Biwabik & Pine Lake, MN Tornado, Oct 1900


Biwabik, Minn., Oct. 7. --- The tornado which raged in this vicinity last evening was most violent. The storm cut a pathway 150 feet in width through the northwestern corner of the town, completely wrecking several buildings. The property loss is estimated at from $75,000 to $100,000, and the known fatalities number nine, with a score or more injured, some severely, others only slightly.

The storm swept in a northwesterly direction after leaving here and struck a little Flemish settlement near Pike Lake, where a number of buildings were wrecked, in one of which an entire family, consisting of husband, wife and four children, were instantly killed. So far their names have not been obtained. It is believed when the more remote districts are heard from, further casualties may be reported. The list of casualties so far learned is:
Killed --- MR. And MRS. MAROWITZ, WILLIAM HILSTROM and a family of six, near Pike Lake; names are not known.

The severely injured are:
ANDREW ANDERSON, a locomotive fireman, severely scalded; will recover.
F. MURRAY, engineer, severely scalded and otherwise injured; will recover.
ANDREW DEBBO, laborer, severe scalp wounds; will recover.
JOHN MORRISTON, foot badly crushed.

About twenty-five others more or less severely cut and bruised.

The house in which the MAROWITZ family lives was completely wrecked, and the body of MRS. MAROWITZ was found fully 400 feet away, every bone in her body being broken and her clothing completely stripped off. The body of her husband was found amid the debris of their home, horribly mutilated.

WILLIAM HILSTROM was struck on the head by a falling tree and his skull crushed. He afterward died at the hospital.

The engine house of the Duluth, Mesaha & Northern railway was completely wrecked and a number of locomotives and cars were shifted from the tracks and pounded into scrap iron.

The engine on which MURRAY and ANDERSON were when the storm broke, was blown from the track and the men were pinned beneath it and horribly burned by the escaping steam. Other men at work near them had narrow escapes. Several cars blown from the tracks were found in the Duluth mine pit, hundreds of feet away. Many of the buildings destroyed were owned by the mining companies and tenanted by their employees. The shaft house and buildings of three mines were reduced to kindling wood.

The tornado, which lasted less than five minutes, was preceded by an unusually severe thunder and rain storm. The rain has flooded many of the open pit mines and they cannot be operated for some time.

Glenwood Post Colorado 1900-10-13