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Winona Republican Herald: Monday, May 11, 1953 - Page 1

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   Winona Republican-Herald, The (Newspaper) - May 11, 1953, Winona, Minnesota                              Ore Carrier Sinks in Storm Off Isle Roy ale Cloudy, Colder With Local Showers Tonight River Stage 14-Hour (Flood 13) Today 7.41 .01 Year Ago 9.45 .30 VOLUME 53, NO. 71 SIX CENTS PER COPY WINONA, MINNESOTA, MONDAY EVENING, MAY 11, 1953 TWENTY PAGES 2 Die in Area as Tornado Strikes Trempealeau Co. Farm Buildings Downed by Wind But Only Three Persons Reported Injured Slightly ARCADIA. Wis. Tremendous winds early Sunday evening smash- ed, twisted and reduced to rubble more than 100 buildings on more than two score Trempealeau Coun- ty farms in as bizarre and de- structive a storm as any resident of the area can recall. In other Western Wisconsin areas similar damage was done. Near Eau Claire a farmer was killed. The mighty wind took the form of a "twister" at some points. At others it was a "dead black cloud" rising and falling dis- astrously. It flattened some buildings, twisted others, nudged others. Some buildings it missed alto- gether. 3 Slightly Hurt Most remarkable aspect of the storm was the fact its toll in in- jured was small. Only three per- sons were reportedly hurt, none of them seriously. Many farm ani- mals are known to have been killed. No estimate was avail- able. Damage to farm property will run into thff-multiple tens of thousands of dollars in many cases virtually a total loss. In the Arcadia area, where the twister struck at p. m. in the Town of Glencoe, about 30 build- ings were demolished, three per- sons slightly hurt and at least two head of cattle and several pigs killed. Along the road telephone posts are down. Machinery is scattered along the roadsides and trees are down throughout the area. Hail- stones the size of a teaspoon and heavy rain were reported Sunday evening. Frank Fernholz Farm One of the most disastrously hit farms was that of Frank J. Fern- holz, six miles west of Arcadia a 144-foot barn and five to seven other buildings were de- stroyed. The 14 head of cattle in the barn were bruised but the pigs in the hoghouse next to the barn escaped injury. A chimney was blown off the house and win- dows were broken. The loss is partially covered by insurance. Buildings destroyed include a gran- ery and machine shed. Two men, Philip Feuling, hired man, and Herman Fernholz, broth- er to Frank, were in the barn when the tornado struck. The Fernholz' daughter, Clara, ran to the road to a car in which Mr. and Mrs. Joseph R. Pampuch, 1650 W. 5th St., Winona, had been driving, to ask them to get help from Arcadia. Mrs. Pampuch said that when they were driving down a slight hill the clouds were hanging so low that they ap- peared to be falling. Suddenly, one cloud seemed to leap down the ravine, then wind over a hill and disappear as rapidly as it came into view. At the Wilmer Ziegeweid farm across the road and about two blocks north of the Fernholz place, the silo, milkhouse and two barns were flattened. Two steers from 39 head of cattle were killed and more may lie beneath the wreck- age, Ziegeweid said. Mrs. Zeigeweid, who was stand- ing against the silo, tried to nm into the barn but the wind was so strong it prevented her from moving. She received a forehead (Continued on Page 3, Column 1) WISCONSIN WEATHER WEATHER FORECAST Winona and able cloudiness and cplder tonight and Tuesday with local showers late tonight and Tuesday. Low tonight 45, high Tuesday 60. LOCAL WEATHER Official observations for the 24 hours ending at 12 m. Sunday: Maximum, 88; minimum, 53; noon, 81; precipitation, none. Official observations for the 24 hours ending at 12 m. today: Maximum, 87; minimum, 52; noon, 69; precipitation, trace; sun sets tonight at sun rises to- morrow at AIRPORT WEATHER (No. Central Observations) Max. temp. 83 at p. m. Sun- day, min. 52 at a. m. today. Broken layer of clouds at feet, visibility 15 miles, wind 15 miles from south southwest with gusts up to 28 miles per hour. Ba- rometer 29.71 steady, humidity 57 per cent A 2-Year-Old Rochester Girl was killed and two others were critically injured when winds tossed the car shown in the fore- .ground off Highway 14, near St. Charles, and into a creek. The car landed on its top and workmen are shown here as they righted the automobile shortly after the mishap. Three occupants of the in the background escaped with only minor injuries when their car, too, was swept off the road. (Republican-Herald photo) The Tornado that swept across Minnesota Sunday smashed this