Chicago, IL Buildings Collapse During Storm, Apr 1892 - Terrific Wind

Chicago, April 2. -- A terrific wind and thunder storm passed over the city at 1 o'clock, wrecking buildings, demolishing out-houses and prostrating telegraph wires. The seven story brick building at No 14 and 16 Pearce street, on the West Side, was struck by the wind and crushed like an egg shell. The building was surrounded by one and two-story frame and brick buildings, at the home so laboring men, which were also wrecked, killing and injuring the occupants, in the rear of the building was a two-story brick house, the home of Thomas Hewlitt, who lived there with his wife and children. They were at supper and were entertaining a guest and her friend, Mrs. Keown. When the building fell, the force of the terrible mass of brick and iron, wood and plaster seemed to be directed rearward and buried the structure. All the inmates were killed or injured.

Frank Dilleny, who happened to be passing the street and was an eye witness to the disaster, first noticed the rear wall bulging out. The rain was driving in torrents and there had just been a fearful gust of wind. There was a loud crash and he was conscious of a deafening noise which continued for some time as the masses of debris piled on the smaller structures. Then arose cries and screams of those of the unfortunates who were not dead or unconscious beneath the tons of fallen walls. An alarm of fire was turned in and as soon as the nature of the calamity was appreciated assistance began to arrive from all directions and the work of tearing away the wreckage was promptly begun. The following is a complete list of the dead:

MRS. ELIZA ALLEN

MRS. J. L. GOWAN

A.L. GOWAN, 3 years old

MARY GOWAN, 4 years old

DAVID L. HEWLITT, 8 months old

EDWARD MOTT, 2 years old

HORACE MOTT, 5 years old

MARY WALSH, 20 years old, a niece of Mrs. Gowan, had not been found at 2 o'clock a.m.

The Greeley Tribune, Greeley, Weld Co., CO, 7 Apr 1892