Williamstown, KS Tornado Damage, June 1893
A DEADLY TORNADO.
MILES OF DESOLATION IN EASTERN KANSAS.
A SCORE OR MORE LIE DEAD.
ONE WOMAN'S LIMBS FOUND IN A TREETOP A MILE AWAY FROM HER HOME -- OTHER BODIES HORRIBLY MANGLED -- NOT A HOUSE OR TREE LEFT STANDING IN THE DEVASTATED SECTION.
Perry, Kan., June 23. -- The most destructive and death-dealing tornado that ever visited eastern Kansas passed through Williamstown and the surrounding country in Jefferson county. It traveled southeast and took in a scope of country half a mile wide and about six miles long. Not a house, barn or tree was left standing in its path. It was accompanied by a terrible rainstorm and midnight darkness. Fifteen people were instantly killed.
The Dead Are:
L. F. EVANS.
MRS. JOHN HUTCHINSON.
L. M. GRIMES.
MARY GRIMES, and Two Children.
W. F. PETERS.
The bodies of all those killed were shockingly maimed. MRS. HUTCHINSON'S arms and legs were found in a tree a mile from the house. EVA KINCAIDE'S head was severed from her body. SAMUEL STEWART and L. M. GRIMES were carried 800 yards in different directions and mutilated almost beyond recognition. STEWART'S body was cut in two as if by one stroke of a great knife.
The Fatally Injured Are:
Those Seriously Injured Are:
JOHN A. JAMES.
As soon as the storm had passed the people of Perry and Lawrence were summoned to the scene. The desolation was awful, and the hunt with lanterns over the wind-swept spot for the dead and dying commenced. All night long this work was in progress. A corps of physicians from the two towns were quartered at Perry, two miles distant, administering to the wants of the crippled and maimed, while citizens from the towns were gathering the dead and dying from the prairie and laying them out in a large building provided for that purpose. It was 1 o'clock in the afternoon before the last dead body was found.
The strip of country swept by the cyclone is left as barren as a floor. In the Williamstown schoolhouse were found the dead bodies of the KINCAIDE family, consisting of father, mother and four children. The youngest child is without its head, it being blown or cut off and carried away by the wind. One of the children was found three miles from the house.
At ARTHUR EVAN'S farm, a quarter of a mile northeast of Willliamstown, everything is destroyed. EVANS ran into his basement, but was foun dead three rods from the house in the field. MRS. EVANS also took shelter in the basement and escaped with her life, but is badly injured. MRS. EVANS' father was in the rear portion of the basement, which was dug in the bluff and escaped unhurt.
At the HUTCHINSON farm, which was northwest of Williamstown, MRS. HUTCHINSON lost her life and MR. HUTCHINSON was slightly injured. Seven head of horses were killed here. Some of the horses were blown a quarter of a mile away.
In the cemetry at Williamstown the monuments are all blown away and some of the base stones were blown many rods.
Where the storm struck the timber, it literally leveled it, besides stripping the trees of foliage and bark. Trees are torn up by the roots, broken off at the ground and at all distances from the ground.
Marion Daily Star Ohio 1893-06-23