Mexico, MO Tornado, May 1891


Many Lives Destroyed in a Missouri Storm.

Houses Demolished and the Inmates Killed.

A terrific tornado passed three miles northeast of Mexico, Mo., at 3 o'clock on a recent afternoon in the vicinity of Bean Creek. Fifteen houses in the vicinity of that place were destroyed, some ten or twelve persons killed, and equal number fatally injured, and a large number badly hurt.

At the house of a farmer named DUFFY, JOHN DORGER and family were living. JAMES DORGER, aged six, was killed outright, LIZZIE DORGER was fatally hurt and died in a few minutes. Her skull was crushed and a large piece of timber penetrated her side. MRS. DORGER was crushed to death by falling timbers, and MR. DORGER was fatally injured. The house was entirely swept away. Nothing has been heard of MR. DUFFY, and it was supposed that his body was carried away. The DUFFY barn was blown down and two horses were killed.

At the house of WILLIAM STRANBERG, WILLIAM YOSTRANDER and family were visiting. The house was swept bodily away. WILLIAM YOSTRANDER was killed, his wife was badly injured, and his little girl was fatally hurt. WILLIAM STRANBERG was also fatally hurt.

At the home of EDWARD NORRIS, GERTRUDE FLETCHER, a daughter of R. S. FLETCHER, was instantly killed. E. B. NORRIS was fatally injured. CALEB NORRIS was badly hurt and his wife seriously injured. WILLIAM FLETCHER and his sister KATE were instantly killed, and their bodies terribly mangled. At the same place, MRS. EMILY SEAL, a widow, aged sixty, was fatally hurt, and MRS. NORRIS, the mother of E. B. NORRIS, was killed. F. S. NORRIS was badly hurt. The house of VALENTINE ERDLE caught fire during the first gale and was completely destroyed. The inmates had vacated the place and nobody was hurt. The house of T. B. HALL was blown down, but the family escaped. A horse standing in the road at that place was picked up by the wind, carried half a mile and dashed to death on the ground. The house of BOSTON KUNKEL was swept away, and MR. KUNKEL was instantly killed. A farmer named ROGERS was also killed at that place, also a farmer named CRANE. Several farm hands in the vicinity of the KUNKEL and ROGERS farms were believed to have been killed.

JOSEPH KENDALL'S house and barn were blown down. KENDALL had a narrow escape. He had just left the house and gone to the barn as the barn was blown down or lifted up, leaving him unharmed. The mules in the stable were not hurt. The barn was scattered all over the fields. JAMES MILLARD'S house was blown down. A mowing machine was carried about 100 yards and literally blown to pieces. A large iron roller weighing 1200 pounds was taken up and blown to pieces. A calf was lifted from the ground and carried over a quarter of a mile. Several horses were killed and twenty-five chickens were plucked clean of feathers. Spokes of wagon wheels were twisted and broken.

The tornado passed on to the east, passing Rush Hill, one mile north of Mexico, carrying destruction everywhere. Great destruction of property and life occurred further east. Great trees were taken up by the roots and blown off. The scene at these places is pitiable in the extreme.

E. B. MERRY, SR., said: “When I first noticed the storm the wind blew a gale. I was holding my baby in my arms when it struck the house. I was dashed against the house and the baby was carried 100 yards and dashed against a tree. I picked it up and went back to the house to find my family scattered in every direction.”

The width of the tornado was about 300 yards and about twelve miles long. The loss will be about $50,000.

The Cranbury Press New Jersey 1891-05-29