Fort Wayne, IN Storm, Mar 1902



Severe Wind Storm Sunday Does Damage and Prevents Usual Easter Dress Parade.

True to ancient tradition, March makes its exit in a manner entirely opposite to its entrance and departs into the past amid high winds and a whirl of snow. The mild weather of last week occasioned a disappearance of winter apparel and gave rise to the belief that Easter Sunday would be ideal for the usual Easter parade, but such was not to be. Instead of the usual Easter display of handsome gowns and headgear, there was a resurrection of winter clothes and hats that would stand the rigor of a twenty-five-mile gale.

Saturday evening the mercury began to drop and toward Sunday morning a lively gale sprang up, which steadily increased until it had attained a high velocity. Walking was rendered uncomfortable, because of the predisposition on the part of the breeze to beat the time made by the trains from Chicago, consequently the cars were as heavily patronized as though the day were rainy.

The gale played havoc with signs, awnings, shade trees and every thing movable. Plate glass windows in Pottlitser Bros., Mergentheim’s, Kratzsch Bros., Randall hotel and Schlatter hardware establishment were broken and a photograph display stand owned by C. H. Geyer was shattered. Overhead signs belonging to John M. Miller, Cut Rate shoe store, Sam Field and numerous other stores were blown down, and many pedestrians had narrow escapes from injury. A chimney at the Wayne Buggy company’s factory was blown down and a small warehouse standing near the Foster shirt waist factory was unroofed. Two large shade trees on the Webster street side of the library site were blown down, blockading the street, and the firemen from engine house No. 3 were called out to clear away the branches. The damage to trees in all parts of the city was considerable.

A large hogshead used as a receptacle for waste paper, standing on the sidewalk on the Harrison street side of the Davis Medical company’s offices, was overturned just as a gentleman with his family was passing in a double-seated carriage. The gust picked up a bunch of papers, not less than a dozen, and drove them directly across the street into the face and sides of the horse. Nothing is so productive of runaways as flying paper, and it was only through the presence of mind and good, strong arms of the driver that one was prevented in this case. The wind then played some funny pranks with the balance of the stuff emptied from the hogshead.

The attendance at the various churches was materially lessened and the crowds on the streets during the day were very small. In the evening the mercury began falling again, going to the freezing point by midnight. Snow began falling at an early hour this morning and the earth was soon covered by a mantle of white. Snow fell at intermittent periods during the day, melting as rapidly as it fell and rendering walking very uncomfortable.

It is believed, however, that the height of the cold spell has been reached and a rise of temperature may be looked for.

The Fort Wayne Sentinel, Fort Wayne, IN 31 Mar 1902