Kansas City, MO Tornado, May 1909 - In the Wake of the Storm


Some of the Incidents of the Mount Washington Tornado.

The Rev. Clark W. Comstock, pastor of the wrecked church at Mount Washington, was not at all discouraged this morning as he looked at the pile of kindling wood which had been the church edifice.

“We’ll have another building at once.” he said. “Our new home will be larger and better that the one destroyed.”

The wrecked church was dedicated two years ago. A little frame Methodist church, a block away, was unharmed.

The damage to Mount Washington cemetery from the tornado was slight. The storm passed over the southeast corner of the grounds. A few elm trees were uprooted, but the monuments and building were unharmed.

W. F. Smith, manager of Fairmount park, had just moved to the park for the summer and occupied cottage No. 13. Although so close to the path of the tornado, the park was only slightly damaged.

Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Cain of 700 Overton avenue, were at supper when they heard the storm. They believed at first it was a train on the Chicago & Alton railway a short distance from their home. Then a big elm tree was blown over on the roof of the house. Mr. Cain took their year-old baby and put it in a cupboard. The house was wrecked, but none of the occupants was injured.

The home of J. W. Robinson, in Fairmount addition, was demolished. It was a new modern house.

John Wirthman, employed in Mount Washington cemetery, worked and saved seven years to obtain an apple orchard back of his home at 640 Arlington avenue. He had about 200 fine trees that he believed would bear a good crop this year. The tornado swept the orchard clean. What trees were not uprooted were snapped off close to the ground.

The wind played the usual freakish tricks. A piece of metal roofing was driven into a tree several inches. A heavy timber, picked up somewhere, was blown into the front door of the house of Jewel Evans, 649 Arlington avenue. Half of the timber was inside the house and the other half outside. In the yard of the home of A. J. Ream on Overton avenue a great elm tree was uprooted, while a few feet away a flimsy grape arbor was untouched.