Saginaw, MI Tornado Damages Town, Aug 1866



From the Saginaw (Mich.) Enterprise, Aug. 13.
About 2 1/2 o'clock yesterday afternoon a small black cloud passed over this city, and almost in an instant, without the least warning, a terrific gale of wind swept over the city with a sad and disastrous effect. The most sad effect of the storm was the entire demolition of the new brick block on the south side of Genesee street and west of Jefferson. It was a three-story building, and the walls were complete, except the front, which was in process of construction. The wind coming from the northwest struck quartering into the open front, and in an instant the whole was a mass of ruins.
There were at work in the building when it fell six men, all of whom were buried in the debris and more or less hurt. EARNEST STOCKS, a German laborer, was killed instantly. He lived on the Deerfield Road, and leaves a wife and one child. WILLIAM GUESS had a leg and one arm broken, and was otherwise badly bruised. He lies in a very critical state, and his recovery is considered doubtful. MICHAEL GERRETT was badly hurt about the head and shoulders. One eye appeared to be put out, as it protruded from his head and was very much swollen. HERMAN GOECHELL, one of the proprietors of the middle store, had a narrow escape. He was just leaving the building as the shower of brick and timbers rained upon him. His injuries are not regarded as serious. BALCOMB, an old Frenchman, had his head and face badly cut, but is in no danger, the general opinion being that he is too tough for an ordinary killing. Two other men were slightly bruised, though not enough to prevent them from walking home.
The wind was followed by a sharp storm of rain and hail, lasting about thirty minutes, after which the sun came out fair and very warm. As soon as possible after the building fell a large force of citizens commenced the work of extricating the buried men. In less than an hour the ruins had been thoroughly overhauled and all the men extricated.
The buildings destroyed are as follows: A store 20 feet wide by 60 feet deep, two stories high, owned by ANDREW BLEYER, a clerk in th employ of BLISS, JANES & CO. The large three-story store of H. & E. GOECHELL, 22 feet wide and 100 feet deep; the walls were destroyed for a distance of about 70 feet, the rear end being left standing, but badly damaged. A store belonging to MR. LOELLER, a German, the walls being about up to the second floor. MR. HENRY NIENSTADT had the foundations laid for two stores and a few feet of brick wall. MR. HENRY GIESSLER had the foundations laid for three stores, east of NIENSTADT, which were considerably damaged. The buildings, excepting the rear of GOECHELL'S, were completely demolished, scarcely one brick remaining upon another, and the foundations are badly split and broken.
The loss will fall with great severity upon all the parties, as they are all men of small means, and it is feared that some of them will not be able to go on with their building this year. As near as possible we foot up the damages as follows: BLEYER, $1,000; H. & E. GOECHELL, $3,000; LOELLER, $1,000; NIENSTADT, $800; GIESSLER, $300; total, $6,100.
The contractors were JERMAIN & MOREHAUS, who will also lose from three to five thousand dollars on their job.

The New York Times New York 1866-08-22