Various Towns, IL, MO, IN Tornado Damages, Dec 1957


Mount Vernon, Ill., Dec. 19 -- (INS) -- Tornadoes that cut through Illinois, Missouri and Indiana left at least 10 dead and 200 injured today in a dozen communities.
Property damage was immense.
Communications and power facilities in the hard-hit area -- eastern Missouri, southern Illinois and southwest Indiana -- were disrupted and details of the havoc wrought by the tornadoes late yesterday were difficult to obtain.
The latest death count showed eight known dead at Murphysboro, Ill, one near Du Quoin, Ill., and one near Farmington, Mo.
Fires that broke out in the aftermath of the tornado that struck Murphysboro endangered St. Andrew's hospital, crowded with casualties of the storms. At least 30 homes were ablaze.
Radios transmitted urgent messages for all doctors, nurses and civil defense workers -- virtually anyone who could provide help of any kind -- to converge in the hardest hit communities.
Officials at Mount Vernon, Ill., estimated that more than 85 homes were either destroyed or badly damaged by the tornadoes.
At least 80 persons were injured, some critically in Murphysboro and Mount Vernon.
The destructive tornadoes also hit Indiana and Missouri communities, also causing heavy damage.
State police headquarters at Springfield, Ill., had numerous other reports of small tornadoes in various sections of Illinois.
Virtually the entire town of Boyd, a community about eight miles northwest of Mount Vernon, was reported destroyed.
In Missouri, small tornadoes skipped through the eastern section of the state, causing one death and one injury at Farmington and damage to the village of Truxton, both in the St. Louis area. The southeastern Missouri communities of Chaffee, Oak Ridge, Advance and McBride also were hit.
In Indiana, the community of Rockville was reported struck by another tornado.
The ara hit was in a 150-mile belt alerted for tornadoes by the weather bureau. It is almost the same section struck by twisters March 18, 1925, when 742 persons were killed and 2771 injured. Murphysboro counted 225 dead and 700 injured then.
Fragmentary reports of the latest damage to Murphysboro came via radio operators. The tornado struck a section where most of the Negroes in the city of 9250 live. Toppled power lines set off fires that leaped out of control.
Four of the eight persons reported killed at Murphysboro included a woman identified only as MRS. BUTCHER, two of her daughters, aged three and 12, and a son, six. The wind plucked them out of their home and hurled them into a nearby field.
At Chester, Ill., a 25-square-mile area adjacent to the community reportedly was hit by a tornado causing $50,000 damage. But Chester itself was spared.

Lowell Sun Massachusetts 1957-12-19

Listing Of Casualties.
The list of dead:
At Murphysboro --
MRS. MARTHA BURCHER and her three children, DONALD, 5 years old, MARY JANE, 12 years old and JANET, 3 years old.
BOBBY MARSHALL, 2 years old.
MR. and MRS. RICHARD MENLEY, 65 and 60 respectively, Negroes.
At Sunfield, near DuQuoin, Ill. --
JAMES CARTER, about 70.
At Mount Vernon, Ill. --
BRAD COPPLE, 4 years old, who died in a hospital on Thursday.
At Sand Ridge, Ill. --
An unidentified person who was found dead.
Rural area near Farmington, Mo. --
ROBERT SHANNON, 7 months old.


name correction

The woman killed in Murphysboro was Mrs. Martha Butcher, not Burcher. 3 of her children were also killed.