St. Joseph, MO Storm And Tornado Destruction, July 1873


St. Louis, Mo., July 5. -- A Special dispatch from Hannibal, Mo., to the Democrat says that the severest storm that ever visited that section broke over Hannibal last night. Two or three houses were blown down and several unroofed.
Large numbers of trees were uprooted, and much damage was done to fences and other property.

St. Joseph, Mo., June 5. -- A terrific windstorm, amounting almost to a tornado, passed over this city last evening between 7 and 8 o'clock. The steamer Mountaineer was lying at the bank above the bridge, secured to the railroad track and other fastenings by eight cables, two of which were new and four and one-half inches in diameter. At the first big blow the lines parted, after tearing up a portion of the railroad track, and the steamer turned her head to the stream. The wind kept her close to St. Joseph shore, and she drifted down and struck the east end of the bridge draw. Several of the iron guys of the bridge were sprung from their bolts, and the damage to the bridge is from $8,000 to $10,000. It will require twenty days to make repairs. The "Mountaineer" was terribly wrecked in her forward part, the upper works and hurricane deck being smashed. Her freight-hoister was ruined, and chimney knocked down. The loss on the vessel is about $30,000, on which there was no incurance. At the time of the accident, the first mate, first engineer, first clerk, and steward, with a number of the deck crew, were on watch, but none were injured. The Mountaineer belonged to the Missouri River Packet Company, and was built in 1866, at a cost of $51,000.
The steamer Elkhorn, which was moored below the bridge, broke loose and floated five miles down the river, where she lodged. She was brought up this morning, and is damaged to the extent of $500.
The tornado took off the roofs of several houses in the city, and did much damage in the way of uprooting shade trees, which were blown down and broken to pieces. Sheaves of wheat were tossed about and scattered East of St. Joseph, generally.

The New York Times New York 1873-07-06