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Herman, Nebraska Tornado

June 13, 1899


Not a Building in the Town Escaped Damage From the Tornado.

Business Portion of the Place and Residences Are Piled Up in a Heap of Debris.

Herman, Neb., June 14
--- Ten persons were killed and about twenty-five injured in last night's tornado here. Not a building in the town escaped damage.
A partial list of the casualties follows:

MISS HOPKINS, MR. HAWKINS, W. S. RICHARDS, postmaster; ANDERSON HOPKINS, father and mother; a child of S. M. DAVIS.

of Blair, dangerous internal injuries; MRS. W. A. ANDERSON, head bruised, arm broken, will die; LOUIS CLAUSEN, will die; FRED PETERSEN, hurt on head, slight; MR. ALSON, scalp wounds; child of SAMUEL BEAVER, serious; MRS. KLINE of Blair, badly injured; GEORGE COYLE, depot agent, head gashed.

A new stand pipe weighing twenty tons was carried a block and a half and a large iron safe carried two blocks.

The main street of the town is a mass of debris. The railroad tracks are blocked. A relief train from Blair carried back to that city ninety-five homeless citizens.
For some two hours before the storm took a disastrous form, the clouds were of a threatening color and the air was hot and sultry. At 6 o'clock the storm seemed more threatening and the people were on their guard. At 6:15 it was observed that the wind was blowing from the northwest and from the southwest and with increasing violence.

At 6:30 it took the funnel shaped appearance and bore down upon the town.
The first damage done was about four miles west of Herman at the HAWKINS farm. MR. HAWKINS is dead and his barns and outbuildings are in a mass of ruins. In the village of Herman there are but few buildings left standing. The business portion and residences are piled up in a heap. That any escaped is miraculous.

The bank, owned and operated by Representative J. H. CHAMBERS, is in a mass of ruins. It was a substantial brick. His home, and elegant frame house, escaped.
Near the depot is a pile of rubbish containing everything from a pair of boots to dead and wounded horses, cattle, etc.

The relief party on the second train included every physician in Blair. Arrived at Herman, they were confronted by most disheartening obstacles. The ruins of the little town were enveloped in darkness. Occasionaly [sic] a rift in the flying cloud rack allowed a bit of light through, but it only served to bring out for a few moments in shadowy perspective the ragged outlines of the debris, which were regarded as the tombs of those who were still reported missing.

Brooklyn Eagle New York 1899-06-14

Submitted & transcribed by Stu Beitler  Thank you, Stu!


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