Fairfield, NE Tornado, May 1903

Hastings, Neb., May 26. -- A series of heavy storms, two of which developed into the worst tornadoes that have visited Southern Nebraska for years, passed over portions of Clay, Franklyn [sic] and Kearney counties in the night. . . .

People Were Warned. The storm was equally destructive at Fairfield, but the people were warned of it's coming and sought cellars for safety. Six dwellings were blown to pieces at that place but their occupants, with a few exceptions, escaped injury.

There were two tornadoes, both originating within a mile of Fairfield. The first one moved to the Northwest and the second off to the Southwest. The one to the Northwest passed close to the town of Pauline, killing six persons. Southeast of Norman, Neb., three persons living in the same house were killed. Many members of farmers' families in the track of the storm fled from their homes, while others sought shelter in cellars. Farmers driving to town report that they were unable to find members of their families from whom they were separated during the storm.

The nine members of the family of Peter Hockinson were scattered in the storm, but were re-united late in the day. The Hockinson home was carried away and completely demolished.

The heaviest individual loss reported is that suffered by Charles Talloy, who places the damage to his stock farm, including cattle and horses killed, at $21,000. The two school houses were destroyed.

The Iowa Recorder, Greene, Iowa, 27 May 1903


Missing [Injured], Neil McSwain; Fairfield: Peter Johns, living near Brockton; Peter Hickinson and eight members of his family, living near Fairfield. Among the 12 injured, all are from Fairfield.

The Democrat And Standard, Coshocton, OH 26 May 1903