migrant's house at Hollandale, killing six members of the family. Dead are Mr. and Mrs. Aniseto Martinez of Waco, Tex., and four of their children. The victims' bodies were blown onto a road 75 feet from the home. (AP Wirephoto to The Republican-Herald) Tornado Lashes 5 Midwest States MINNEAPOLIS Swirling black tornado funnels blasted a path of destruction across, parts of five Midwest states and Arkan- sas over the week end, leaving nine persons dead, more than 100 injured and widespread property damage. Areas hit were Southern Minne- sota, Western Wisconsin, South- eastern Nebraska, North-Central Iowa, West-Central Arkansas and Southeastern Kansas. Property damage is expected to total several million dollars. Six of the Minnesota victims died when the tarpaper and clapboard house in which a Spanish-speak- ing migrant farm worker from Texas and his family were quar- tered on an asparagus farm near was killed when a farm house blew Hollandale was destroyed. I apart and Marie Knipschield, 16, The six were Ariseto Martinez, Cumberland, was killed when a 29; his wife Magdaline, 25; and four of their 11; Raul, 13 months; Dominga, 8; and Jesse, 5. Friends did not know which part of Texas the family came from. Bodies of the six were hurled 75 feet onto a road early yesterday evening when the funnel hit the flimsy structure. Neighbors said the house appeared to "explode from within." Three persons were killed in Wisconsin. Peter Novak was fatal- ly injured when a barn was blown down ou his farm near Amery. Miss Mary Dunbar, 78, Stanton, barn collapsed 10 miles east of Frederic. Several others were reported in- jured as tornadoes hit western Wisconsin. Damage was centered in Eau Claire, Chippewa, Polk and St. Croix counties. A tornado hit Hebron, a commu- nity of in Southeastern Ne- braska, Saturday night. Observers said it was a "miracle" that no one was killed as the storm wrecked two-thirds of the town's buildings. Sixty-nine persons were injured, at least 18 of them ser- iously. Hebron was still without gas and I had only emergency electric power last night. Bulldozers pushed their way through debris-piled streets to make one-way paths for trucks used in clearing the wreckage. Mayor Ralph Hawkins estimated damage at "at least a million and a half dollars." "You drive over town and it's just said A. E. Stauffer, Deshler newspaper man. "There were cars smashed so flat you couldn't see in them with flash- lights." At least five persons were in- jured and several farms were damaged late yesterday when a tornado cut a path 35 miles long through Cerro Gordo and Worth Counties in North-Central Iowa. Gunder Felland, 63, who farms near Hanlontown, said he herded bis family into the basement when he saw the storm coming. "Then I saw the house lift off the founda- tion about a he added, "be- fore it settled back down, a little off center. When I went out later and looked, two big trees were piled right down on the house. Those trees must have kept the house from blowing away." No one was injured or killed when two tornadoes hit a residen- tial district near the fairgrounds in the West-Central Arkansas city of RusselMUe, About 40 homes in the area suffered heavy roof dam- age. Storm Topples Farm Buildings (For additional news and pictures of the tornado, see pages 3, 5 and 12.) A vicious tornado whipped through Southeastern I Minnesota and Western Wisconsin late Sunday afternoon, killing people, tearing apart buildings and uprooting trees. Near St. Charles it picked two cars off Highway 14 and smashed them into a shallow creek nearby. A rural Rochester child died and two were critically hurt. The tornado, striking about 6 o'clock, caught most farmers in their barns. Most of them miraculously escaped without injury, but in Fillmore County, Otto Jeche, 'about 60, was killed in the wreckage of his barn, and his 6-year-old grandson was critically injured. Near Amery, in Polk County, Wis., Frank Novak died similarly. But the worst was at Hollandale, Minn., near Albert Lea, where a family of six transient workers from Texas died in their small house. Many others were injured. The velocity of the wind was undetermined. At the Eau Claire airport, not in the heart of the storm, the wind was clocked at 70 miles an hour; in Winona at 55. There was some hesitation to call the windstorm a tornado, but A. D. Sanial, federal meteorologist at La Crosse, said descriptions definitely indicate a tornado to him. Funnel-like clouds, dipping close to the ground, were observed at St. Charles by several persons. If the major damage in the two-state area was caused by a tornado, it traveled from the Albert Lea vicinity, to Wykoff, Chatfield