Elgin, IL Tornado, Mar 1920 - Looting, Aftermath

Girls Loot Elgin Millinery Windows For Easter Bonnets.

Stories of the strange pranks of the storm at Elgin were many. The families of LOUIS and CHARLES HENNING were seated at dinner when the tornado lifted the house from over their heads without injuring a member of the party. Ten houses in a space of three blocks in the neighborhood were totally destroyed.

The window display of a jewelry store was blown into the street and carried away by looters before the military guard had been established.

Girls were reported to have looted the window of a millinery store, carrying away the display of spring hats.

The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA 29 Mar 1920


Raze Buildings In Elgin.

Elgin, Ill.., March 29.-Elgin today began digging itself out from the wreckage of yesterday’s disastrous tornado, which claimed eight lives, injured more than 100 and did damage to property estimated at $4,000,000.

Merchants and professional men joined hundreds of laborers in clearing the streets today.

Several business blocks, where the damage was greatest, remain roped off, while workmen are razing the tottering wrecks which sway in the wind, in momentary danger of falling into the streets.

The electric light plant was wrecked and all factories without their own power are shut down. No newspapers were printed here today.

The New York Times, New York, NY 30 Mar 1920