Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

A number of colored persons were also seriously injured. Many persons lost everything they had, and were left wounded and helpless. Those who escaped threw open their doors, taking in the wounded and homeless. Every one did all in his power to relieve the unfortunate sufferers. People from all parts of the country gathered in Richmond, eager to lend a helping hand.

On Sunday, the day after the terrible storm, a mass meeting was held and the following resolutions adopted:

Whereas, An unprecedented storm has visited our city, leaving much loss of life, destruction of property and personal suffering in its pathway; therefore, be it

Resolved, That a committee of arrangements and relief be appointed to co-operate with the mayor and city authorities, consisting of ten persons, whose duty it shall be to receive any contributions that may be made for the relief of the poor and destitute, and to provide for and take care of the many who have been injured; and generally to make such arrangements as the circumstances may require, in aid of the suffering of our fellow citizens, occasioned by the recent storm, and for the burial of those who were killed.

Resolved, That all citizens who may feel disposed to render any assistance for the object contemplated by the foregoing resolution, will please to make application to some member of this committee, or to the mayor or members of the city council, who will see that all contributions are honestly and strictly applied for the relief of those needing it. That the thanks of this meeting are hereby tendered to our neighbors from the country, and citizens of other counties, for the interest and sympathy they have manifested and the aid so freely and cheerfully given, and to the medical fraternity for their prompt and skillful attention rendered to the suffering.

At a meeting of the relief committee the following resolution was adopted:

Resolved, That Berrien J. Menefee, be, and he is hereby appointed treasurer of this committee to receive all contributions and donations made to the relief board in money or other things, and that he apply the same under the direction of Judge Chas. J. Hughes, chairman of this committee, or of George I. Wasson, mayor of the city, and that full reports be made from time to time to this committee of the amount and character of the contributions made and how distributed.

The following general committee was then appointed, viz: A. W. Doniphan, James Hughes, B. J. Menefee, C. T. Garner, Sr., Dr. W. W. Mosby, Captain J. L. Farris, Colonel J. W. Black, George N. McGee, Thomas D. Woodson and John C. Morris.

On motion, Judge Hughes was made chairman of the committee. On motion of J. T. Child, a committee composed of gentlemen from each township, to solicit aid, was appointed.

At a called meeting of the relief committee on Monday evening, the following action was had:

On motion of James W. Black, Major R. S. Williams was instructed to employ a sufficient number of hands to remove the debris from the streets. The daily wages for laborers was fixed at $1.25. The proposition of Major McKissack, to furnish ice and transportation free was accepted, and the magnaminous offer properly acknowledged.

The committee of relief met Tuesday morning. A number of telegrams were received, which the mayor was instructed to answer. Judge C. J. Hughes was directed to instruct the different towns, as to the condition of Richmond. C. T. Garner, W. P. Hubbell and W. D. Rice, were appointed to ascertain the real condition of the sufferers, to take their names and ascertain their actual wants.

At the suggestion of many citizens from the country, a public meeting was held in the court house yard on Monday. This meeting was attended and participated in by a large number of citizens from different parts of the county. This meeting resolved that the judge of the county court be requested to make an appropriation, if in his judgment such an appropriation was needed, to the sufferers of Richmond.

Committees were also appointed in all of the townships to solicit aid from the citizens, and to receive and forward all contributions to the relief committee at Richmond.

Besides the human beings enumerated, about ninety head of stock— horses, cattle, etc., were killed. One team of horses was lifted up and blown over the brick lumber yard of Jackson & Patton, and, being dashed to the ground, in the back yard, were killed. Chickens and geese were literally stripped of their feathers, and trees which were not blown down or torn up by their roots, were barked from bottom to top.

On the west side of the cyclone, the debris moved south, on the east side it moved north, showing the rotation to have been from right to left.

The postoffice building was a light, two story frame, on the east corner of the north side of the public square. It was totally demolished, and the contents scattered along the pathway of the cyclone for many miles.

