nearly 100 families in a destitute condition, as a result of the storm. More than 100 homes were demolished and the property loss totaled several hundred thousand dollars. Greatest damage done at Bush, Willsville, Murphysboro, Campus, Freeman, and Kankakee, Ill, and Morocco, Ind. Governor Deneen and Adjutant General Dickson have arranged to exceed state relief to the stricken districts in Illinois.

The dead are as follows

Bush, Ill, 18 dead, 100 injured.

District east of Bush, Ill. 8 dead, 30 injured. .....

Of 15 persons killed at Bush, Ill., 11 have been identified. They are: Mrs. Alex Williams, Valentine Farmer, J. W. Campbell, wife and six children and Joseph Wood.

J. W. Campbell was section foreman at Bush. With his wife and six children, he was sitting in the section house when the storm demolished it, killing the occupants instantly. One son, 16, was in Benton when the storm hit and escaped injury. The number of injured at Bush will reach more than 100.

Bush, a village in the northwestern corner of Williamson county, suffered most damage. Two storms met at Bush, one coming from the northwest and the other from the southwest. The storms met at a velocity of 75 miles an hour and in a few minutes Bush was in ruins. The building of the Western Coal Mining company was destroyed, as were the post office, general department store, hotels, restaurants and 40 dwellings. Thirty-five other dwellings were partly wrecked.

John Pumphry, superintendent of the mining company, received injuries from which he will probably die.

A trainload of injured was taken from Bush to Murphysboro, where three died.

Seventy-five families are homeless and destitute in southwestern Illinois. Until help comes from the state, officials of the St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railroad, led by W. E. Merrifield, division superintendent, are looking after the survivors.

The Newark Advocate, Newark, OH 23 Apr 1912