Tuesday, March 3, 2020

SRES Consumer Newsletter - March 2020



Consumer Newsletter – March 2020
US Edition; By Elyse Umlauf-Garneau





Walkability’s Worth

How walkable is your city and how much more will buyers pay for that convenience? Redfin has some answers.

It found that homes that allow people to walk to schools, shopping, parks, and other amenities sell for an average of 23.5%, or $77,668, more than comparable properties in areas where residents are dependent on a car.

Redfin looked at sales prices and Walk Score rankings on nearly 1 million homes in 16 U.S. cities and in two Canadian cities to see walkability’s effect on home prices.

Cities where daily errands can be done without a car get scores of 90 points or above and are considered a walker’s paradise. Scores of 70 to 89 indicate that most errands can be accomplished on foot, and when only some errands can done on foot, a city is labeled somewhat walkable and receives scores between 50 to 69. Scores between 0 and 24 are considered car dependent and residents need cars to do most or all errands.

Though buyers will spend extra for greater walkability, the premium they’ve paid for properties slipped 2.3% from 2016. That’s slide is attributed to affordable homes being in demand and the fact that they’re often located in less walkable spots. Since many  buyers can’t afford pricier walkable neighborhoods, they’re willing to trade walkability for affordable single-family properties.

Walkable Premiums by Region

Location
Premium for walkable homes
Walk Score
Boston, Mass.
$140,724
82
Washington, D.C.
$102,166
76
Seattle, Wash.
$86,331
74
Atlanta, Ga.
$74,741
48
San Diego
$60,225
51

For a complete list and more details on each of the markets Redfin studied, see: http://bit.ly/2HM9V8V. 





SECURE Act and Your Retirement
SECURE Act and Your Retirement

The SECURE Act (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019), aimed at improving people’s retirement security, was signed into law at the end of 2019.

Some key changes of the SECURE Act (http://bit.ly/2HwrLfV) affect Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and has implication for anyone planning for retirement. 

Required Minimum Distributions

Before, you were required to start taking money out of traditional IRAs – Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) – by April 1 of the year after you turned 70 ½.

You now can wait until you’re 72 to start taking RMDs, which gives you extra time to save and to let your money grow.

Longer window for saving

You can keep contributing to your IRA for as long as you’re still working, whereas before, there was an age limit of 70 ½. The new law may help you save more for retirement.

Inherited IRAs  rule change

There also are changes for those inheriting IRAs. Before, those inheriting such funds could take distributions over their lifetime. But that timeframe has now been reduced to 10 years. Learn more about what it may mean for you at the SRES blog.

Throw a downsizing party

You already know that your kids and grandkids want little, if any, of your stuff. Decorative objects often don’t suit their taste, furniture isn’t the right style or scale for their apartments, and they already have all the kitchen gear they need.

Downsizing is never easy, and the added burden of having to label, pack, and get things to a suitable recipient can be overwhelming.

It’s why a downsizing party may be just the thing .

A recent Washington Post story (https://wapo.st/3bNGy3H) talked about how one Washington, D.C., couple, Karen and Fritz Mulhauser, threw a party and invited friends to cart away things – linens, glasses, books, decorative objects – from the house.

You never know who, among your friends, neighbors, and relatives, has had an eye on a particular collection, painting, sculpture, or decorative object and will be willing to take it off your hands.

For you, the party preparation couldn’t be simpler. You label or put out the things that you want taken away and invite friends to bring paper, boxes and bags and cart it out.

Provide some snacks and beverages – the Mulhausers were ready with 200 flutes full of champagne – and a little good cheer, and within a couple hours, your load could be lightened.      







Real Estate Matters: News & Issues for the Mature Market
Coldwell Banker Premier Group
2203 S Big Bend Blvd
St. Louis, MO 63117
Matt Wroughton -  SRES, PSA





Tuesday, February 4, 2020

SRES Comsumer Newsletter - February 2020







Consumer Newsletter – February 2020
US Edition; By Elyse Umlauf-Garneau

Seniors on the Move

Moving across the country is challenging, but when it includes frail, elderly parents, it becomes exponentially harder.
It’s why those who have gone through the process with a loved one suggest getting an early start, having a handle on the to-dos, and planning ahead.
But most families wait until a crisis before considering housing options and purging a house, according to Judith Kahn of Judith Moves You, a New York City senior move manager. “It’s not unusual for people to call me just weeks before a move,” she says.
She says it’s best to start sorting, cleaning, and figuring out the next steps a year prior to downsizing. “Frail seniors have physical and emotional limitations and can only work two or three hours at a time,” she says. When a move manager swoops in with just weeks to do their work, it increases seniors’ stress, particularly if they have dementia.

You’re fired
Still, parents and children resist. “Part of it is coming to terms with the idea that hiring me is staring mortality in the face,” Kahn says.
Sisters Rachel Wineberg-Kaufman of Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.,  and Johanna Kellman of Naples, Fla., came face-to-face with such resistance when trying to get their 90-something parents, Bernice and Julius, to downsize several years prior to their eventual 2018 relocation from Chicago to Naples. 
The two had raised the topic several times, but their parents refused to consider moving or even having help in their house. “My mom kept firing the aides we hired,” recalls Wineberg-Kaufman.

Recognizing the signs
But the signs that it was time for a change were there.
When the daughters visited, friends pulled them aside and told them that their parents really could use more help. They noticed piles of unopened mail and disorganization in their parents’ normally tidy condo.
But getting their parents to accept that it was time to downsize wasn’t easy, and the sisters wanted to respect their parents’ wishes.
Then, when Wineberg-Kaufman’s husband talked with his in-laws and suggested moving, they jumped on it (See more of the story in the SRES blog ___), opting to live near Kellman in Naples. A semi-neutral person, someone other than the children,  making such requests sometimes can be persuasive and effective.

Tip: When talking with parents about medical directives, ask about their wishes for long-term living arrangements, should aging at home become impossible. Wineberg-Kaufman says, “I wish I had asked, ‘How will I know that you’re ready to move? What signs should I watch out for?’”

Preview options in advance
After getting a thumbs-up from their parents, Kellman scrambled and started visiting and researching the independent housing options.
Kellman suggests doing some scouting years before a move. The choices are vast, confusing, and expensive.
In addition, it’s important to pick a place where your parents will feel comfortable.
When the building’s vibe? Do residents seem engaged and happy? Do the activities match your parents’ interests? Could you picture your parents living there?
“You really just have to find the personality that's right for them,” says Kellman.

Subhead) Editing a life
Once Kellman, an interior designer, chose an apartment in an independent living building, she took measurements and planned a layout.
House-sized coffee tables, couches, and so forth, typically are too big for the limited space in independent living apartments. But moving some furniture makes the space feel homier and less institutional.
That advance planning and measuring guided the sisters’ decisions about to bring.
They opted for a few pieces of furniture that were important to their parents, some quilts her mom had made, photos, and some books and mementos.

