St. Charles, MO Tornado, July 1915

MISSOURI TOWNS HIT

Loss of Life and Great Property Damage Recorded.

St. Louis, July 8.—Five persons were killed in a tornado which swept through Charles county, this state. The damage is estimated to have been at least $500,000. Mrs. Thomas Slattery and her two children, residing at Dardenne, eighteen miles west of St. Charles were killed when the wind wrecked their home.

The church of St. Charles Barromeo at St. Charles was leveled by the wind. It was reported that a woman had entered it and was praying when the sides caved in. The church was valued at $70,000.

Nearly 100 patients in the St. Joseph’s hospital at St. Charles were thrown into a panic when part of the roof was blown from the structure. Attendants and patients who were able to leave their beds restored order and carried the helpless to places of safety. The electric light plant was put out of commission and miles of electric light, telephone and telegraph wires were twisted together on the streets.

Water was running four and five feet deep in the streets of St. Charles. In the lower part of the town, the business section, water engulfed the floors of stores. The great steel plant of the American Car and Foundry works was badly damaged.

Lancaster Daily Eagle, Lancaster, OH 8 Jul 1915

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St. Charles, after a night of total darkness–the electric light plant having been put out commission–today looked upon the ruins of the entire central portion of the city, including more than 100 residences.

Search was instituted for the bodies of a woman and two small children, who took refuge in the St. Charles Borromeo Catholic church, a few minutes before it was razed by the wind.

It is supposed they perished. The Borromeo was the oldest church in St. Charles, having been built in 1862, at a cost of $100,000. The property damage in St. Charles alone, it is believed, will aggregate nearly a half million dollars. The damage to wheat in St. Charles and St. Louis counties is estimated at more than $100,000. A dozen towns in these counties were isolated last night, as miles upon miles of telephone and telegraph wires were on the ground, a tangled mass.

Reports today from the storm-swept area of eastern Missouri and western Illinois left the death roll at seven. Three persons were reported missing at St. Charles, Mo., the largest town in the path of Wednesday’s tornado, but were found later to be safe.

Dawn disclosed that the damage done at St. Charles had been overestimated. While the tornado swept a section of the city eighteen blocks long by nine blocks wide, the damage, with the exception of the demolition of one church and the partial wrecking of another church, a factory, a hospital and a convent, was confined largely to the unroofing of housing and the uprooting of trees.

The Newark Advocate, Newark, OH 8 Jul 1915