Louisville, Bellevue, Richfield, NE Tornado, May 1908
TORNADO KILLS 14.
CUTS DOWN TOWNS IN ITS PATH IN EASTERN NEBRASKA.
FORT CROOK IS DAMAGED.
RAILROAD TRAIN RUNS RACE FOR TEN MILES WITH "TWISTER."
Village Near the Army Post a Wreck -- College Students in Panic at Bellevue -- Farmer Killed in His Home -- Father and Son Drowned by Frightened Horses -- List of Deaths May Be Increased When All Is Known.
Omaha, Nebr., May 12. -- Fourteen persons are known to have been killed and a score injured by a tornado which swept the northern part of Sarpy County at 5 o'clock this afternoon. The storm, which gained velocity on its way south, struck Omaha about 4:30 p.m.
At Bellevue the college buildings were damaged to the extent of probably $50,000, and several persons were injured, none fatally.
The casualty list so far as known, is as follows:
MRS. FRANK HESTER, living near Louisville.
CHARLES LEADER, near Richfield.
Two Men in Louisville village, unidentified.
Seven Persons, Names unknown, in sand pit near Louisville.
CHARLES MARTIN, near Meadow.
The storm was the most severe that ever struck Eastern Nebraska. The damage to the college buildings at Bellevue was heavy. The tower was blown from Park Hall and the building wrecked. Lowry Hall and Rankin Hall were unroofed.
The panic stricken students ran to the basement and in this way many fatalities were probably averted. The college stables were wrecked and all the horses killed. Several small buildings and stores in the village were blown down.
Moving south, the tornado struck Fort Crook, damaging several of the barrack buildings, but no one was injured. In the town of Fort Crook, however, many buildings were wrecked and other damage was done.
Strikes Several Blows.
The storm lifted and dipped at intervals, continuing to move southward, doing much damage to farm property. The last town struck was Papillion, eight miles south of South Omaha. At that point the damage was not great, the funnel shaped cloud apparently lifting sufficiently to pass the town. It again descended, however, as the storm moved toward Richfield, four miles south of Papillion. In its path was the farm of GUS LEADER, whose farm buildings were entirely destroyed and his son, CHARLES LEADER, aged fourteen was killed outright. All his live stock was killed.
EDWARD MARTIN'S farm was the next to be swept. His home and all his barns and small buildings were destroyed and MR. MARTIN was fatally hurt by being crushed under his home. The little town of Richfield was almost blown to pieces, but the casualty list was small.