Various Towns, MO Tornado Damage, May 1858

TORNADOES AT THE WEST -- A RAILROAD TRAIN BLOWN OFF THE TRACK -- LIVES LOST, &C.

St. Louis, Saturday, May 15.
A violent tornado blew the passenger train of the Chicago Alton and St. Louis Railroad off the track at Lexington, Mo., on Thursday night, and several persons were seriously injured. The towns of Lexington and Peoria at the junction of Towanda also suffered severely, half the houses in them being prostrated. At Towanda three men were killed.
Yesterday, another storm of like character passed over the region between Bloomington and Springfield, doing much damage. A large number of houses in Elkhart and Williamsville were demolished, one of them falling in and crushing a family of five persons to death.

The New York Times New York 1858-05-17

Comments

This was actually in Illinois

The original article had a huge typo (unknown if on the part of the TIMES or the St Louis paper). The Lexington referred to is in Illinois (read the whole article for context). The CA&StL RR, in this corporate form, never made it into Missouri. In later reorganization, under the Chicago & Alton flag, it crossed the Mississippi River in the 1870s. Railroad mileage in Missouri was miniscule before the Civil War, but what there was played a huge role during the war.