St. Louis, MO Destructive Tornado, Oct 1866



St. Louis, Monday, Oct. 22.
The most terrific wind storm that ever visited this section of the country swept over this city at 4:30 yesterday afternoon, (doing an incredible amount of damage,) from the south, bearing a little eastward. It seemed to twist like a screw; lasted from ten to fifteen minutes; was about a quarter of a mile wide when it first struck, but grew narrower as its[sic] proceeded north.
Scores of buildings were unroofed and hundreds were more or less damaged. Trees and fences were uprooted in every direction; shutters, sign-boards, timbers and all loose things were carried through the air almost like feathers. No lives have yet been reported lost, but several persons were severely injured.
The following are some of the most serious injuries sustained: All the chimneys of the City Hospital were blown down, and the adjoining house completely wrecked. The unfinished brick stables of the People's Railway Company, near Lafayette Park, were blown down, and the old stables demolished.
Two breweries, on Lafayette-avenue, lost chimneys and part of their roofs. The Church of the Angels, in the course of construction, on St. Augurial, had the roof, the whole south, and portions of all the other walls blown down. The pastor's house also was badly damaged.
The damage by the tornado yesterday is estimated at $100,000.
A new three-story warehouse on Sixth street, belonging to MR. KOENIG was prostrated, only a portion of one wall was left standing. The roofs of BARNUM'S and LENDELL'S Hotels, were somewhat damaged; also the Mercantile Library Hall. A large portion of the tin roof of DAILEY'S marble building, on the corner of Fifth and Olive streets was rolled up and blown into the street in the greatest fury.
The storm seems to have been spent of the O'Fallen Polytechnic Institute, a very large unfurnished building near the corner of Seventh and Chestnut streets. Two immense chimeys[sic] were blown down breaking holes into the roof, into which the wind entered, tore up the tin roof like papers, and carried large portions of it, weighing several hundred pounds a distance of from two to five blocks. A three-story brick house adjoining had the whole of the rear end forced in, and Father KELLEY, the pastor of the Church of Immaculate Conception, and its occupants, were badly hurt. Several other houses in the immediate vicinity were seriously damaged. Several steamboats were blown from their moorings and forced across the river. All telegraph lines leading out of the city were prostrated, and the fire-alarm telegraph was very badly cut up. But a portion of the damage done in the city is yet known, and nothing has been received from the country, where it is expected the damage has been very great. Rain accompained the wind, and a good deal of hail fell. The wind was strong and heavy, rapidly drifting clouds prevailed until past midnight, but this morning the weather is clear and quite cool.

The New York Times New York 1866-10-23