Various Towns, IL, MO Tornadoes, Mar 1948
WINDSTORMS KILL 16, INJURE 300.
TWISTERS HIT SECTIONS OF ILLINOIS, MISSOURI.
St. Louis, Mo. -- U.P. -- Two tornadoes smashed into scatered towns in eastern Missouri and southern Illinois today, killing at least 16 persons and injuring more than 300.
Governor DWIGHT GREEN of Illinois said he had fragmentary reports from the Illinois highway patrol indicating the toll in Illinois would be "at least 20."
No estimate of the great damage caused by the tornadic winds was immediately available, but entire villages were leveled and damage from wind was reported from as far as 50 miles from the main paths of the twin tornadoes.
Most of the dead were crushed when dwellings blew in on them. Many were hurt when struck by flying debris. Hospitals were jammed in Alton and other towns, and the Red Cross was giving emergency aid and setting up refugee centers to shelter the homeless in the downpours of rain that accompanied and followed the mighty blow. Four members of the VERMAN family died in the twisted debris of their house at Bunker Hill, Ill., only a small child escaped. Their first names were not learned immediately.
Other fatalities in the Fosterburg - Bunker Hill area included:
MRS. LYDIA BRUGGEMAN.
MR. and MRS. H. G. BASSETT.
MRS. SADIE TICHENAL.
MRS. JULIUS KEEN.
Three persons were killed at Gillespie, Ill., 35 miles northeast of St. Louis. They are:
MRS. THERESA PASSETTI, 27, her two year old daughter.
HYKO BUSHMAN, a railroad worker.
The twister struck first over Union, Mo., then arched over the Mississippi River north of St. Louis and struck with great force between Alton and Gillespie, Ill.
Winds of great velocity were reported at numerous other towns from Bonne Terre, Mo., north to points beyond Gillespie, a distance of about 90 miles.
At Gillespie, a town of about 5,000 population, Mayor TED FREY reported that "the town was a mess."
Litchfield, Ill., was also reported hit. Telephone communications were disrupted there as well as at Hillsboro. The Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. said it was handling only emergency medical calls into Litchfield.
FREY said the storm had left such wreckage at Gillespie it was difficult getting around. He said a soup kitchen had been set up in a church and a refugee center at a high school building.
The Red Cross chartered from planes at Springfield, Ill., to fly blood plasma to Gillespie.
Beaufort and Jeffriesburg, near Union, reported heavy damage and reports from Jeffriesburg to the Red Cross were that 10 or 12 persons were injured.
M. F. SEYFRIT, head of the Red Cross chapter at Bunker Hill, Mo., reported the town of 1,300 population was 80 per cent destroyed or damaged and asked for army field kitchens, 500 cots and 1,000 blankets. He said many, were injured, but an accurate count had not been made.
Oelwein Daily Register Iowa 1948-03-19
LIST OF KNOWN STORM DEAD IN THE MIDWEST
Taken from The Daily Register Harrisburg Illinois 1948-03-20
By United Press
Editor's Note: The following list of 39 known dead due to storms and floods across the midwest was compiled by United Press through a careful cross-check with police, mortuaries and relief agencies in the stricken areas to avoid duplications:
Illinois (Killed in Tornadoes)
At Bunker Hill:
MR. and MRS. JAMES A. VROMAN and their daughter, CAROLINE SUE, 6, and son, DANIEL, 4.
MRS. GEORGETTE KAY, 31, and her son, JACKIE, 6.
MRS. GEORGIA MAY LANDRETH.
MRS. ROSE WRIGLEY.
MRS. ISABELLE POLLACK, 65.
MRS. ELIZABETH HALE.
MRS. CHRIS LONGACKER.
MRS. GURLEY and her 10-year-old son.
An infant named ALLEN.
MRS. RACHEL LANDRETH.
MRS. H. G. BASSETT, 78.
MRS. LYDIA BRUGGEMAN.
MRS. SARAH TICHENAL, 65.
SHIRLEY SCROGGINS, 12.
MRS. JULIA KEEN.
MRS. BERTHA HUNT.
MRS. DAVID PASSETTI, 27.
In the Alton area:
J. C. GREGORY, R. R. 1, Alton.
An unidentified man.
Missouri (Killed in Tornadoes)
JOSEPH ELBERT, near Irondale.
PETER HICKS, 38, Potosi.
Michigan (Killed in Tornadic Winds)
RAYMOND MILLER, 5, Wayne (Detroit) county.
Ohio (Killed in Tornadoes)
EDWIN DRERUP, 35, Columbus.
GERALD KILL, 10, Landeck.
NORMAN BONIFAS, 12.
Tennessee (Died in Flood Waters)
CHARLES VAUGHAN, 41, Hornersville, Mo., and his sons, CHARLES HENRY, 9, ALFRED, 5, and NORRIS, 3.
Researched and Transcribed by Stu Beitler. Thank you, Stu!