Chicago, IL Lightning Strike, Jul 1901


One Stroke of Lightning Cause of Death.


The Twelve Had Taken Refuge From Thunderstorm Under an Old Shanty Which Was Totally Destroyed - The Bodies Not Identified.

Chicago, July 2. -- Eleven boys were instantly killed and one fatally hurt by lightning yesterday afternoon on a pier at the foot of Buena terrace, north of Lincoln park.

This pier is a favorite fishing resort. When the storm began, 12 boys huddled for shelter from the rain beneath a shanty covered with zinc which they had themselves erected for just such an emergency.

The bolt tore the pier, and the boys were caught in the debris, which burned fiercely even in the blinding rain. All but one of the unfortunate fishermen were roasted to death, and he escaped only for what the doctors think is a more lingering fate.

A policeman, attracted to the pier by the crashing timbers, found it impossible to rescue any of the victims. The heavy timbers of the pier had been shattered, and the whole structure toppled into the water. He hurried to a patrol box and called for assistance.

Nearly half an hour elapsed before aid arrived. The work of recovering the bodies was extremely difficult, but finally all were carried ashore.
Owing to the terrific thunderstorm prevalent the work of identification was extremely slow.

The fatal stroke was the most powerful seen here in years. The pier was demolished in a trice, giving the boys not the slightest chance to escape.
In age the victims ranged from 12 to 15 years.

Ogdensburg Advance and St. Lawrence Weekly Democrat New York 1901-07-02


Chicago, IL Lightning Strike, Jul 1901


Eleven Fatalities Result from a Single Stroke During Storm at Chicago.

Chicago, Ill., July 1.---A single stroke of lightning today killed eleven persons and probably fatally injured a twelfth. The flash occurred during a heavy thunderstorm which broke over the city at 12:10 p.m.

The dead: GEORGE BRABINST, 11 years of age; MYER JACOBS, 45; GEORGE PRIEBS, 12; FRANK COOSEY, 11; CARL KRUSE, 18; EDWARD BLOCH, 23; unknown man; three unknown boys.

The boys, it is said, rushed to the pier at the foot of Montrose boulevard to seek shelter. Suddenly there was a great flash of lightning and people living in the vicinity heard a terrific crash. A policeman rushed to the pier and discovered that the bolt had demolished the pier, which was of heavy construction, precipitating the whole structure into the water. Knowing that the boys had gathered there, he called ambulances, and in half an hour the bodies were recovered from the lake and medical assistance was rendered.

The stroke of lightning was the most powerful which has struck in this vicinity in years. The roar which followed it was deafening. The pier was demolished in a trice, giving the boys not the slightest chance of escaping. The bathers were mostly from the poorer class. Patrol wagons filled with police soon arrived and began the work of recovering the bodies. The wreckage was removed with little difficulty and the bodies, burned and mutilated, placed in wagons and removed to undertaking establishments in the vicinity.

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 2 Jul 1901