Managing the nitty-gritty
“If you don't have a sister who's an interior designer, hire somebody experienced in senior moves,” advises Wineberg-Kaufman.  
Such managers are expert in dealing with the big issues of a move and the nitty-gritty details, including packing and shipping, turning utilities on and off, and transferring insurance.
Their unique skills also entail scanning a room and knowing what can be donated, what’s saleable, and what need to be tossed.
Moreover, notes Kahn, they have pre-vetted connections with every type of service provider – movers, geriatric care managers, auctioneers, estate sale managers, and so forth – needed to execute a move seamlessly.
When their dad moved from independent to assisted living in the same facility after their mom’s death in 2019, the sisters marveled at senior move managers’ tricks of the trade.
For example, they photographed the medicine cabinet and drawers before packing so that everything was put in the exact same spot in the new apartment. Their dad didn’t have to hunt around for things, which minimized his stress.

Orchestrating farewells
A few weeks before the move, the sisters got in touch with their parents’ friends and asked that someone go out with them for a meal each day.
It was one way for their parents to enjoy their last weeks in Chicago, celebrate with friends, and bid farewell to their hometown.
And to diminish their parents’ angst, the sisters purged and packed after the actual move.
They left the apartment intact so that their parents’ last view of it was one of beauty, not chaos.

Finding new friends
In retrospect, Wineberg-Kaufman realized that another reason for parents to move to a senior building sooner rather than later is how challenging it is to make new friends, something her parents found difficult.
Wineberg-Kaufman notes that people in that age group may have hearing and memory problems and sometimes they’re too frail now to fully engage socially.
She also observed that sometimes interactions among residents can mirror those of young children who play next to one another but not together.
Had their parents moved they were younger, Wineberg-Kaufman thinks they would’ve been able to build a stronger social network.
Now that Bernice has passed away, Julius is isolated at his assisted living facility.
But when he was back in Chicago for his wife’s memorial service, he reconnected with old, lifelong friends and was sharp and engaged. “Because of that depth of friendship, they all just fell into conversation,” recalls Wineberg-Kaufman.  
The entire experience has caused her to consider a new model for aging. “Set up your own assisted living with friends,” she says. “Buy two condos: one for the friends and one for the caretaker.”

Resources:
If you’re planning a cross-country move with a senior, here’s a list of resources and checklists to get you started.
·        AARP: https://bit.ly/2Ryjn4b 
·        Caring.com: https://bit.ly/2RxTfGy
·        Family Caregiver Alliance: https://bit.ly/3aoM5gh
·        National Association of Senior Move Managers: https://bit.ly/2NKUH7c



 

Real Estate Matters: News & Issues for the Mature Market
Coldwell Banker Premier Group
2203 S. Big Bend Blvd
St. Louis, MO 63117
Matt Wroughton – SRES, PSA




Tuesday, January 14, 2020

SRES Consumer Newsletter – January 2020



Consumer Newsletter – January 2020
US Edition; By Elyse Umlauf-Garneau





Cities Aren’t Prepared to Accommodate an Aging Population
Take a look around to see how well your city or town accommodates its older residents. It’s unlikely that you’re living in a city that’s prepared to help you or future generations to age in place well. So says a to a report, Age-Forward Cities for 2030 (https://bit.ly/2M2J4YH),  by the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging, a Santa Monica, Calif., think tank.
After all, most cities lack the housing, design, services, economic opportunity, transit, and amenities to fully address seniors’ needs.
That’s despite the fact that by 2030 those over the age of 60 will outnumber those under the age of 10.
For its research, the Milken institute talked with nearly 150 subject matter experts on aging, public health, urban planning, and related issues to assess what cities and towns need in order to service an aging population.
The report is a call to action to municipalities to prepare, and it provides a prescription that cities can consult “to create a better future for all residents, investing in solutions that deploy the human and social capital of older adults as community assets, change agents, and co-creators.”
Housing challenges

One crucial element of aging well is housing, and there’s much to criticize about what’s currently available.
For one, there aren’t enough properties that provide for the affordability, accessibility, and social well-being necessary for seniors’ quality of life.
Thus, developing housing that incorporates universal design features -- no-step entries; bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchens on the ground level; wide doorways and hallways; variable counter heights; and lever-style handles.
The Milken report does point to several promising lifestyle trends that address seniors’ needs, including:
·        Co-housing -- People live in their own homes but have communal spaces like kitchens, living rooms, and dining areas where residents come together for meals and socializing.
·        Student matches – Older homeowners rent rooms to students, providing affordable housing for students and easing seniors’ housing costs. In addition, homeowners can get help with household tasks and forge deeper social connections.
·        Home sharing -- Adults living together bring benefits similar to student matches – sharing household tasks and easing housing costs and social isolation.
·        Multigenerational housing and granny units – Seniors living with family members or in an on-site granny flat or accessible dwelling unit (ADU) on the property can strengthen family relationships, keep seniors out of institutional settings, and lower the costs of caregiving.
The built environment
The built environment also can add to or subtract from a senior’s quality of life.
Thus, Milken recommends that cities embrace urban planning strategies like New Urbanism (principles that promote quality of life through things like walkability, mixed housing, interconnected street grids, and mixed-use developments) and Complete Streets (a design in which the entire right-of-way enables safety for all users – walkers, bikers, drivers and transit riders – making it easy to cross streets, walk to shops, and bike to work.)
Beyond removing physical barriers, cities also need to address economic barriers to successful aging and develop solutions for caregiving, employment, senior entrepreneurship, and social inclusion.
Some cities are making progress.
For example, Minneapolis changed its zoning to allow for the wider development of ADUs on properties with one- or two-family homes, and the city of Juneau, Alaska has given $6,000 grants to homeowners looking to build backyard cottages or ADUs.
The Safe-at-Home program in Washington, D.C., provides grants for home modifications for qualifying older adults, and DenverConnect connects Denver, Colo., seniors to local services.
The report isn’t just a call to action for cities, but for you too. How does your city stack up? What can you do to advocate for senior-friendly changes in your hometown?
And when you’re looking at places to retire, it may be worth investigating a prospective town’s plan for its aging population.

Share your caregiving experience
If you’re in the thick of caregiving, you have a chance to lend your voice and contribute to some research on the topic.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s MIT AgeLab is looking for an online panel of caregivers who are willing to share their thoughts about the caregiving experience.
The AgeLab researches aging to understand the challenges of getting older and to improve the quality of life of seniors and their caregivers.
The caregiving panel will entail answering online surveys about every other month. In addition, there may be opportunities to participate in interviews, focus groups, and panel discussions.
To sign up, see: https://bit.ly/2S3RZwG 
For questions about the project, send an email to:  mit-caregiving@mit.edu

Best footwear to prevent winter falls
With winter in full swing, it’s a good time to consider your footwear if you live in a snowy, icy part of the country.
iDAPT, the research arm of the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute – University Health Network, has a footwear rating system, Rate My Treads (https://bit.ly/2O2ihgh).
In its lab, it tests footwear for slip resistance in different winter conditions by having real people walk back and forth on a floor made entirely of ice. 

Check out this year’s rankings of various footwear, including boots and over-shoe traction aids with metal cleats to find the safest shoes for winter walking.


