Seneca, KS Tornado, May 1896

Seneca KS Tornado damage 1896.jpg


Four People Killed, Many Wounded, and $200,000 Worth of Property Destroyed

Seneca, Kas., May 17. - A devastating tornado passed through this city from the southwest to northeast this evening at 6:30 o'clock. Everything in its path was completely wrecked. Couriers from the country report great damage to property and probable loss of life. In this city four were killed and a number injured. The killed were a boy and a girl of M. R. CONNET, a boy of M. E. VOORHEES and the 15-year-old boy of PETER AISEMAEHERS. The seriously injured are: M. E. VOORHEES, JOHN HELDSHAW and ALONZO HAWLEY. The latter will not recover. There were many miraculous escapes from instant death. The street are impassable, blocked with debris of buildings and fallen trees. The Grand Opera House is completely demolished. The roof and west side of the $50,000 courthouse are blown away and caved in and the roof of the high school building is gone. The steeples of the new Methodist, Universalist and Catholic churches were scattered to the four winds. Twenty-[?] residences are razed to the ground and buildings innumerable unroofed.

At O[?]eida several buildings were destroyed and three children of JAMES SHERRARD killed.

The west half of the village of Baileyville was swept away, but no one was killed. The damage in this city is over $200,000.

The Wheeling Register, Wheeling, WV 18 May 1896

A dispatch to the times from Bern, Nehama county, reports that Seneca, the county seat, was struck by a cyclone at 7 o'clock this evening. One third of the residence portion of the town was destroyed, and five persons killed and fifteen badly injured. The county's magnificent new court house, the town's big school house, and the Catholic church are among the buildings wrecked. Five hundred of the citizens of Seneca are reported to be homeless to-night. The property loss in estimated at $100,000. The five dead are two children of M. EVERHES, two children of MR. CONNELL, and a son of PETER ASSEMACHER.

The Wheeling Register, Wheeling, WV 18 May 1896