Washington County Tornado ~ 1911

Destructive Cyclone At Cadet - (From: The Potosi Journal - 19 April 1911) - Much Property Destroyed & a Number of People Injured - Several Fatalities at Valle Mines - Our correspondent at Cadet sends the following account of the visitation there:  On Thursday afternoon a cyclone passed over this part of Washington county, doing considerable damage to property & destroying an immense amount of valuable timber.  The storm came from the west, cutting a wide swath through the forest on the Company's claim near Shibboleth.  One of the large barns on the estate of the late Alfred Long was razed level with the ground.  The next house in the path was a building owned by C.A. Young, close by the railroad track, which was moved about four inches from its foundation. Next was the residence of Paul Boyer,  which was partially unroofed.  The house of Jim May was badly damaged, as was also a small log house near the may place.  Then comes the house in which  Claude Coffman lived, the kitchen of which was demolished.  Next was the home of Jack Boyer, every building on the place was completely ruined.  Eli Politte's house & all the out buildings were destroyed, as was also practically all his household goods & food supplies.  The storm then crossed the railroad track & in its path was the home of A. Jolly, which was badly broken up.  Mrs. Jolly & four children were in the house when the storm struck it & how they escaped was a miracle.  The next place was Mack Roderique's, which was partially destroyed.  The storm then crossed to Mill Creek & the bluff caused it to veer, & it caught the house & barn of  Tom Degonia & in a few moments desolation was complete.  The barn of Frank Degonia was also badly injured.

Friday & Saturday the neighbors assembled at damaged places & put up the fences that had enclosed the fields.  Pieces of clothing, bedding & iron roofing can be seen in the tops of trees two miles from where the storm picked them up. 

Four or five persons were injured, but none very seriously, except Mrs. Singleton, mother-in-law of Eli Politte.

I went over a part of the course taken by the storm & it makes one sad to see what ruin can be done in so short a space of time.  I cannot estimate the property loss.

The storm seems to have first centered in Reynolds county Thursday afternoon about 2 o'clock, where it wrecked a number of houses & blew down much timber.  The northern part of  Iron county was also in its path, as was also Bismarck, but the latter point did not suffer much.

At Bismarck the storm seems to have divided, one section passing northward toward Cadet & Valle Mines, the towards Flat River, Elvins & other Lead Belt towns.  In the mining towns much damage to property followed the blow & upwards of fifty people were injured, more or less seriously.

The only fatalities resulting from the storm are reported from Valle Mines, where it seems to have spent its force after a particularly vicious effort at destruction.  Susie Baker, a colored woman, & Ella Murphy, her niece, 10 years old were found dead in the boughs of trees, 100 yards from where their house stood.  Wesley Smith & 8 year old daughter, also colored, were blown across Swashin creek, Smith was picked up dead & the girl rescued with both legs broken.  Wm. Bunt, postmaster at Valle Mines, was carried 150 feet in two lifts & finally jammed against a fence.  He was only seriously bruised, however.

Potosi did not feel the storm beyond a heavy rainfall, accompanied by some hail.

Squire S.S. Paul of Cadet was in town Monday last & stated that his home was right in the path of the cyclone last Thursday, but just as it had approached within 150 yards of his house the storm veered & left him unharmed.


Several Persons Are Reported Dead & A Score Injured

The Daily Press – Sheboygan, Wisconsin - 1911

 DeSoto, Mo. – 14 April A tornado hit Cadet, a town of 500 people, twelve miles south of here in Washington county.  Several persons are reported killed & fifteen to twenty injured.  The wind virtually swept the town away.  Only ten houses on the southeastern part were left standing. 

 The path of the tornado through Cadet was three-quarters of a mile wide.  Great damage was also done in the country near Cadet, many farm houses & barns being wrecked.  A special train left here for Cadet to bring the injured to DeSoto.  All wires were blown down.  An Iron Mountain signal man brought the news to DeSoto.  In the southern part of Jefferson county to storm wrecked an automobile in which were John Powers of Cape Girardeau & Joseph Boyers & George Blackburn of DeSoto.  Powers & Boyers were found dead & Blackburn is missing. 



Valley Mines & Cadet Mo. are Swept Away in Death Dealing Tornado

Four negroes are known to be dead, a number injured, one seriously and three missing, following a tornado which wrecked the town of Valley Mines, Mo., forty miles southwest of here, at 2 o’clock. The dead are A.C. Baker, Mrs. A.C. Baker, a daughter of the Bakers and her husband. The injured include Postmaster Buncie, who will die. The Bakers, their daughter and son-in-law were killed when the Valley Mines postoffice and general store crashed in upon them. Postmaster Bunce, who is believed to have been the only other person in the place was taken from the debris by rescuers half an hour after the storm. He is said to be dying.

News of the storm which damaged much property, paralzyed wire communication and blocked railroads, was received first at Festus, Mo. A train carried terrified passengers out of the danger zone. They knew only that a disastrous storm had occurred. Relief parties from Festus tried to reach the stricken town, but found the roads blocked by high water. No word has come of the Valley Mines since 5 o’clock. It is believed that a second storm visited the place, as the one which demolished Cadet, Mo., ten miles south of Valley Mines, was reported from DeSoto as sweeping in that direction at 4 o’clock.
The Indianapolis Star, April 14, 1911   http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mojchs/Newspapers/JeffCoNewsUS.htm