The Cyclone - Kirksville, Missouri
Posted by: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
N 40° 11.697 W 092° 35.045
15T E 535401 N 4449478
Marker recalling the events around a cyclone which hit the area on April 27, 1899, located on the grounds of the Adair County Courthouse in Kirksville, Missouri.
Waymark Code: WMHB0Y
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 06/17/2013
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
Views: 5

Text of text of marker:

The Cyclone
April 27, 1899


On April 27, 1899, at 6:20 p.m. a monstrous killer cyclone approached Kirksville from the southwest taking dad aim on the new Adair County Courthouse.  Suddenly, the cyclone veered more to the northeast, making a clear path of destruction from the southwest corner of the Normal School campus to the Holy Cross Church at the eastern end of Washington Street.  The Old Baldwin Hall tower received damage and the brick side wall of the Catholic Church exploded, scattering interior furnishings but the crucifix and altar showed no ill effects.  The cyclone crossed the five hundred block of North Baltimore and continued its deadly way to the northeast.  For much of the night heavy rains and fires came, but relief effort went on from local doctors, nurses and osteopathic students.  Mayor Noonan and city officials were hard at work, citizens were eager to help; at least 150 houses were destroyed, 28 persons killed, 13 fatally injured, 91 injured, 1,000 homeless, $250,000 of property damage.  A newsman found an unharmed piano and beat out the strains of Home Sweet Home amid the scene of desolation and the stillness of the spring night. Trains brought doctors, nurses and volunteers from Quincy and Moberly.  The Commercial Club helped organized the out-of-town workers.  Mayors of St. Louis, Kansas City, Quincy, St. Joseph, Sedalia, Moberly, Macon, and as far away as New York offered help.  The cyclone spawned many stories.  Edward Kellogg was picked up and carried about 300 feet, landing in a pond; the water was sucked out of the pond, leaving him standing in mud.  A cooing baby was picked up in a field 400 feet from home; another baby was found crushed.  Miss Whaley was found pinned to the ground with a scantling driven through her back and abdomen.  Surgeons sawed off both ends, fearing to remove it.  She died two hours later.  Senator A.N. Seaber's barn went up in the clouds.  The family horse was found tied to a post, the only visible remains of the barn.  Miss Moorehouse, was picked up and carried beyond the Catholic Church, and let down so gently that she was not seriously harmed.  She spoke of being conscious, flying much higher than church steeples and seeing a white horse rotating around her.  The white horse, owed by a teamster named Cheney was carried uninjured for a mile; its mate had been killed in a wrecked barn.  A piano made by W.W. Kimble Co. of Chicago was hurled 1,000 feet through the roof of a house and found in playable condition.  The "Cyclone Piano" was later taken back to Chicago by the company and used as an example of excellent construction.  A poem was written about little "Molly," living in that house and wishing for a piano, and how on April 27 her prayers were answered.  The popular song Just as the Clouds Passed O'er was based on the disaster.  By April 29, most of the bodies had been buried.  For days the city was crowded with sightseers.  Kirksville was determined to rebuild, in spite of the grievous losses.

Provided by the Adair County Historical Society, Inc.  2007

Web link: Not listed

History of Mark: Not listed

Additional point: Not Listed

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