and St. Charles, then down Whitewater Valley in Winona County, before jumping across the Mis- sissippi River, to strike again at Arcadia and Independ- ence and other Western Wisconsin cities. At some points the brunt of the damage was only several hundred yards wide, and the peak of the wind lasted only minutes at the most. An Elba farmer said, "It all happened at once." All his buildings were toppled, and his house was jumped on the foundation. It was he said. Wykoff Man Crushed by Falling Barn By FRED LEIGHTON Republican-Herald Area Editor WYKOFF, Minn. A prominent Wykoff area farmer wa tilled instantly, his grandson crit ically injured and at least four other persons seriously injurec when tile worst tornado in the memories of Wykoff and area resi dents struck the .eastern edge o the village Sunday at p.m .eveling farms and homes ant eaving a path of almost indescrib able destruction. North, at Chatfield, the destruc tion continued. Dead is Otto Jeche, about 60 crushed to death by the weight o: mndreds of tons of hay in the lof if his huge dairy barn. Critically injured is Jeche's jrandson, Dennis Boettcher, 6, in St. Mary's Hospital, Rochester, to- lay with extensive paralysis. The seriously injured include Mrs. Harriet Dornink, about 60, who received leg fractures and pelvic injuries, Fred Horstman, 70, head injuries, Mrs. Grott, whose first name was not immediately available, arm injuries. The storm, described variously s "a twister" and as a "tumbling )lack cloud of enormous wept the eastern edge of this vil- age and headed north into the Chatfield area where its destruc- ion was no less potent and com- lete at scores of farms. Listing the total damage today was just nder way as farmers along the term's violent path assessed the damage to their farms in the history of tfie area. At the Jeche farm, the owner, is son and his grandson were milking when the storm struck. he barn was torn apart. Hay set- ed on the grandfather and the outh. Jeche was killed instantly, he boy was crushed and trapped, "ykoff fire department personnel eceived an alarm and sped to the farm where they removed the apped youth in about 30 minutes nd uncovered the body of the randfather. Jeche's farm is one-half mile outh of Highway 16 and one-quar- er of a mile west. The farm had xtensive damage to other build- ugs. After battering the Jeche, neigh- oring farms and the east end of IB village the storm cut a destruc- ve swath north and west toward latfield laying low buildings and Continued on Page 3, Column 5} WYKOFF MAN Child Dies as Wind Blows. Car At St. Charles By GORDON HOLTE Republican-Herald Staff Writer Tornadic winds knifed a 25-mile swath through the extreme western areas of Winona County early Sun- day evening, killing the infant daughter of a rural Rochester wo- man, injuring a dozen other per- sons and causing damage that can- not yet be estimated. The boiling vortex of the storm center whirled into more than dozen farms, wrenched loose scores of farm buildings and spewed them forth across fieldi along the storm's path. Dead as a result of the twister that struck near St. Charles a few minutes before 6 p.m. is the 2- year-old daughter of Mrs. Dorothy McDonald, 29, who were passen- gers in one of two cars that were tossed off Highway 14 by the swirl- ing winds. In critical condition at a Roches- ter hospital today are Mrs. McDon- ald and the driver of the car, Franklin Steele, 23, Rochester. Three other unidentified occu- pants of a second automobile which was swept off the road almost sim- ultaneously, apparently escaped with only minor injuries when their car was tumbled, top down, into creek nearly 200 feet from the Highway. Wondrow Farm Hit The spot where the two cari were lifted off the highway is only a short distance from toe Alvin Wondrow farm, just inside Olm- sted County, 1V4 miles west of St. Charles. The Wondrow farm felt the full "orce of the tornado and the barn, bouse and other farm buildings were demolished. Wondrow and three sons who were working in the barn at the time were injured by falling debris but lad returned to their home this morning after receiving treatment or cuts and bruises at a Rochester lospital. Farther north, Mrs. Ed Krueger uffered head injuries when she was struck by a timber blown rom one of the buildings on the arm near Elba. She was taken to a physician for treatment of er injury Sunday night but hid eturned home this morning. In addition, there scores of stories of miraculous from death or serious injury from farm residents homes were twisted off their foundations, barns toppled Continued on 12, Column CHILD DIES   

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