Rochester, MN Tornado, Aug 1883 - Death Dealing Cyclone

Rochester MINN Tornado 8-21-1883 1.jpg Rochester MINN tornado 8-21-1883 2.jpg Rochester MINN Tornado 8-21-1883 3.jpg Rochester MINN Tornado 8-21-1883 4.jpg Rochester MINN Tornado 8-21-1883 5.jpg Rochester MINN Tornado 8-21-1883 6.jpg Rochester MINN Tornado 8-21-1883 7.jpg Rochester MINN Tornado 8-21-1883 8.jpg




Winona, Aug. 22 -- A cyclone struck Rochester about 7 o'clock last evening, and one-third of the city is in ruins. All north of the track is devastated, including the Methodist church, Horton's elevator, and many other buildings. The railroad bridge was swept completely away. A freight train ran into a building which was blown on the track at Zambrota Junction, and the fireman, HIGGINS, is missing. Mayor Whitten of Rochester, telegraphs that there are 24 killed and 40 wounded in his town. JOHN M. COLE, a well-known miller was struck by a timber and killed. St. Charles reports one man killed in the county. Lewiston reports a house blown down. In Rochester itself 25 dead bodies have been taken from the debris and 100 are missing. MR. COOK, proprietor of the Cook House, JOHN COLE, and other prominent people were killed. CHARLES M. ZIERATH'S mother and sister were killed. The roofs were blown from the asylum and the Cook House. The storm came from the west, and was cyclonic. The list of the wounded and killed is hourly increasing. The prostration of the telegraph wires has cut off all communication. The storm swept through Utica and St. Charles. In Winona County, JOB THORNINGTON was killed. Reports from Dodge County indicate great damage there. FRANK ALLEN'S house was among those demolished. The course of the storm is almost identical with that of last month, in which the village of Elgin was destroyed, and is also in the same belt across the State in which the severe tornado of two years ago passed by which New Ulm was destroyed. Owatonna seems to be the most westerly point to suffer.

Owatonna, Minn., Aug. 23. -- Telegraphic advices received here early this morning give meager details of a terrible accident between Rochester and Zumbrota, Minn., on the Rochester and Northern Division of the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad, by which about 100 persons were killed or wounded. Owing to interruption of the telegraphic service at Rochester no information could be obtained until the arrival of a train from the scene of the disaster, on which were 35 persons who had been injured in the accident. Of this number many appeared to be seriously hurt, and all were taken to the hospital. The train that was wrecked was that which leaves Rochester at about 4 o'clock P.M. arriving at Zumbrota at 6 o'clock. It was caught in a severe wind and hail storm that prevailed in that vicinity between 4 and 6 o'clock, and while running at a high rate of speed was lifted from the rails and converted into a mass of ruins. Gentlemen who have been to the scene of the disaster describe it as one of the most horrifying railroad accidents they ever witnessed. Every car in the train was a complete wreck, and was almost literally shattered to pieces by the sudden stop caused by the trains leaving the rails, burying the unfortunate passengers beneath the debris, killing many and injuring nearly every person on the train. A gentleman stated that nine dead bodies had been taken from the ruins, and that a large number of those previously injured had been removed to Rochester and Owatonna. At the time he left the scene the work of extricating the unfortunate victims was still going on, and it was believed that the number killed would reach a score when the final summing up was made.

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