Real Estate Matters: News & Issues for the Mature Market
Coldwell Banker Premier Group
2203 S. Big Bend Blvd
St. Louis, MO 63117
Matt Wroughton – SRES, PSA





Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Nature’s Uprising: St. Louis Suffers a near Miss


Well, this post isn't original, to me.  This is, however, a great recap of some little known St. Louis history.  The main part of this post is my senior history paper from The University of Kansas.  I am quite proud of this paper and have always felt that I need to get it published somewhere and this is my chance.  This is a very, and I mean very, long post compared to my previous ones, but it is a great read and it sure makes you think about what if this happened today.  That reminds me, all the today's estimates are as of 2009 when I wrote this paper.  I look forward to your comments after you read this post.
FYI, on the original paper my citation marks are consistent and I have no clue why they changed when posting here.

Now, let's begin.

            Living in a major city, one may think that he never has to worry about falling victim to the extreme winds and flying debris manifested by a tornado, especially a powerful one.  This assumption has become increasingly more unsupportable over the last ten years with the devastating hurricanes Katrina, which hit New Orleans, Louisiana, and Andrew, which hit Florida, Louisiana, and Texas, as well as the tornado that hit Oklahoma City.  St. Louis is one of those cities that many people would consider a ‘big city’, but no one should assume that St. Louis is exempt from the devastating power of a strong tornado.  St. Louis is one of the cities that commonly experiences tornadoes.  Going back to the 1870’s one can see that nearly every generation through the 1960’s experienced a tornado of varying strength.[1]  March 8, 1871, September 29, 1927, and February 10, 1959 were substantial tornadoes to hit the city of St. Louis.[2]  During the tornado season of 1896, there were at least forty killer tornadoes across the country spanning from April 11 to November 26.[3]  The one that St. Louis and East St. Louis endured was the most significant of that season; being the only one that killed over one hundred people in two separate cities.[4]
Although the category F4 tornado that hit St. Louis on May 27, 1896 is considered to be the most costly in U.S. history, it came at a time when disaster relief was considered a local, private matter, rather than being the responsibility of government, especially at the Federal level.[5]  With damages estimated at $50 million ($3.4 billion in 2006 dollars[6]), and an estimated 400 killed, 1200 injured, and 7000 homes destroyed beyond repair,[7] this natural catastrophe is only one of the tornados that have made St. Louis the city with the highest incidence of tornadoes in the country, even though it is not within the generally accepted area of the so called ‘tornado alley’.  Fifty year old trees flying through the air, roots and all, was a documented sight during this crazed event.[8]  Even while enduring the common challenges of recovery from a tornado, St. Louis had made its struggles into an advantage of self preservation and pride.  After experiencing an F4 tornado and hosting the Republican Presidential Convention within a month of the storm, St. Louis went on to host, eight years later,  the World’s Fair (The Louisiana Purchase Exposition) and convinced the Olympic organizers to move the Games from Chicago to St. Louis, to be held at the same time as the World’s Fair.  This determination demonstrates how one illustrious city can suffer dearly just to rebound stronger than ever.  St. Louis is the forgotten example of how a city that had fallen victim to a powerful storm was able to move beyond the destruction and focus civic pride to get through the hard times and eventually prosper, and become one of the largest cities in the nation.
In the 1890’s, St. Louis was the fourth largest city in the United States.  Civic pride was high, leading to an attempt to host the 1892 Columbian Exposition, which it lost to its rival city, Chicago.  The new Union Station, opened in 1894 was a source of pride in the progressive nature of the city.  Business was booming and the city was growing, which led to an extensive street paving program.  The mayor was running for governor.[9]  By the end of May, 1896, the city was focused on the upcoming Republican Convention in St. Louis.  The papers were filled with political commentary and even the Coronation of Czar Nicholas in Russia.[10] Life was good.  Nobody ever thought that they could ever fall victim to such a devastating storm that would strike the center of the city.
            The day of May 27, 1896 began with the Central Office of the St. Louis Weather Bureau observing that there would be weather conditions that tend to lead to severe weather, and in this case, especially locally.[11]  This forecast was not their first of the day; they had predicted just local thunder storms, until an ominous cloud overtook the city.[12]  This storm was initially believed to be nothing more than the usual thunderstorm that the city was used to experiencing.  As the storm arrived, the patrons at Louis Tisch’s Barber Shop, which was on the top floor of the Wainwright Building (one of the world’s first ‘skyscrapers’ when completed in 1891[13]), noted that the clouds came in two distinct color waves; first came yellow, then the ominous black[14] brought forth one of the most impressive displays of lightning witnessed in the St. Louis area, in the opinion of a Weather Bureau official.[15]  At 4:30 PM, signs of a significant storm became apparent. 
“The temperature fell rapidly and huge banks of black and greenish clouds were seen approaching the city...All the time the wind kept rising and in the far distance vivid forks of lightning could be seen. Gradually the thunder storm came nearer the city and the western portion was soon in the midst of a terrible storm. The wind's velocity was about thirty-seven miles an hour. This speedily increased to sixty, seventy and even eighty miles, by the time the storm was at its height. For thirteen minutes this frightful speed was maintained and the rain fell in ceaseless torrents, far into the sad and never-to-be-forgotten night.”[16] 
