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Birds Eye View Bradshaw Early 1900s   Bradshaw NE Tornado Jun 1890
Click to enlarge, View more postcards and photographs of Bradshaw, Nebraska»   Ruins of the the Bradshaw Methodist Episcopal Church, Click to enlarge»

, Nebraska Tornado

June 3, 1890



Lincoln, Neb., June 4.
--- The State Jourual [sic] party returned from the scene of the tornado in Bradshaw, Nebraska, York county, this evening and brought confirmation of the worst reports received. The storm struck the town at 8:30 Tuesday evening, the roar of the whirlwind being the first notice the terrified people heard. Not a single building is left. Every business house was made a total wreck and the principal street is filled with ruins. A special train was dispatched from Lincoln with physicians and other relief.

It was found that the Russian settlement near town was struck and the report is that nine were killed there outright. The physicians say that in all 12 are dead, 8 mortally wounded and perhaps 20 are hurt less seriously. The killed are:

Governor THAYOR
has sent tents and other supplies to the sufferers.

Aspen Weekly Times Colorado 1890-06-07


Submitted & transcribed by Stu Beitler  Thank you, Stu!



Omaha, Neb., June 5. -- The tornado at Bradshaw Tuesday night was every bit as serious as at first reported.  The storm struck the town about 8:30 o'clock.  Not a building in the village was left standing.  The destruction was almost complete.

The following people were killed:  Mrs. Henner, three children of John Shaw and a young son of J. A. Brumsey.

Chillicothe Morning Constitution, Chillicothe, MO 6 Jun 1890



The Town of Bradshaw, Neb., Destroyed by a Cyclone.


Not a Single Building Left in the Business Portion of the Place--Many Persons Killed and Injured--Other Damages.

The Town Wiped Out.

Lincoln, Neb., June 4.
--Meager reports from Bradshaw, a hamlet of 400 or 500 inhabitants about fifty miles from Lincoln, states that the town was swept away about six o’clock last night by a cyclone. Six persons were reported killed, and twenty-five or more injured. Telegraph wires are down, and no particulars can be learned.

The Worst Reports Verified.

Lincoln, Neb., June 5
.--The cyclone was accompanied by a deluge of rain and a stunning fusilade of hail. Considering the complete destruction of the town it seems miraculous that so few people were injured. The list of the killed and wounded as far as can be learned is:

A child of Mrs. Chapin.
A son of J. A. Brumsey.
Three children of John Shaw’s family.

Dr. Moore.
J. N. Cooke.
Mrs. Thomas.
Willie Heath.
Nellie Dorsey.
Willie Chapin.
Mrs. E. Chapin.
Mrs. M. Wiilliams.
P. M. and D. Colby.
Mrs Charles Miller.
Mr. And Mrs. Keiser.
Mr. And Mrs. John Miller.
J. A. Brumsey,
broken arm.
Mrs. J. A. Brumsey
and two daughters,
The wife and family of Mr. Shaw.
Alexander Miller
and his entire family.
Mr. And Mrs. J. H. Babcock
and their three children.
An emigrant, unknown, who was taken up and dashed against an elevator’s side, he will die.

Mr. Shaw, father of John Shaw.'

The Prussian settlement out west of Bradshaw is also destroyed.

The physicians state that a number of those injured will not live. The prairie around is strewn with dead hogs and stock.

Governor Thayer has ordered Company A of the State troops to Bradshaw, where it will remain on duty till order is restored.

The Latest Still the Worst News.

Lincoln, Neb., June 5.--Parties returning from the scene of the tornado in Bradshaw, York County, last evening, confirm the worst reports of the destruction by the storm of Tuesday night. The storm struck the town at half-past four o’clock Tuesday evening, coming from the southwest. It struck the town fairly and left not a single building in the business part of the town. All are a total wreck and the principal street is filled with the ruins. A few houses were left in the extreme western part of the village, but they are without windows and doors, and their contents were scattered broadcast over the prairie.

The depot building was completely wrecked and all the cars standing on the track were blown away, except one loaded with stock, which was blown away, without leaving the track to York, a distance of nine miles. This gave the alarm to the people of York, and they sent a messenger who at midnight returned with the news of the disastrous storm. A party was at once sent out.

A Russian settlement near the town was wrecked and it is reported that nine persons were killed outright.

Physicians who left Lincoln on a relief train report twelve dead at Bradshaw and that there are three mortally wounded.

Decatur Daily Republican, Decatur, IL 5 Jun 1890

Transcribed by Audrey.  Thank you, Audrey!


The Village of Bradshaw has had a sad as well as eventful history, which placed her for a time in the long list of the ruined cities of the world. In the evening of the third day of June, 1890, the residents of this little village and the surrounding country stood in helpless suspense and watched two peculiar storm clouds approaching, one moving from the northwest to the southeast, and one moving from the southwest to the northeast. The clouds met near the edge of Bradshaw, and before the citizens could seek a place of safety the cyclone was upon them. Not a house in the village but was damaged and most of them were entirely demolished. Business houses were ruined and many of them were swept away entirely. The flood of rain and the intense darkness that followed made the situation most pitiable. Some of the residents were buried beneath the debris and many of them were injured—some fatally. As soon as possible the news was sent to York, and right royally did the residents of that city respond with every possible assistance.

“It will ever be a credit to the pluck and energy of our citizens, some of whom lost every dollar of their property, that in the face of the most appalling disaster and discouragements they arose with faith and determination, and over the ruins of the past they rebuilt their homes and re-established their business. A stranger would never suspect now that this pleasant little village with its beautiful homes was ever in such utter ruin.”

York County, Nebraska and Its People : together with a condensed history of the state, Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1921, page 444


York County, Nebraska and its people 1921 Read it online at  Use this Free trial to search for your ancestors.

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York County, NE Message Boards at Rootsweb

York County Obituaries & Death Notices 1872-1895 from the York Co. Historical Association

Nebraska State Gazetteer, Business Directory and Farmers List for 1890-91 from the York Co. Historical Association Bradshaw

Bradshaw History from Virtual Nebraska

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Metz Mortuary Death Records from the York Co. Historical Association

Bradshaw Today from

1889 Atlas of York County, Nebraska from the York Co. Historical Association

York County from Andreas' History of the State of Nebraska