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Harvest Journal: Memoir of a Minnesota Farmer, Part II: 1904-1938

In Harvest Journal, Part II (1904-1937), we rejoin Fred, Rose, their children, and grandchildren. Even with the advent of electricity, automobiles, and telephones, life on a farm is difficult and an extended family is essential to survive. In addition to area events, Fred's journals document the turmoil leading up to World War I, the economic hardships of the Depression, and the shock of the Lindbergh kidnapping. In his later years, Fred struggles to deal with his own frailty and mortality.

 

 

 

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St. Paul & Minneapolis area, Minnesota Tornado

August 1904

ST. PAUL, MINNEAPOLIS AND OTHER CITIES IN MINNESOTA SUFFER FROM GALE.

Fourteen Persons Are Killed—Property Valued at $2,555,000 Destroyed—


St. Paul, Minn., Aug. 23—

The Dead: (fourteen)
At St. Paul: VIOLA ROBINSON, GEORGE KWETSON, LORIN F. HOKANSON.
At Minneapolis: RICHARD HILGEDICK.
At St. Louis Park: ALBERT OHDE, ANNA TAYDE, HEDGER CHILD.
At Waconia: GUSTAV MOYE, MRS. GUSTAV MOYE, FRED MOYE, HUBERT LEHMAR.
At Hutchinson: FRED GROSS, MRS. GROSS
At Dallas: UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN
Fatally injured (two): CHARLES MOYE, Waconia; FRED PICHA, Waconia
Property loss: $2,555,000.
St. Paul, $1, 780,000; Minneapolis, $500,000; Stillwater, $100,000; Waconia, $75,000; country district, $100,000.

The above is the summary of the damage wrought by Saturday’s tornado in various sections of Minnesota. In addition to the fatally injured, nearly 200 persons sustained injuries of a minor character. The municipality through the destruction of bridges, school buildings, parks and other public property, suffered the greatest loss, its damage closely approximating a million dollars. The other losses, involving nearly 200 business firms and individuals, range from $50,000 in the case of FINCH, YOUNG & MCCONVILLE, wholesale dry goods, down to a few dollars for the breakage of window glass and the tearing away of awnings.

Great Bridges Destroyed.

The tornado tore off two spans of the high bridge as completely as if they had been unbolted from the rest of the structure and carted away by workmen. There the bridge connected with the high bluffs at West St. Paul and it is 180 feet above the river. The mass of steel was carried to the flats below.

Theater Buildings Wrecked.

Near the Wabasha street bridge in this city were located, on opposite sides of the street, the Tivoli concert hall and Empire theater, both of which were fairly crowded with men watching the performance. Both buildings stood on the edge of the bluff overlooking the river with sides of the buildings open and were wrecked. The full force of the tornado struck them. The buildings began to sway and rock and the audience became panic-stricken. Men and boys rushed over each other for the exits. The lights went out and the sheet lightening flashes, one following another with gunfire rapidity, illuminated a scene of pandemonium which was intensified by the crash of glass and the tearing of timbers as the frame structure gave way before the tornado. Sections of the roof were blown through the air and landed east in Third street, a block distant. Underneath the debris of the Tivoli were found, when the storm had passed, the mangled bodies of LORIN F. HOKANSON, one of the employes [sic] in the concert hall, and GEORGE KWETON, one of the audience.

Path of Ruin.

On the storm rushed to the northeast over the wholesale district, and every building facing the south from Wabasha street had scarcely a whole pane of glass in any window, while many on the opposite side were also broken. Tin roofs on several buildings were rolled in bundles as one would roll a huge sheet of paper and deposited in the street.

The GERMAN-AMERICAN bank building, the PIONEER PRESS BUILDING, ten and 12-story structures, had scarcely a whole pane of glass left above the second or third story on the sides exposed to the storm. These, with the FIRST NATIONAL BANK BUILDINGS on East Fourth street, and several wholesale houses farther east, had the appearance of having been bombarded by a battery of guns. In the path of the wind stood the long freight warehouses of the CHICAGO, MILWAUKEE & ST. PAUL RAILWAY, and a section of this building, about 400 feet long, was cut out of the middle and the small section of the end, about 50 feet, standing at the extreme east side.

IN MINNEAPOLIS

The City Suffers Greatly From The Storm

Minneapolis, Minn., Aug. 22.
—The worst wind and rain storm in the history of this place broke here Saturday night about 8:30, when three storms, from north, west and east, gathered and broke over the city. Hundreds of buildings were badly damaged, all the great wire systems were paralyzed and thousands of beautiful shade trees uprooted. For three minutes the wind blew at the rate of 90 miles an hour and the rain fell in torrents. So far as known two people are dead. Several persons were injured, but none seriously.

The center of the storm seemed to hit the business district at the corner of Nicollet avenue and sixth street. Here the immense front of the Glass block was blown out and a huge skylight blown off, the rain doing damage to stock that cannot be estimated. All of the stores in this district had windows blown in and all suffered more or less damage to stock. The mammoth skylight of the Guaranty Loan building fell 12 stories through the interior court and great damage was done by water to the office. Many of the fine residence districts of the city suffered terribly, but the greatest and irreparable damage was done to Minneapolis’ beautiful shade trees. Thousands of them were broken off or twisted up by the roots and several streets, celebrated for their beautiful trees, are left bare of foliage and shade. The loss in this city is fully $1,000,000.

Waconia Patriot, Waconia, Carver County, Minnesota, August 26, 1904

Transcribed by Patty.  Thank you, Patty!

       

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