A registered package of stamped envelopes, intended for Millville, was found eight miles out of town.

One package of envelopes for registered letters, was found in Caldwell county, twenty miles north of Richmond, and returned.

One dead letter addressed, Michael Reeves, was found near James Hughes' home farm, eight miles northeast of Richmond.

One package of paper, weighing two pounds, was found on a straw pile, four miles from where the postoffice stood.

A registered letter was found thirteen miles north of town, lying against a house. The letter was picked up by a farmer, who, finding it contained two fifty dollar bills, returned it to the post master at Richmond.

A letter was found near Tinney's Grove, twenty miles to the northeast, in Grape Grove township.

A photograph of a Mrs. Engler, blown from one of the demolished residences of Richmond, was found near Tinney's Grove, twenty miles away.

Thousands of persons visited Richmond for several days succeeding the storm. Nearly all came, and did all in their power to relieve the immediate wants of the sufferers.

The destruction was complete over two entire blocks of buildings, from the southern to the northern limits of the city. Outside of those blocks, on either side the buildings and property, generally, were injured to a greater or less extent along its entire path.

We find in the first issue of the Bay Chronicle after,the cyclone, the following observations:

1. It was not over three hundred yards high.

2. The breadth of its forward motion was not more than eighty yards.

3. No rain fell during its passage.

4. The head, source, or place where the power was applied was after the cyclone was perfectly formed, a dark cloud, moving with the firmness of a mountain, and the rapidity of the swiftest horse.

5. The rotary motion gave it a lateral diameter of one hundred and fifty yards.' The rotation was often so rapid as throw air waves to either side, with very destructive effects, and sometimes reaching a distance of three hundred yards bevond the main path.

6. There was no particular development of heat, as to scorch green substances or to burn persons. The ground was soaked with rain twenty minutes in advance of the cyclone, and the soil was worked into a thin mortar, and smeared overything; hence the appearance of a flood.*

Two members of the city council were killed, and the council adopted the following tribute of respect:

Richmond Council Room )
Wednesday, June 5, 1878. j

City council met, and was called to order by the mayor, George I. Wasson. The roll was called. Present, the mayor, and councilmen, J. W. Black, James W. Garner, George A. Hughes, and William Wilson.

The following resolutions were then presented by J. W. Black, and adopted by the council:

Whereas, Our city having been visited on last Saturday afternoon, by a most terrible cyclone, carrying death and destruction in its pathway, and many families were rendered houseless, and the home circle bereft of of its loved ones, stricken down in its devastating course, and among that number our esteemed fellow citizens and members of the city council, Wm. A. Donaldson and Francis M. Ball; therefore be it resolved by the council, of the city of Richmond,

That in the death of Wm. A. Donaldson and F. M. Ball, their families

*We are indebted to the Ray Chronicle, of June 7, 1878, and to Dr. G. W. Buchanan for the history of the Richmond cyclone.

have sustained an irreparable loss, society has been deprived of two of its most worthy and .useful citizens, and the city council of two of its most active, energetic and faithful members.

Resolved, That we tender to their bereaved families and relatives, our heartfelt sympathy and condolence, in this, the hour of their great affliction.

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be communicated to the families of the deceased, by the city recorder, and that they be spread upon the records of the city council.

Resolved, That the Richmond Conservator and the Ray Chronicle be requested to publish these resolutions.

Resolved, That in respect to the memory of the lamented deceased, we adjourn until Wednesday, June 12th, 1878.

Geo. I. Wasson, Mayor.

W. C. Patton, City Recorder.

It is not easy to imagine how greater destruction could be wrought in the same length of time than was caused by the Richmond cyclone of June 1, 1878. It was indeed a great calamity, and will long be remembered.

From personal experience, endured at another time, in another state, the writer is fully prepared to appreciate the suffering of those who were so unfortunate as to be in the pathway of the terribly devastating whirlwind.

