Durango, IA Severe Storm Damage, May 1896



Dubuque, Ia., May 25. -- The storm that passed over this section last night was one of the severest ever experienced here. The resulting flood caused heavy property damage in this city and vicinity.
The dead at Durango are:
Four children of Mrs. Clark.
The railroad station agent.
All were drowned by the sweeping away of the little depot where they had taken refuge from the flood. Besides the CLARK family, they were in the depot PETER MOSS, JAMES DILLON, Brakeman GRIFFIN, MRS. CLARK'S servant MAY LINDRICK, F. DRAILER, wife and two children. The little frame depot was lifted from its foundation and floated into the main channel of the river, 200 yards below, and there struck a tree and careened to one side. As the depot turned over the lights went out, and the greatest confusion prevailed. As the depot careened Brakeman JAMES GRIFFIN, twenty-four years old, seized the oldest girl, MISS CLARK, and plunged into the flood, which now extended from bluff to bluff, a distance of a half-mile. The brakeman and child must have met almost instant death. The other three children of MRS. CLARK were on the side of the depot which went down, and when it rose again a minute later, to continue its journey down the stream, the three children were missing. JAMES DILLON and P. MOSS managed to catch the overhanging branches of a tree, and here they were discovered by the rescuing party.
The others remained in the depot until it lodged against a tree a mile and a half from the depot site. The body of one of Mrs. Clark's twins, a girl four years old, was found fifty yards below the tree against which the depot lodged. The bodies of GRIFFIN and the girl he had attempted to rescue were found three miles down lodged in the driftwood. The body of another child was seen in the flood four miles down the river.

St. Paul Globe Minnesota 1896-05-26