Black River Falls, WI Tornado, Aug 1924

Number of Casualties Expected to Grow as Relief Measures Progress

Damage Reaches Million

Many Farmers Left Destitute When Whirlwinds Leave Swath of Desolation

By Associated Press

Eau Claire – Relief measures were under way Friday in three central western Wisconsin counties struck Thursday night by two tornadoes, which took a toll of at least six dead, a score or more injured and caused property damage which may reach a million dollars, according to unofficial estimates. Many farmers were left destitute as a result of the storms, many losing their entire belongings including homes, farm buildings, livestock and crops, which had promised bounteous harvests.

Neighbors cared for many of the farmers who lost their homes while scores of residents from surrounding territory were on their way in a caravan of automobiles to administer what aid they could.

While no definite plans had been formulated Friday, it was expected that an appeal will be made to the state government and the people of Wisconsin for assistance in rehabilitation of the devastated area.

Restoration of wire communication in the three counties hit – Chippewa, Trempeleau (sic) and Jackson – was expected to add Friday to the mounting list of casualties.


Telephone and telegraph companies reported scores of poles down and wires in many sections were lying in a tangled mass. Hundreds of trees, uprooted by the wind, obstructed highways and made vehicle traffic difficult.

Black River Falls was one of the towns hardest hit. Two persons are known dead there and two seriously injured with a number of others suffering minor hurts. GEORGE NASH, about 50 years old, and ALICE GARWIN, 3, were killed at Black River Falls; JULIUS BAGLIEN 16, perished near Osseo, and RICHARD SECORA, 19, met death at his father’s farm near New Auburn.

Among those injured were Mr. And Mrs. Garwin of Black River Falls, parents of Alice: Mrs. Ole Baglien, mother of Julius.


The two tornadoes appeared early in the evening in the vicinity of Osseo in the upper northeast corner of Trempleau (sic) co. They swept down to Black River Falls and apparently spent their force just out of that place. The entire northeast section of Black River Falls bore the brunt of the storm there, while the rest of the city escaped with shattered windows and other minor damage. A half dozen houses and the Jackson box factory there were razed.

Scores of farms lying in the path of the twister between Osseo and Black River Falls were laid to waste.

Appleton Post Crescent, Appleton, WI 8 Aug. 1924


The death toll stood Saturday at 6 for the New Auburn and Black River Falls district. Of the score or more injured, all are expecte4d to recover. The estimated damage of $1,000,000 will not be lowered.

Appleton Post Crescent, Appleton, WI 9 Aug 1924


RICHARD SECORA, farmer near New Auburn, was caught in a field and hurled to his death as he ran for the house to escape the storm.

JULIUS BAGLIEN was pinned in the wreckage of his home and fatally injured and his mother was injured and other members of the family hurt.

Sheboygan Press Telegram, Sheboygan, WI 8 Aug 1924