The Worland Family in America and Beyond

I began my life in the Puget Sound area of Washington State, on an island filled with forests and wild rhododendrons. I was separated from my Worland family there at an early age. Recently, I was reunited with my family and learned of my heritage. And so, this journey to know my ancestors began. The Worlands, Gideons, Newtons, Conards... they were the colonists, the settlers, the pioneers. They fought in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Civil War. This is their story, and the story of a nation. -Deci Worland MacKinnon

Monday, June 8, 2009

1886 Minnesota Tornado

On April 14, 1886 the deadliest tornado in Minnesota history razed parts of St.Cloud and Sauk Rapids, leaving 72 dead and 213 injured. 11 members of a wedding party were killed including the bride and groom. It was the deadliest tornado in Minnesota history.

A few excerpts from local newspapers of the time:

Telegrams to the following effect were received from Sauk Rapids:“To Mayor AMES, Minneapolis: Can you send a special train with physicians to this city? A cyclone passed over the city this afternoon. A great many are believed to have been killed, but the number is not yet known.”
Immediately, upon the recept [sic] of these messages, preparations were made to respond to the call for help. A train for St. Cloud left at 6 o'clock.

The cyclone began about 3 o'clock in the basin of the Masonic cemetery, forming a whirlwind about 1,000 feet in diameter. It took almost every tree in the circle from the ground or twisted it off at the trunk. Great stones were tore up and carried along with the wind. Moving slowly along in a southeasterly direction it wrecked the Catholic chapel and several houses in its course across the prairie adjoining the town. It completely demolished JOHN SCHWARTZ'S large brick house and scattered fifty or more smaller frame houses like so many feathers. In most cases nothing was left to mark the site of dwellings but cellars. The prairies were strewn with timbers, furniture and clothing. The freight depot of the Manitoba road was a total wreck. Numerous cars loaded with freight were blown half a mile and rails wrenched from the track. It passed the limits of the town just west of Lieut. Gov. GILMAN'S residence, killing several horses. It crossed the Mississippi at the Sauk Rapids wagon bridge which it demolished. It here widened to six hundred feet, and levelled [sic] STANTON'S grist mill. From there it swept through the center of the town, taking the best of the business part of it, including the court house, hotel, public school and every important business building in the town except WOOD'S store. The village is virtually wiped out, four-fifths of the buildings being leveled. The fatalities in St. Cloud, though great, are not equal in number to those in Sauk Rapids. In every house most all of the inmates were more or less hurt.

A brief dispatch has just been received saying that between 40 and 50 bodies have been recovered from the ruins at St. Cloud and the search is not completed. The town presented a scene of utmost desolation as seen by the light of flickering lanterns and the groans of the wounded and lamentations of those who have lost relatives are heart rending in the extreme.

BIG LAKE, Minn., April 13(?), -- DRS. HIGBEE and DELLIVER of Minneapolis have just arrived. The latter told an Associated Press reporter that new bodies were being recovered hourly from the debris and being brought in from the country. Twelve injured people were brought in. Some of these will die. Druggist SCHAUBERT'S remains had just been brought in. Four have died of wounds since this morning. At a church cast of RICE'S thirteen of a wedding party were killed including the officiating minister.
At Sauk Rapids 31 are already dead. The list will be swelled to 40. DR. AMES of Minneapolis, on duty at St. Cloud, told DR. DELIVER at least 30 deaths can but result there. Capt. FARLEY, an old settler of Sauk Rapids weighing 280 pounds was blown 400 feet in the air.

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