Each barber in Louis Tisch’s Barber Shop swore that the tornado was not the typical funnel-shaped tornado cloud but rather a horizontal black cloud that seemed to be twisting like a screw.[17]  This description of the cloud formation suggests a squall line which presents itself before severe thunderstorms which are able to produce significant tornadoes.[18]  Prior to the actual touchdown of the tornado, the wind in Shaw’s Garden (today’s Missouri Botanical Gardens) caused severe damage to the landscape.  Nearby, the Insane Asylum, The Women’s Hospital, and the Poor House, all city properties, suffered damage as well.[19] The wind prior to the funnel was described to be a downburst which accompanied the tornado through the duration of destruction.[20]  This may have been a microburst, as a precursor of the damage to come later. The tornado finally made its first touchdown and the impact began to be felt in earnest in the exclusive Compton Heights district.[21]
            Wind gusts were the first weapon used by this storm before the funnel dropped from the super-cell storm.  The world known Shaw’s Garden, one of the finest botanical gardens in the world,[22] was the first significant victim of these winds.  This illustrious garden had significant damages; artistically the damage was near complete.[23]  The once superb place would take a full week just to get back to barely half-way presentable shape.[24]  The wind, as well as the rain, is what did the most damage to nearly every plant and flower on the grounds.[25]  
The exclusive district of Compton Heights was the first to fall victim to the wrath of the tornado.  “Entering from the southwest it attacked first the Compton Heights district, a thickly populated section, with a large number of very costly mansions.”[26]  The houses in this area had a variance of cost ranging from $5,000 to $25,000.[27]  Of the three hundred residents in the district, every resident fell victim to some damage, many lost everything.[28]  The areas to the immediate northeast of Compton Heights were in dire need to take cover and prepare for this devastating storm’s destruction.  The Union Depot street railway system, located at the intersection of Jefferson and Geyer avenues, is where the first indication of the full force of this storm was made apparent; one of the largest electrical plants in the world was demolished.[29]  The smokestack towering over the electric plant “snapped in sunder”[30] and the massive building was blown away.  It was described as appearing as if it had been bombarded by artillery shells.[31]  With the destruction of this building, streetlights all across the city went off and nearly every cable car stopped in its tracks.[32]
            Next in the line of destruction was Lafayette Park.  In this very popular park, trees were uprooted and bandstands were blown way.[33]  While working at the Park Police Station, “Superintendent Hunt, seeing the storm coming, dismissed the workmen, who left for home just in time to save their lives.  The metallic roof of the police station rolled up like a scroll and blew off, while the office walls opened in large cracks.  A heavy cap-stone supporting a lamp on one of the gateposts near the station was lifted up and dropped near the base of the pillar.  Boats were blown out of the water, some landing 200 feet from the lake shore.  About five hundred large forest trees were up-rooted and blown down, not one left standing.”[34]  As an illustration of the strength of the storm, the bronze, life-size “Washington statue moved on its pedestal three fourths of an inch to the north.”[35]
            One may think that being at the hospital during an event such as a tornado would be ideal; not in this case.  At Fourteenth Street and Lafayette Avenue, the City Hospital stood proud, only to be heavily damaged when the storm struck.  Surprisingly, of the four hundred patients at the hospital, only one death was caused by the tornado; two others died later, one of a heart attack[36] and the other of a “fright in the night”.[37]  The surgical ward was heavily damaged and partly demolished. Other buildings were unroofed and many of the walls suffered large cracks.[38]
            A couple blocks down Lafayette Avenue stands St. John Nepomuk Parish Church.  At the time of the storm, St. John Nepomuk was at the height of prosperity.[39]  “Six year-old Frank Vavra lived with his family at eleventh and Soulard Streets…just a block south of the church.”[40]  When the storm was nearing, his mother made him close their shutters, thinking that would help their home endure the storm.[41]  While closing the shutters he looked up the street to see the church steeple blown from the church; the storm turned a once great church into a pile of rubble.[42]  With the church and many homes reduced to rubble, there were no parish funeral entries between May 26 and June 5 in their record books.[43]  About a half mile to the south, on the south side of the Soulard district, was yet another church.  This church was not destroyed to the degree of St John Nepomuk, but had its own significant type of damage.  At this church, Sts. Peter and Paul, the spire was the first notification of the damage it received; being slightly bent to the northeast and the cross on top was badly twisted.[44]  Inside the church there were such further damages that the parishioners would be heart-wrenched.  The recently completed frescoes were ruined, the roof caved in and crushed everything, and the giant stained glass windows were all broken.[45]  A few blocks further south in the Soulard district the Anheuser Busch Brewery Co. suffered $10,000 in damage.[46]
            As the storm progressed toward the river, its next victim of significance was the Four Courts, as the city jail was known.  “The rickety Four Courts building shook like the leaves of a tree during the progress of the storm.”[47]  The prisoners in the jail were extremely confused when the walls and roof of the northwest wing caved in.[48]  There were about seventy-five male prisoners in the jail corridors when the storm hit, they ran in all directions; the women in the female section where moved to a safer area.[49]  The male prisoners became extremely difficult to control, causing the alarm to ring, requesting reinforcements in the shape of detectives from the area to help maintain the situation.[50]

