Ypsilanti, MI Tornado, Apr 1893

Pretty Little Michigan Town Destroyed by Wind.


It Is Feared That Lives Were Lost.

DETROIT, Mich., April 12.---A tornado struck Ypsilanti, Washtenaw County, about 7:30 o'clock this evening and caused heavy damage in the business section by demolishing almost all the business buildings and several residences. As far as can be ascertained at present nobody was killed, but quite a number of persons received injuries more or less serious. It is impossible to obtain any news from the town, as all telegraph and telephone wires are down.

Mr. H. Mason, manager of the Central Telephone Exchange at Ypsilanti, came to Detroit after the storm in an injured condition. He said, "About 7:30 o'clock this evening, during a heavy rainstorm, a tornado struck Ypsilanti and swept through its center, leaving destruction in its path. As far as I can remember twelve or fifteen of the principal business blocks in the city were demolished, and others had their roofs torn off and were otherwise damaged. Several dwellings were also wrecked. Nearly all the buildings on Huron street between Congress and Pearl streets suffered. Among the principal blocks blown down are the opera house, Hawkins House, Union block, Occidental Hotel, business college, and the postoffice building. The central telephone, and the Western Union Telegraphs Company's offices suffered severely, the former losing all of its main wires. A box factory was also wrecked. I heard of nobody being killed. Quite a number of people were injured, but it is not known how many or the extent of their injuries. Among them is Mrs. Westhal, whose husband is proprietor of the Hawkins House. Everything was in confusion when I left and it was impossible to get anything more definite than what I tell you."

At midnight the following dispatch was received from Ypsilanti by the Associated Press: "This city is in ruins. A cyclone struck here to-night, coming from the southwest and sweeping everything in its path. The storm took a strip through the business portion of the town, moving houses from their foundations and razing others. Cleary Business College and Curtis Carriage factory are in ruins, the Hawkins House and Occidental Hotel are badly damaged, and the roofs of half the stores were blown off. Twenty store fronts were also smashed in. On Huron street the rubbish is piled ten feet high. The post office building was demolished, and the mail is scattered in the street. All telegraph, telephones and electric light wires are down, leaving the city in complete darkness. Everybody is up watching property that has been exposed to the storm.

The Daily Inter Ocean, Chicago, IL 13 Apr 1893

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