Rochester, NY Violent Thunderstorm, June 1847


This city was visited soon after midnight, Tuesday morning, with a thunder storm of unusual violence.
Several of the shocks were so heavy as to shake the houses like an earthquake. One bolt descended with fatal effect upon the house of MR. WM. MATHEWS, No. 28, Wilder Street, killing three persons, MR. MATHEWS, his wife and daughter.
The night being unusually warm, they had removed their bed to the floor, at right angles with a stove which stood near the chimney.
The fluid descended the chimney, passed down the stove-pipe, through the opening in the stove-door, and thence directly across the bed and through the other end of the house. As it passed over the bed it struck the three persons sleeping in it, and set the clothes on fire. MR. MATHEWS and his wife were killed instantly. The daughter, a girl ten years of age, lived two hours. Both parents were burned on their arms, but upon the child there are no outward injuries. She vomited a quantity of blood before expiring.
Two young men, sons of MR. M., were sleeping in the next room. The fluid turned them upside down.
As soon as they extricated themselves, they extinguished the flames in the bed of their parents, but all efforts to restore them to life proved unavailing. The chimney was broken in pieces, and about ten feet of the gable end of the house was torn out.
This is truly an awful occurrence, and should operate as a caution against sleeping in rooms containing articles that attract the electric fluid.
The thunder was terrific. The explosions in the telegraph office were very loud and frequent, and the office kept in a complete glare of light. The watchman who has charge of the Arcade buildings was so frightened, that he left the hall until the storm had abated. The explosions, resembled the constant firing of heavily loaded pistols in a close room. No damage was done to the Telegraph machinery.
Rochester Democrat.

The Sandusky Clarion Ohio 1847-06-29