            While the jail was getting pummeled, the comparatively frail, temporary auditorium across the street suffered minor damage.[li]  The wind ventilator had a small portion damaged as well as other minor portions of the structure, including part of the roof, but the main building was unharmed.[lii]  This was considered minor damage in comparison to every other building significantly affected by the storm.  This temporary building was constructed with the sole purpose of housing the Republican Convention, to be held less than a month after the storm’s appearance in the City.[liii] 
            With the tornado arriving at the river, the destruction took a horrendous turn; driving steamers and ferryboats ashore.  One steamer, the Grand Republic, was thought to have been completely destroyed by the winds, but it had not experienced the full brunt of the storm since it had already left for Alton, Illinois at the time of the storm.[liv]  Wiggins Ferry Company was the most crippled ferry company located on the wharf.[lv]  All but one of their boats was wrecked for various causes brought on by the storm; some got caught up at the base of bridges, some blown onshore and torn apart, and others broke free and disappeared.[lvi]  “With a large transient population living on boats on the river, the death toll may be inaccurate due the bodies washed down river.”[lvii]
When the storm reached the river, it turned north and went up the river right through Eads Bridge.[lviii]  The massive Eads Bridge, (which was thought to be tornado proof after the tornado of 1871 that hit St. Louis) was unable to protect itself against the fury of the storm.  The bridge is “frequently spoken of as unnecessarily massive and heavy.”[lix]  Even being as large as it was, the bridge lost more than three hundred feet of the eastern approach due to the storm.[lx]  When this portion of the bridge was lost, the trains traveling on the bridge were in imminent danger.  One story illustrating this was about William C. Swancutt. 
Swancutt ran a Chicago and Alton passenger train off Eads Bridge at the time of the St. Louis Cyclone in May 1896.  The train was blown from the track as it reached the east approach and would have fallen in the river had not Swancutt ignored a signal to stop and thrown the throttle of his engine wide open, thereby getting his train ‘to where there was something to fall on’ as he expressed it after the incident.[lxi] 
He was considered a hero because he saved so many lives; passengers who were on the train gave him many presents afterwards to show their appreciation of his service.[lxii]  Other trains were blown off the tracks while they were standing still to avoid the destruction of the tracks ahead of them.[lxiii] 
The tracks of the bridge were not the only portion of the bridge to sustain damage.  One exceptional piece of evidence about the might of the winds is that a white pine plank, 2 by 8 inches, punctured a five-eighths inch steel girder on the bridge.[lxiv]  This force was not just felt by steel girders supporting the bridge but crucial structures required by the city to function correctly.  Located and the foot of the eastern approach of the bridge was Laclede Gas Light’s Station A and Station C, both of which were heavily damaged.[lxv]  Laclede Gas was immensely important since it provided the gas for all the gas lighting throughout the city. 
            When looking from Eads Bridge on the east side or the river, East St. Louis appeared to have been annihilated once the storm finished its reign over the area.[lxvi]  Once crossing the river, East St. Louis became the newly acquired target of this devastating storm.  “Nearly half of East St. Louis was wrecked.”[lxvii]  The bulk of the damage received from this storm was felt by East St. Louis.[lxviii]  The storm nearly blew East St. Louis out of existence due to the absolute desolation.[lxix]  The path through East St. Louis was easily visible by the torn down trees and complete destruction of everything in its path.[lxx]  “Hueschle’s butcher shop, the Douglas School, Stock’s house, Sullivan’s on the dyke and all buildings south of old Crooks street, as far down as the Kowhler Mills, and east to the slough were leveled.  The four square blocks were absolutely swept away, and many of the inmates of these houses are beneath the ruins.”[lxxi]  The area around the east end of Eads Bridge was an area of railway yards, none of which escaped damage, including two steam engines that were “thrown down an embankment and destroyed”.[lxxii]  Further down, along the levee more wreckage was to be found, including seven steamboats.  As if the wind damage wasn’t enough, fire broke out.  Unfortunately, since the water works had been destroyed by the storm, there was no water from the hydrants, and the fire department was forced to resort to bucket brigades to attack the fires.[lxxiii]
It took nearly thirty minutes for the tornado to leave a path of destruction nearly ten miles long and a mile wide.  The violent wind dissipated at 5:35 leaving just the blanket of rain to soak the masses scurrying though the streets.[lxxiv]  In St. Louis, with the streetcars out of service, the telephone system in ruins, and the streetlights out, worried workers hurried home, without knowledge of what they would find.  In the storm district, many streets were filled with rubble, making passage even more difficult.  To add to the confusion, fires were breaking out due to the damage, but, with the fire alarm system in ruins, the fire trucks had no clear idea of where they were going.
            Luckily, for the City’s ability to recover, and eventually prosper, the storm had missed the crucial areas of the city, especially the downtown business district and the new train station.  The tornado’s wrath was felt by older residential districts and the business section on the south side of the city, which had been experiencing a decline due to the diminished river traffic.[lxxv]  These sections of the city had enough distance from the thriving business area, which was spared by significant damage, as seen on the map displaying the tornado’s path.[lxxvi]  The damage was still substantial, but it would have been much worse if the exclusive west end of the city, or the up and rising business district had borne the brunt of the storm.[lxxvii]  Considering how East St. Louis was nearly erased from the map, the heart of St. Louis being hit would have caused total destruction, and seriously affected its ability to recover.  The East St. Louis Cold Storage Co. was in ruins while the remnants of Kehlor mills were across the street.[lxxviii]  One of the sadder survival stories of the storm took place in East St. Louis.  The tornado came close to wiping out the Windhaus family when their house was totally demolished.  The daughter was dead and Bernard and Mrs. Windhaus, the parents, were in St. Mary’s hospital fighting for their lives.  Mrs. Windhaus was injured the worst of the parents; she sustained a crushed chest and leg when their house collapsed on them.[lxxix]
            One curious aspect of this horrendous event is that it was basically predicted in the summer of 1895 by astronomer and weather prophet Reverend Irl R. Hicks, when he “foretold that between May 27 and May 30, 1896, the Midwest would experience many storms with heavy rain and hail.”[lxxx]  Rev. Hicks made and published his weather predictions at the end of 1895 for the entire upcoming year in his Almanac.[lxxxi]  Surprisingly, nobody took his vision seriously even as he reiterated his prediction just ten days prior to the storms arrival in St. Louis, not that there was much they could have done.  Since this prediction was originally made nearly five months prior to the tornado, people were weary of having faith in this horrendous prediction.  Despite the use of astronomy and natural signs, apparent to Rev. Hicks, the city chose to take his prediction for granted and not attempt to take any precautions.  (It would be sixty years before St. Louis implemented a primitive storm warning system that might have helped.)[lxxxii]
            The number of people affected individually varies from source to source, thus the true number is impossible to recover.  No one knows how many people were taken away never to be seen again by the mighty Mississippi River.  The most common estimate of the dead (in both St. Louis and East St. Louis) is around four hundred[lxxxiii] but that could vary by about twenty depending on where you look.  The reported number injured tends to be around one thousand two hundred,[lxxxiv] but that is just the people who reported their injuries.  As with any disaster of this magnitude, there were many people who did not report their injuries and just took care of them themselves. 
