Fort Wayne, IN Storm, Sept 1897


Takes a Convulsion of Nature to Kill the Hot Spell.


Boisterous Wind Tears Everything Loose That Lies in the Way.


Property Loss Will Prove Heavy in City and on Farm.

This morning while perspiring citizens walked about the streets under the pitiless rays of the scorching sun, Col. O.L. Perry gave out the blessed news that it was raining in Chicago and the storm was coming this way. Most people took this simply as an excuse made by Col. Perry for wearing turned up trowsers and declined to believe in the prophesized storm.

When it came it was with a rush. Pedestrians and drivers were totally unprepared for the terrible rush of wind and the blinding storm of dust that hurled itself on the unsuspecting city like a live creature, clawing, scratching and wrestling with everything movable.

For ten minutes there were exciting scenes on the crowded streets. Hats, caps, coats, vests, signs big and little, placards, groceries and provisions, with other divers and sundry articles, poured down the street in an avalanche, and are over in Pennsylvania by this time. The dust made it impossible to see, and the signs flying through the air made the boldest seek refuge in doors.

The storm was followed close by a driving rain. The thermometer at 11 o’clock stood at 91 in the shade. At 11:30 the same instrument stood at 70. The change was one of the most rapid ever recorded here. Reports of damage done by the storm will come in for days. Thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of property must have been destroyed.


The glass front in the fifth story of the Hackett building, on Calhoun street, was blown in an demolished.


The damage to tin roofs and to sky lights will amount to several thousand dollars. Roofs on the Doerman grocery, Waltemath grocery, Meyer livery barn, and other buildings were damaged more or less. Signs in all parts of the city were tossed about.


All the large plants in the city parks were broken down by the wind and Superintendent of Parks Goers says that the damage was very heavy in all the parks. The large beds of foliage plants were totally destroyed.


Several big windows in the upper stores of D.N. Foster’s building on Court street were blown in. A large thirty-foot wire screen sign hanging across Aurentz’s Arcade was hurled into the street and destroyed.

The big flag-staff over Root & Co’s store broke off, and wherever flags were displayed over the city the wind tore them to shreds.

The brick building occupied by J. Meyers’ livery barn, on Harrison street, near Main, was scalped and the tin roof lies in an adjoining yard.

The sky light was broken off Mordhurst’s building, on Calhoun street, and deposited in the First National bank.

A dozen beautiful young shade trees about the First Presbyterian church were broken off and destroyed.


A portion of the slate roof of the First Presbyterian church was damaged.

The tin roof of the Pape box factory was blown off.

Fort Wayne News, Fort Wayne, IN 16 Sept 1897



A mass of Brick, Mortar, Soot and Timbers Fall.


The Chimney at the Olds Wagon Works is Blown Down.


A Little Girl Almost Drowned – Two Fires During the Storm.

The most serious accident during the storm occurred at the Olds Wagon works. The high brick chimney over the blacksmith shop fell with a crash through the roof. Most of the men escaped, but three were caught in the falling debris. George Krockenberger, a blacksmith who resides on Ida avenue, was knocked senseless and was painfully bruised about the chest and head. Andrew Einsiedel, a blacksmith, who resides at 69 Stophlet street, was also caught under the falling pile of bricks. His left hand was painfully crushed and some of the fingers may be amputated. He is also bruised over the body. Fred Wehr, a small boy who has been working in the shop, was pinched in the mass of falling timbers and badly bruised about the left side. Both arms were sprained. These men are at Hope hospital under the care of Drs. Kesler, McEvoy and C.E. Barnett.


Twice during the storm the firemen were called out, both the fires were due to the wind storm. A burning chimney in the residence of Freeman Earl, at 53 Ferguson street called out the department while the wind was at its height. The damage was slight.

Another call about the same time called the department to 5 Fisher street, where the roof of Tim Linskey’s house was in flames. The fire was quickly extinguished. The damage to the two houses will not exceed $10.


Shortly after the storm burst over the crowds at the monument this morning, many little children were panic stricken. One girl about 10 years old, whose name could not be learned, fell, or rather ran into Spy Run and was almost drowned when the soldier boys rescued her. She was taken to her home in a carriage.

Fort Wayne News, Forty Wayne, IN 16 Sept 1897



Fort Wayne, Ind., Sept. 16 – A furious wind and dust storm did great damage in this vicinity today. Numerous buildings were demolished and three were fatally injured by falling brick. They are George Krockenberger, Frank Webber, Andrew Eindesler.

Aspen Weekly Times, Aspen, CO 18 Sept 1897