Indianapolis, IN Windstorm, Mar 1913


Ferocious Windstorm, Damaging Property Throughout City, May Cost One Life.


Telephone and Telegraph Service Affected – Chimneys and Small Buildings Leveled.

Damage estimated at from $60,000 to $75,000 was done and seven persons were injured, one probably fatally, yesterday morning, when an equinoctial windstorm, which at times attained a velocity of 60 miles an hour, swept the city and environs. An accurate estimate of the damage done by the storm, which attained its greatest fury at about 6 a.m., is practically unobtainable.

The injured:

MRS. EMMA CLARK, 50 years old, 2614 East Thirteenth Street; caught in collapse of an outbuilding; Injured internally; probably fatal.

CHARLES GILMORE, 351 ½ East Washington Street; painful injuries to the head; not serious.

BETTIE HILL, colored, 761 Indiana Avenue; struck by falling sign; Injuries to head; not serious.

EARL EWING, colored, 725 Douglass Street; struck by falling sign; not serious.

JOHN RYAN, street car lineman; struck by tree branch; may lose sight of right eye.

PATROLMAN ROBENOWITZ, struck by falling brick, Illinois and Washington Streets; not serious.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN, struck by falling brick at Illinois and Washington Streets; believed not serious.


The downtown business district suffered most seriously from the windstorm. A gale, as it was characterized by the Weather Bureau, and it was in that district that most of the victims were [illegible]. Narrow escapes were frequent, as [illegible] signs and windows were torn from their fastenings and hurled to the pavement. Scarcely a business house escaped paying its mite to the toll collected by [illegible] Wind. Damage estimated at $4,000 was done at the Indiana Central University, southeast of Indianapolis.


The storm took the city in its grasp early in the morning. At 8 o’clock the wind had reached a velocity of twenty-six miles an hour and from then until [illegible] o’clock continued to increase in fury until it attained a velocity of sixty miles an hour. It continued in a ferocious [illegible] for nearly an hour when it gradually abated.

In the outskirts of the city the wind uprooted trees, whisked chimneys and smokestacks from their supports and leveled fences and billboards.

Fifteen tons of iron and steel in a huge cigarette sign on top of the four-story Occidental Building at the southeast corner of Illinois and Washington Street, despite its porous construction, failed to withstand velocity of the wind and fell on the two-story building directly below it, wrecking the upper story. T. [illegible] Cook, a sign painter, occupied the rooms through which the sign crashed and estimated the loss to his firm at $1,500. The firm moved yesterday afternoon to rooms adjoining and will continue work.

The Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis, IN 22 Mar 1913