A DEADLY CYCLONE


July 6, 1905

 

A DEADLY CYCLONE

 

Makes Victim of a Former Resident of this County.

 

Lincoln, Nebraska, June 27.--A Rock Island railroad message from Fairbury, Neb., to Division Superintendent Wilson, says the town of Phillipsburg, Kan., was wrecked by a tornado this evening. Six persons were killed the dispatch says, and it is feared many others are also dead. Phillipsburg is a division point on the Rock Island in North Central Kansas, about twenty miles from the Nebraska line.

 

A second dispatch from Fairbury confirms the killing of six persons at Phillipsburg. Many persons, it is said are dead in the county, and five bodies have already been brought to the town.

 

The above cyclone brought sorrow to many hearts in Marion and Crittenden county. Mrs. Jane Alexander, one of its victims, was well known and highly regarded in this community. She was the wife of Mr. J. J. Alexander, a former well known citizen of this county, a sister of the wife of Mr. Kurg Travis, and also a sister to Ewell and Grant Travis. In the following letter to Mrs. Kurg Travis Mr. Wesley Jacobs pathetically describes the sad occurrence:

 

PHILLIPSBURG, KAN., June 28.--Dear Aunt Mary: This is the first letter I ever wrote you and this is one of the sadest times I ever saw.

 

This morning I went to help brother John cut wheat, and in the afternoon there was a cloud lying out in the northeast. No one thought of any danger or harm about it, until it began to come south. I and John's hands were driven to a barn. The wind began to blow, we saw a cyclone coming; it passed off west a few hundred yards and did no damage. A few moments later the wind came from the north, with another cyclone. I never saw such a storm in my life. I thought we would be blown away any moment. When it was over we started home. We got in sight of some houses and thought no damage was done; we then drove along further and saw a house blown away; we went by to see if any one was killed; when we got there we saw three houses all close together and all blown to pieces; one killed and others hurt. Then I was scared and did not know what to do. The cyclone came from towards my house, and Mr. Alexanders', turned just up the creek. While we were there one of my neighbors came up and told me that Ma (your sister Jane) was killed and that Mr. Alexander was badly hurt, so I went and found she was dead. She was blown about one hundred yards from where the house stood. She was blown all to pieces. I don't think that Pa is dangerously hurt.

 

Don't take this hard if you can help it; the children are taking it very hard. Dora almost had convulsions. Ella took it awfully hard at first but soon got so she could talk to the others. Ma was killed by flying timbers and perhaps drowned by the rain.

 

God works in a mysterious way. These things are sad and hard to bear but it is all for the best. Just look to God and say that sister has gone home. Weep not, for in heaven God has wiped all tears away.

 

Your nephew, WESLEY JACOBS.

 

P. S. This morning is the 29th. Last night was a long and wearisome night. I did not tell you about my home. I took part of my team to Mr. H. Crider's, where Ma was, and then started for home. I met Ella and the children; she had already heard about her Ma, and had started there. It is just one mile and a half from there. At home the north windows were all broken out; the side room where we cook was unroofed, but nothing hurt. The hail that fell was from the size of a marble to the size of a half gallon crock. I got one hailstone that was as large as a baby's head when it fell. It isn't dug yet. I took my children home, for Mr. Crider's house was full of people; two of his sons' houses were blown away and they were all there. So Ella said for me to take the children home and she would stay there with her Ma and Pa. The houses are in splinters; beds and bed clothing are all blown to pieces. Mr. Alexander's wagon was blown to pieces and none of it has been found yet, except a piece of the tongue. I can scarcely write for crying. It is too bad to stand nearby and be able to do nothing. But the good Lord knows best; we will do the best we can and put Ma away the best we can.

 

Source:  Crittenden Press. (Marion, Ky.) 1879-1907, July 6, 1905, Image 1 - Chronicling America - The Library of Congress.

[My comments are in brackets.]