            Damage to the houses caused much turmoil in the wake of the destruction.  The demand for new homes by victims exceeded the supply by over one thousand homes.[lxxxv]  This shortage of available homes was because over seven thousand homes were damaged by the storm.[lxxxvi]  The fact that many people needed their homes fixed or rebuilt helped the construction companies over the next couple of years; giving the workers the opportunity to make a living and, at the same time bring money into the City’s economy. The local trade unions reported that they hadn’t raised prices due to the overwhelming demand.  If anyone was guilty of gouging, they suggested that it was the carpenters and brick masons who descended on St. Louis for the repair business boom[lxxxvii].  The amount of damage endured by different houses varied depending on their locale and the strength of the winds as the tornado passed through.  The homes on the east side of the river suffered greatly and lost much if not everything.[lxxxviii] 
            Even as houses, churches, and other buildings were collapsing all throughout the storm ravaged areas, many people managed to escape just in the nick of time.  One of the more interesting stories is of a tinner who was on the roof of a seven story building repairing the roof. 
At the Drummond Tobacco Company’s building, on Fourth and Spruce streets a tinner was on the roof of the seven-story building repairing the roof when the storm came up.  He ran under a little shed that had been erected on the roof next to the smoke stack.  When the worst of the tornado struck the building it lifted the shed, with the tinner in it far up in the sky, twirled it about hundreds of times with the tinner hanging to the scantling of the roof, then the thing began to come down at a terrible rate, when it struck a chimney on a building near Seventh street and Chouteau avenue, toppled it over into the street and then went sailing on.  It crossed Chouteau Avenue, raised in the air and continued its western course.  It struck the slanting roof of a house on Ninth Street, near Hickory, slid down that and fell on a tree that had been blown down by the storm, and the tinner walked out of the shed uninjured save for a few bruises.[lxxxix]
After his experience he made sure to go to a nearby saloon where he shared his miraculous story with the saloon-keeper.[xc]  This may have been a drunken story told to bar patrons, but numerous contemporary publications told an identical story.  His escape was just one of many; it was just one of the more popular stories; being repeated in many newspapers across the country.
            Throughout the city, people realizing what had just hit them, rushed to fire-alarm boxes and telephones.[xci]  To their dismay, “nearly one third of the city’s fire alarms were destroyed.”[xcii]  With fire breaking out all over town, the fact that wires, poles, alarm boxes, and other instruments being ruined kept the fire companies from promptly responding to the areas in desperate need.[xciii]  The ones that made an attempt to make their way to the path of destruction left by the tornado struggled with the blinding rain, debris-clogged streets, and sparking wires.[xciv]  The extremely heavy rain that came with the storm[xcv]  crippled the emergency crew’s ability to assist those in need.  The mixture of hundreds of areas needing aid, the torrential downpour of rain and debris causing the roads to become nearly impassable, and the lack of sufficient numbers of firemen to help inhibited the ability for assistance.  As of 1893, there were only 439 firemen employed by the city in just 32 fire engine houses.[xcvi]  Restricting the amount of firemen aiding the buried and injured was due to several fire houses being damaged, including Engine House 7 which was completely demolished.[xcvii]  It took until a little bit after midnight for the fire departments to get the fires in St. Louis under some control.[xcviii]
            The city was in utter and complete darkness.[xcix]  This may in fact have added to the death toll, since relief work and discovery of the injured the night of the tornado was limited to torch and lantern light, guided only by the moans and cries of the injured.  As of June 3, 1896, the city was still in total darkness, not just due to the fact that every wire was blown down, but that the power plants that supplied the electricity to the entire city were too severely damaged to run, rendering every streetlight useless.[c]  The only source of light was the minor lights owned by individuals such as candles and small oil lamps designed for households.  This was not enough light to maintain a city and ease the recovery efforts.  The availability of gas lamps was scarce due to the Laclede Gas Company on Fifteenth and Gratiot streets collapsing and the gas tanks igniting, frightening the neighborhood with the flame towering high in the sky.[ci]  It would be several days before gas service was restored.
            With the dawning of a new day on May 28, 1896, the City began to take stock of its new situation.  As news of the disaster spread around the country, the City’s recovery kicked into gear.  In several cities, the notion of St. Louis being wiped off the map was making its place in headlines.[cii]  On May 29, 1896, the New York Times had the headline of “Half a Thousand Tornado Victims: The Loss of Life in St. Louis and Vicinity Fully as Great as First Reports Made It.”[ciii]  The Newark Daily Advocate of Newark, Ohio had a section of their paper on May 29, 1896 titled “The Death Roll,” which was about the events that took place in St. Louis.[civ]  Offers of aid began pouring in to city officials.  Mayor Cyrus Walbridge’s initial response was that St. Louis was not in need of outside assistance, and that his city could handle itself.[cv]  Accepting such assistance risked the city’s rugged self-reliant image that urban leaders were wary of risking for the potential of additional suffering endured by the people living in the city.[cvi]  This was a prime example of an urban leader choosing civic pride over the risk of additional suffering and damages endured by the people he was chosen to serve.  Mayor Walbridge’s persistence in rejecting help from outside the city certainly didn’t endear him to his constituents in the storm stricken area of the city.  After a meeting called to discuss the relief effort on June 2, a group of citizens, dissatisfied with the Mayor’s continued reluctance to accept aid from other cities, hung him in effigy.[cvii]  Ultimately, the mayor recanted his position and accepted contributions from other cities.
            The official governmental response in regard to the disaster was limited.  At the federal level, the only response was the approval for the War Department to loan tents for the homeless, if the Mayors of St. Louis and East St. Louis requested.[cviii]  At the state level in Missouri, the Legislature was not in session, and Mayor Walbridge sent a letter to the Governor to request that the Legislature hold an extra session “to submit to the people a Constitutional Amendment enabling St. Louis to issue bonds for the relief of tornado sufferers.”[cix]  In addition, he requested that the state relieve people in the storm stricken area from state taxation for a ‘reasonable period’, and that the City Assembly be allowed to provide direct relief to the storm sufferers[cx]. His request was denied; Governor Stone did not feel that the tornado’s damage warranted the cost of an extra session.[cxi]  The governor also claimed “a law to relieve the storm swept district from taxation for a given period would be unconstitutional.”[cxii]  The fact that the Governor was a Democrat and the Mayor a Republican may have played a part in this decision.  However, the result was that no help came from the state either.
            Mayor Walbridge proposed a resolution to the council of the Municipal Assembly for $100,000 to be spent on relief.[cxiii]  This proposal met objections as well.  Objections were raised to this proposal claiming that such an ordinance would violate the oath of office that the delegates had taken as well as the charter itself.[cxiv]  Ultimately, this Ordinance passed with a modification that set aside the money for repairs of public property with an expectation that those left jobless as result of the tornado would be hired to do the bulk of the repair work.[cxv]  There was to be no help for the tornado victims themselves from the federal, state, or city governments; they were truly left to fend for themselves.
Into the gap stepped the Merchants Exchange.  This organization, one of the leading commodity exchanges of the time,[cxvi]  took two major steps in response to the storm.  First, it was very aggressive in reassuring business partners around the country that it (and the city) was conducting business as usual[cxvii].  The second, and much more important action of this business organization, was to organize a Relief Committee and establish a fund for relief of the victims.[cxviii]  This fund became the primary vehicle for community based relief.  Other relief funds that were established by the Post Dispatch, the Globe Democrat, the real estate agents, the Collector’s Office, and the Fairgrounds, were consolidated into the Merchants Exchange fund.[cxix] 
