Pauline, NE Tornado, May 1903

Pauline Tornado

Sunday, May 24, 1903, a destructive tornado destroyed the six-room residence of John Mumma near Pauline. The storm started about four miles southwest of the Mumma home, where it destroyed the house of Charles Daum. Mr. and Mrs. Daum escaped from injury by taking refuge in the cellar. The tornado missed the home of William Overy by about seventy-five yards.

At the Mumma home six were killed: John Mumma, aged 51; Mrs. Mumma, 47; Gertrude Mumma, 18; Florence Palmer, 19; John Palmer, 16; Ray Quigg, 21. Those killed in addition to the Mumma family were young people of the neighborhood who were Sunday guests of the Mummas. The party were at dinner when the house was struck, about 3 o’clock. The farm was the property of W. B. Sheldon of Hastings.

Past and Present of Adams County Nebraska, 1916, page 414


Lincoln, Neb. May 25. -- The village of Pauline, Neb. 15 miles southwest of Hastings, is reported destroyed by a tornado and six people killed. The wires are down and details unobtainable.

Meagre advices state that the town of Norman was also visited by a tornado, seven persons losing their lives.

A number of farmhouses around Fairfield were destroyed and eight persons missing are believed to have been killed.

Communication by wire west and south of here is impossible.

The nown dead victims of Paulina are: John Mumma, wife and daughter, Mrs. Hughes, John Palmer, R. Quigg.  Later information is to the effect that the town escaped damage but farm property two miles east was badly wrecked and many buildings torn and twisted splinters.

Omaha, May 25. -- Specials received here state the total killed in this morning's tornado in Kearney and Adams counties with the storm center near Paulina [Pauline] is 21; seven are reported killed at Paulina, three at Norman, and eleven others, along the path of the storm. A relief train was sent from Hastings.

Daily Iowa State Press, Iowa City, Iowa, 25 May 1903


Hastings, Neb., May 26. -- A series of heavy storms, two of which developed into the worst tornadoes that have visited Southern Nebraska for years, passed over portions of Clay, Franklyn and Kearney counties in the night. Fifteen persons lost their lives, twenty odd were more or less seriously injured and a number of others received minor injuries. Every dwelling and outbuilding in the path of the tornado was blown to pieces and the financial loss thus far accounted for will reach about $60,000.

The dead are: Daniel McCurdy, Robert McCurdy, Mrs. John Wehlever, Mrs. Earl Bacon, Mrs. C. A. Tipple, near Norman; Lutheran minister, name unknown; Mrs. John Peters; Mrs. Chris. Lamers and mother, near Upland; Mr. and Mrs. James Muman and child, Frank Quigg, Flaro Palmer and John Palmer of Pauline. ...

There were two tornadoes, both originating within a mile of Fairfield. The first one moved to the Northwest and the second off to the Southwest. The one to the Northwest passed close to the town of Pauline, killing six persons. Southeast of Norman, Neb., three persons living in the same house were killed. Many members of farmers' families in the track of the storm fled from their homes, while others sought shelter in cellars. Farmers driving to town report that they were unable to find members of their families from whom they were separated during the storm.

The heaviest individual loss reported is that suffered by Charles Talloy, who places the damage to his stock farm, including cattle and horses killed, at $21,000. The two school houses were destroyed.

The Iowa Recorder, Greene, Iowa, 27 May 1903


Known dead:  James C. Mumaw, Pauline; Mrs. James C. Mumaw, Pauline; Edith Mumaw, Pauline, Frank Quigg, Pauline; Lizzie Palmer, Pauline; Jeanette Palmer, Pauline...

The Democrat And Standard, Coshocton, OH 26 May 1903