Wednesday, April 08, 2020

The Cyclone of 1892

On May 27, 1892, a cyclone ripped through the heart of Wellington, leaving 17 dead, numerous injured, and hundred's homeless. The tornado caused 1/2 million dollars in damage.

The Chisholm Trail Museum has an exhibit on the cyclone, complete with photographs of the storm damage.

The Chisholm Trail Museum needs your support! Volunteer to help today!

At around 6:30p.m., the skies over Wellington became hazy. An intermittent light rain fell over the next two hours across the city. Little did residents know, but their lives were about to be changed forever.

At 8:30p.m., the skies darkened, and the storm approached. Finally, at 8:57p.m., the tornado struck. It entered Wellington at the southwest corner of town approaching Harvey Street west of the, now Union Pacific, railroad tracks. It traveled east on Harvey Street, it's width approaching one quarter mile. It destroyed houses on it's path toward downtown Wellington.

As if touring downtown, it turned directions and went north on Washington Street. It continued this path of travel until it reached 9th Street, where the funnel dissipated, and disappeared into the clouds. It was only on the ground a short while, but the damage it caused in that time period was immense. Not only was the Wellington Township Hall destroyed at Washington and 7th, once the building that county business was held in, it caused damage to other businesses listed below.

C.A. Gambrill, loan and insurance office, entirely destroyed

Monitor-Press Weekly Newspaper, entirely destroyed

People's Voice Weekly Newspaper, entirely destroyed

T.B. Hubbard, seeds and feed, entirely destroyed

H. Conrad restaurant, entirely destroyed

S.K. Mortgage Co.,loan office, entirely destroyed

Peniwell Marble co., tombstones, entirely destroyed

Douglass and Brown Real Estate, entirely destroyed

Ned Hale, coal, entirely destroyed

W.B. Seymour, feed stable, entirely destroyed

W.B. Seymour, feed store, entirely destroyed

Ed L. Brown, carpenter shop, entirely destroyed

Fisher and Adams, blacksmith shop, entirely destroyed

George R. Fultz, loan and abstract office, badly damaged

R. Lynch, Shoe shop, entirely destroyed

Col. Jesse Brower, barber shop, entirely destroyed

W.A. Romig, tinware store and shop, entirely destroyed

John Roth, lunch counter, entirely destroyed

M.J. Kain, merchant tailor, entirely destroyed

Sasher and Kirk, carriage factory, entirely destroyed

Alliance Grocery, entirely destroyed

R.J. Smith, agricultural implements, entirely destroyed

Rock Island Lumber and Mfg. Co., badly scattered

Worden and Austin groceries, partially destroyed

S. Crane, books and stationery, east end of store room and roof gone

Daily Mail printing office, almost ruined

Sumner County Standard, weekly newspaper, partially destroyed

T. Buttrey and Son, boots and shoes, entirely destroyed. Most of the badly damaged stock recovered and removed to the Roser Building.

Schafer Brothers, meat market, almost a total destruction

Episcopal Church, entirely destroyed

Lutheran Church, entirely destroyed

Presbyterian Church, entirely destroyed

The same night as the Wellington tornado, Harper suffered a tornado that killed 5 people.

Source: Sumner County Standard, June 2, 1892 edition, Wellington Public Library microfilm collection