As an encouragement for others to give, the Globe Democrat ran daily listings of the contributors to these funds (except of course their competitor The Post Dispatch’s).  Review of these published donor lists displayed a mix of both small, individual donations, as well as larger business donations[cxx].   The largest individual contribution (though not reported in the Globe) was $5,000 from Joseph Pulitzer, the publisher of the Post Dispatch[cxxi].  These contribution lists identify contributions from all over the country and Europe as well.   Some criticism was raised over the limited contributions by the City’s millionaires, who were viewed as not stepping up to do their part.[cxxii]  By June 21, 1896 these funds had raised a total of $237,877[cxxiii] which was the equivalent of about $16 million adjusted to 2006 money. 
The diversity of the sources of contributions to the funds illustrates the broad, community based response to the disaster.  Groups around the city and country held fund raisers to raise money, most of which received appropriate notice in the daily papers[cxxiv].  One of the most amusing means of raising funds was the ‘Fat Man’s Baseball Game’, in which a group of overweight residents of Chicago came to St. Louis to play a baseball game with a similarly sized team from St. Louis.  This game, which received extensive coverage in the Post Dispatch, sold over 10,000 tickets, with the proceeds being donated to the Relief Fund.[cxxv]  Other unusual contributions ranged from $0.50 in postage stamps from a man in Mendota, Minnesota,[cxxvi] a metal hat rack to be raffled off for the benefit of the Relief Fund,[cxxvii] to 10 tons of flour donated by the citizens of Broken Bow, Nebraska.[cxxviii]  The widespread sources of relief, from both public and private donors, clearly demonstrated the prevailing attitude that relief was a concern of non-governmental organizations and individuals, rather than an expectation that the Federal government would take care of everything.
 In addition to the Merchants Exchange efforts, the new Archbishop of St. Louis, John Joseph Kain sent a letter to all of his parishes to collect donations in the form of money and clothing, as well as other things, for distribution by the St. Vincent de Paul Society.[cxxix]  The St. Vincent de Paul Church was the site of distribution, due to the fact that it was not damaged with any significant amount if any.[cxxx]  Many churches were heavily damaged as listed.
A long list of houses of worship ruined and damaged by the storm.
Churches Estimated losses[cxxxi]
Lafayette Park Presbyterian . . . . . . . $16,000
Lafayette Park Methodist . . . . . . .  . . 10,000
Lafayette Park Baptist . . . . . . .  . . . .  8,000
Church of the Unity . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10,000
Mount Calvary Episcopal . . . . . . . . . .  20,000
Memorial German M. E. . . . . . . . .  . . 20,000
Holy Cross, Saxon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12,000
Compton Hill Congregational . . . . . . . . 1,000
Compton Heights Christian . . . . . . . . . 1,000
St. Henry's Catholic . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10,000
St. Paul's Evangical . . . . . . . . . . . . .  20,000
Trinity Lutheran . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  18,000
St. Vincent's Catholic . . . . . . . . .  . . .  3,000
SS Peter and Paul . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  30,000
St. John's Episcopal . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13,000
Annunciation Catholic . . . . . . . . . . . .18,000
            In addition to raising funds, the Merchants Exchange Relief Committee coordinated distribution as well.  The Relief Committee organized several district offices across the damaged area for distribution of relief.[cxxxii]  Utilizing the services of several existing charitable organizations, such as the St. Louis Provident Association and the St. Vincent de Paul society, each district sent representatives around its territory with the objective to locate the needy.[cxxxiii]  Lists of the individual sufferers as well as their losses were published in the paper.[cxxxiv]  In addition to distributing clothing, furniture, and food, the Relief Committee helped the sufferers move surviving belongings to new homes and paid a month or more rent.[cxxxv]  The Relief Committee made a point to not give cash to the sufferers, but instead chose to use a voucher that they could use for a specified purpose.[cxxxvi]  These payments continued through January of 1897.[cxxxvii]  The Relief Committee emphasized that none of the disbursements were for permanent repairs.[cxxxviii]  Instead, the Relief Committee established an emergency loan fund sub-committee for solicitation of contributions to a low interest loan fund for permanent repairs.[cxxxix]
            Where national press predicted that twenty years later there would still be piles of rubble marking the path of the tornado,[cxl] reality was much different.  Harper’s Weekly published a story that said, “twenty years hence men will point to heaps of brick and timber in the old part of the city as relics of the great tornado of 1896.”[cxli]  Instead, three weeks after the tornado, significant repair and cleanup in the tornado district was reported in the St. Louis Globe Democrat on June 21, 1896.[cxlii]  Although not all parts of the tornado district showed parallel progress, much of the debris had been hauled away, many roofs and buildings had been repaired, and some new growth was showing on the trees in Lafayette Park.[cxliii] 
            Immediately after the storm, questions were raised whether St. Louis would still be capable of hosting the Republican Convention.  The city was proud of the fact that it had been able to attract the Convention, causing it to spend $50,000 in private funds to build a Convention auditorium just for the occasion.[cxliv]  Fortunately, the Convention Center was not seriously damaged by the storm, and repairs were made with minimal cost.[cxlv] The hotels were undamaged and were still able to provide housing for the delegates.[cxlvi]  The absence of comment regarding the tornado in the official proceedings of the Convention, suggests the success the City had in its immediate recovery.
            By 1899, a book published by the business community of St. Louis made no mention of the tornado.[cxlvii]  In fact, this book was part of the public relations campaign in anticipation of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition planned for 1903.[cxlviii]  By 1898, the city had shifted its focus to hosting the Louisiana Purchase Exposition.  This was the City downplaying the tornado that devastated it two years prior, and looking past the storm, not using it as an excuse for troubled times.  Over the next nine months, the committee responsible for soliciting public donations had received $4,244,679 towards the required $5 million.  In 1904, St. Louis hosted not only the World’s Fair with exhibits by forty-four U.S. cities, States, and territories and twenty-two countries, but also the first Olympic Games held in the United States.[cxlix]  Civic pride took over, resulting in the eventual absence of the storm in people’s memories. St. Louis was back!
Were  St. Louis struck by this storm today, there would be global as well as local implications, especially if struck at 5:00 during rush hour.  Nestle Purina and Energizer Battery World Headquarters, located in the heart of the path of the tornado would be severely damaged.[cl]  Other iconic structures such as the St. Louis Gateway Arch lay extremely close to the direct path of the tornado.  With Busch Stadium, located in the heart of the tornado’s path, the potential impact of being struck by a tornado during a Cardinal’s baseball game is unimaginable. The Eagleton Courthouse, the federal courthouse for the Eastern half of Missouri, is in the area of the downburst region labeled ‘D’ in Figure 1&2.[cli]  Three separate interstates converge and cross the Mississippi River into Illinois in the heart of the serious F4 damage, as shown in Figure 1, which would result in many travelers being stranded on either side of the river.  Of the major interstates, Interstate 70, which spans the entire country, is the most significant.  The loss of life on the four Interstate Highways that converge in St. Louis, if the storm hit at rush hour, would be enormous.  However, since much of the path of the storm has been taken by the construction of Interstates 44 and 55, the number of homes destroyed would be much lower.  Certainly the potential for severe damage to river traffic, with the large number of barges traveling the Mississippi every day, could exceed the damages experienced in 1896.  Although the modern storm warning system would probably minimize the loss of life, should a tornado with the force of that of May 28, 1896 hit St. Louis at the same time of day, the total impact would probably exceed that of the earlier storm.
Figure 1
 Figure 2