With a list of the members of the bar and medical profession, and the city charter and revised ordinances of the city of Richmond, we close its history.

The Richmond bar has long been noted for the ability, learning and eloquence of its members.

Lawyers who have distinguished themselves in various departments of life, have either lived or practiced law at Richmond. Among them we mention: Alexander W. Doniphan, Hamilton R. Gamble, Charles French, Robert W. Wells, Abiel Leonard, Amos Rees, Thomas C. Burch, Mordecai Oliver, Austin A. King, Peter H. Burnett, and Aaron H. Conrow.

General Doniphan's fame as a soldier is world-wide. His heroic military exploits are read in the school room, and live in the hearts of his countrymen, yet he is not unknown as a brilliant and successful lawyerHe is now retired from practice, and is a resident of Richmond.

As to Aaron H. Conrow, see biographical sketch in part second.

The rest, including Hon. Geo. W. Dunn, are mentioned elsewhere in this work.

The Richmond bar has, at present, twenty members; several of them have practiced in Richmond for many years, and are well and widely known, as well for their professional ability as for their sterling worth as members of society. The majority, however, are energetic and talented young gentlemen, either recently admitted to the bar, or who have been engaged in the practice but a few years.

Following is a list of members of the Richmond bar in April, 1881: Geo. W. Dunn, Christopher T. Garner, James W. Black, Joseph E. Black, Chas. J. Hughes, John W. Shotwell, David P. Whitmer, James L. Farris, Adam J. Barr, Elijah F. Esteb, James W. Garner, Frank G. Gibson, C. T. Garner, Jr., William S. Conrow, Thos. N. Lavelock, J. E. Ball, John R. Hamilton, John H. Dunn, George A. Stone and John F. Morton.

The medical profession is most ably represented in Richmond by the following physicians, to-wit: Doctors G. W. Buchanan, H. P. Jacobs, W. W. Mosby and son, H. C. Garner, J. D. Taylor, James W. Smith, M. C. Jacobs (eclectic), and R. B. Kice (D. D. S.)

Dr. Nathaniel Davis was a physician of Richmond for many years, but is now retired from the practice, and is living quietly at his home, just without the eastern limits of the city.

AN ACT TO INCORPORATE"THE CITY OF RICHMOND.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Missouri, as follows:

ARTICLE I.

Section 1. All that district of country contained within the following boundaries, to-wit: Beginning at a point fifty-eight chains and fifty links north of public square, on the line between the land of G. W. Dunn and Mrs. Darneal; thence east to the section line between sections twentynine and thirty, fifty-two chains and fifty-four links; thence south one hundred and three chains and eighty-two links; thence west one hundred and five chains and eight links; thence north one hundred and three chains and eighty-two links; thence east fifty-two chains and fifty-four links, to the place of beginning, shall be, and the same is hereby erected into a city, by the name of "The City of Richmond," and the inhabitants thereof shall be, and they are hereby constituted, a body corporate and politic, by the name and style of "the mayor, councilmen, and citizens of the city of Richmond," and by that name they and their successors forever shall have perpetual succession, shall sue and be sued, implead and be impleaded, defend and be defended in all courts of law and equity, and in all actions whatsoever; may contract and be contracted with, may purchase, receive, and hold property, real and personal, within said city, and may sell, lease, or dispose of the same for the benefit of the city, and may purchase, receive, and hold property, real or personal, beyond' the limits of said city, to be used for the burial of the dead of the city, or for the establishment of a hospital for the reception of persons afflicted with contagious or other diseases, or for the erection of a poor-house and farm, or work-house, or house of correction, and may sell, lease,or dispose of such property for the benefit of the city, and may do all other acts and things as natural persons. They may have and use a common seal, and may break, alter, change, and make a new seal at pleasure.

Sec 2. The city of Richmond hereby created, as soon as may be, shall be divided into six wards, so as to include, as near as may be, the

« ForrigeFortsett »