Dayton, OH Storm and Train Wreck, May 1886


DAYTON, O., May 14.----Dayton and vicinity were visited Wednesday night by the most violent cyclone that has ever been known in Ohio. The storm, which gave long warning in tones of the loudest thunder, came swooping down on the city, the fury of the elements striking at all points, and causing damage and destruction everywhere. It is evident that a series of clouds charged with oceans of water burst over the country along the line of Wolf creek to the west of Miami City sweeping the section with destruction.

It is impossible to detail the damage. Houses, barns and sheds left their foundations and either tottered and fell or went floating down the swollen and raging stream to destruction. Hundreds of families were driven from their homes and thousands of dollars of damage was done to merchants throughout the city. Hailstones as large as walnuts fell and did inestimable damage to fruit and grain. The entire loss in the country about here will foot up in the millions.

The railroads suffered badly. the Pan-Handle lost two bridges, one a heavy iron span in West Dayton, the other a three-span bridge near Dodson. Its track is torn up for miles and traffic will be interrupted for many days. The Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton, Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati & Indianapolis, and New York, Pennsylvania & Ohio lost two or more bridges and culverts innumerable. Not a train passed through the city Wednesday night or yesterday.

One serious wreck occurred on the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton several miles west of Dayton, where a freight train dashed through an open bridge into a swollen stream. The engine, fifteen freight cars and the freight are almost a total loss. Engineer John McCutcheon and others were seriously wounded. A New York, Pennsylvania & Ohio special containing officials of the road on an inspection tour dashed down an embankment and all were more or less injured, none seriously, unless it be Brakeman John Slick, who received a ghastly scalp wound and internal injuries. A Dayton & Ironton round-house. 250 feet long, collapsed and buried in its ruins nine locomotives, wrecking them all.

The Daily Review, Decatur, IL 15 May 1886