            On May 27, 1896, a major tornado, ‘some thought possibly two’, struck the southeastern part of the City of St. Louis and continued through East St. Louis, Ill, leaving in its path of destruction, hundreds injured and killed, and thousands made homeless.  Typical of the time, governments did very little to relieve the suffering.  Instead the civic leaders organized a relief program that fed, clothed, and housed those impacted by the storm.  As suggested in an editorial in one of the leading newspapers of the time, this storm served as a catalyst for the revitalization of the city.  As evidence of the revitalization, the city hosted the World’s Fair just eight years later.[clii]



[1] Ron Przybylinski; et al., "St. Louis City Tornadoes", St. Louis Tornado Climatology, National Weather Service, http://www.crh.noaa.gov/lsx/climate/torcli/city.php, (accessed November 28, 2009).
[2] Ibid.
[3] Tom Grazulis, Doris Grazulis, "1896 Tornadoes", The Tornado Project, http://tornadoproject.com/past/pastts95.htm#1896, (accessed November 28, 2009).
[4] Ibid.
[5] “All over the city, bells were tolling for the dead,” St Louis Post Dispatch, May 21, 2006, M2.
[6] Ibid.
[7] “Killer Tornado Tears Through St. Louis: 400 Dead, 1200 Injured,” St. Louis Inquirer, May 1991.
[8] Ibid.
[9] “Our Ambitious Mayor: too busy with his gubernatorial boom to attend to municipal affairs,” St. Louis Post Dispatch, May 26, 1896, 2.
[10] Front Page, St. Louis Post Dispatch, May 26, 1896.
[11] Judith Campoli, “The St. Louis Tornado of 1896: Mad Pranks of the Storm King,” Gateway Heritage 2, no. 4 (Spring 1982): 25.
[12] NOAA Photo Library, “Text accompanying: Photographic Views of the Great Cyclone at St. Louis, May 27, 1896,” http://www.photolib.noaa.gov/nws/tornado.html (accessed September 19, 2009).
[13] “Wainwright Building – St. Louis Missouri” Waymark, http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMK7N (accessed December, 16, 2009).
[14] Campoli, The St. Louis Tornado, 25.
[15] Frank W. Lane, The Elements Rage, (Philadelphia and New York: Chilton Books, 1965), 43.
[16] Scott k. Williams, The St. Louis Cyclone of 1896, http://www.usgennet.org/usa/mo/county/stlouis/cyclone.htm (accessed September 20, 2009).
[17] Campoli, The St. Louis Tornado, 25.
[18] Weatherquestions.com, “What is a Squall Line?,” http://www.weatherquestions.com/What_is_a_squall_line.htm, (accessed December 17, 2009.
[19] Journal of the House of Delegates (of the Municipal Assembly) St. Louis, June 2, 1896.
[20] Katherine Eschelbach, “Coastal Hazards Management: Meteorological Hazards,” FEMA, Session 8, training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/edu/chm/Session%2008%20Meteorological%20Hazards.doc - 2006-02-07, (accessed November 27, 1009), 8-24.
[21] Travilla, James C 1896, map showing location of principal residence districts in St. Louis.  Map showing cyclone path May 27, 1896.
[22] “At Shaw’s Garden,” St. Louis Post Dispatch, May 30, 1896.
[23] Ibid.
[24] Ibid.
[25] Ibid.
[26] NOAA Photo Library, “Text accompanying: Photographic Views of the Great Cyclone at St. Louis, May 27, 1896,” http://www.photolib.noaa.gov/nws/tornado.html (accessed September 19, 2009).
[27] Ibid.
[28] Campoli, The St. Louis Tornado, 26.
[29] Julian Curzon, pseudo., The great cyclone of St. Louis and East St. Louis, May 27, 1896: being a full history of the most terrifying and destructive tornado in the history of the world, with numerous thrilling and pathetic incidents and personal experiences of those who were in the track of the storm; also an account of the wonderful manifestations of sympathy for the afflicted in all parts of the world, (St. Louis: Cyclone Publishing Company, 1896), 26.
[30] NOAA Photo Library, “Text accompanying: Photographic Views of the Great Cyclone at St. Louis, May 27, 1896,” http://www.photolib.noaa.gov/nws/tornado.html (accessed September 19, 2009).
[31] Bill Beck, Laclede Gas and St. Louis: 100 Years of Working Together 1857-2007, (St. Louis: Laclede Gas Company, 2007), 44-45.
[32] “Winds Deadly Work,” St. Louis Globe Democrat, May 28, 1986, 4.
[33] Campoli, The St. Louis Tornado, 26.
[34] Encyclopedia of the History of St. Louis. “A Compendium of History and Biography for Ready Reference,” William Hyde and Howard L. Conard, Ed, (The Southern History Company, 1899), Vol II, pp 1211-1212.
[35] Ibid.
[36] Allen E. Wagner, A History of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department 1861-1906, (St. Louis: Missouri History Museum, 2008), 309-310.
[37] “The Great Cyclone of 1896,” St. Louis Post Dispatch, May 26, 1996, 11.
[38] Stu Beitler, “Clyclone Horror at St. Louis,” St. Louis, Missouri Tornado May 28, 1896, http://www.gendisasters.com/data1/mo/tornadoes/stlouis-tornadomay1896.htm (accessed September 19, 2009).
[39] Compiled by Rev. Albert F. Prokes, The Terrible Cyclone, May 27th 1896, (St. Louis: At. John Nepomuk Parish, 1929), 79.
[40] Nini Harris, Bohemian Hill and American Story, (St. Louis: St. John Nepomuk Parish, 2005), 36.
[41] Ibid.
[42] Ibid.
[43] Ibid., 39.
[44] “The Tornado’s Awful Work,” St. Louis Globe Democrat, May 29, 1896, 18.
[45] Ibid.
[46] Tom Franey and Marian Junge, Sharing the Mission: 150 Years of Service to St. Louis by the Parish of St. Vincent de Paul, (St. Louis: St. Vincent de Paul, 1995), 35.
[47] St. Louis Globe Democrat, May 28, 1896, 4.
[48] Ibid.
[49] Allen E. Wagner, A History of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department 1861-1906, 311.
[50] Ibid.
[li] George Grantham Bain, “The St. Louis Disaster,” Harper’s Weekly, June 6, 1896, 570.
[lii] “The Appalling Disaster that fell on Fair St. Louis,” St. Louis Post Dispatch, June 3, 1896, Special Tornado Edition.
[liii] George Grantham Bain, “The St. Louis Disaster,” 609.
[liv] “The Death Toll,” Newark daily Advocate, May 29, 1896.
[lv] “The Tornado’s Awful Work,” St. Louis Globe Democrat, May 29, 1896, 2.
[lvi] Ibid.
[lvii] “Top Five Deadliest US Tornadoes,” http://tornadoeshurricanes.suite101.com/article.cfm/most_deadly_us_tornadoes (accessed October 9, 2009).
[lviii] “The Appalling Disaster that fell on Fair St. Louis,” St. Louis Post Dispatch, June 3, 1896, Special Tornado Edition.
[lix] NOAA Photo Library, “Text accompanying: Photographic Views of the Great Cyclone at St. Louis, May 27, 1896,” http://www.photolib.noaa.gov/nws/tornado.html (accessed September 19, 2009).
[lx] Bill Beck, Laclede Gas and St. Louis: 100 Years of Working Together 1857-2007, 44.
[lxi] “Cyclone Hero’s Funeral will be this Afternoon,” St. Louis Post Dispatch, February 25, 1916.
[lxii] Ibid.
[lxiii] NOAA Photo Library, “Text accompanying: Photographic Views of the Great Cyclone at St. Louis, May 27, 1896,” http://www.photolib.noaa.gov/nws/tornado.html (accessed September 19, 2009).
[lxiv] H.C. Frankenfield, “The Tornado of May 27 at St. Louis, MO.,” Monthly Weather Review 24, no. 3 (March 1986): 79.
[lxv] Bill Beck, Laclede Gas and St. Louis: 100 Years of Working Together 1857-2007, 45.
[lxvi] Julian Curzon, pseudo., The great cyclone of St. Louis and East St. Louis, May 27, 1896: being a full history of the most terrifying and destructive tornado in the history of the world, with numerous thrilling and pathetic incidents and personal experiences of those who were in the track of the storm; also an account of the wonderful manifestations of sympathy for the afflicted in all parts of the world, 51-52.
[lxvii]Ibid.
[lxviii] “The Great Tornado of St. Louis, May 27, 1896,” (St. Louis: Graf Engraving Co., 1896).
[lxix] NOAA Photo Library, “Text accompanying: Photographic Views of the Great Cyclone at St. Louis, May 27, 1896,” http://www.photolib.noaa.gov/nws/tornado.html (accessed September 19, 2009).
[lxx] “The Great Tornado of St. Louis, May 27, 1896,” (St. Louis: Graf Engraving Co., 1896).
[lxxi] “East St. Louis in Ruins”, St. Louis Globe Democrat, May 28, 1896.
[lxxii] Ibid.
[lxxiii] Ibid.
[lxxiv] Julian Curzon, pseudo., The great cyclone of St. Louis and East St. Louis, May 27, 1896: being a full history of the most terrifying and destructive tornado in the history of the world, with numerous thrilling and pathetic incidents and personal experiences of those who were in the track of the storm; also an account of the wonderful manifestations of sympathy for the afflicted in all parts of the world, 22.
[lxxv] George Grantham Bain, “The St. Louis Disaster,” 570.
[lxxvi] Travilla, James C 1896, map showing location of principal residence districts in St. Louis.  Map showing cyclone path May 27, 1896.
[lxxvii] Ibid.
[lxxviii] The Tornado’s Work, “Scene of Complete Desolation,” http://genealogytrails.com/ill/stclair/tor2a.htm (accessed December 17, 2009).
[lxxix] Julian Curzon, pseudo., The great cyclone of St. Louis and East St. Louis, May 27, 1896: being a full history of the most terrifying and destructive tornado in the history of the world, with numerous thrilling and pathetic incidents and personal experiences of those who were in the track of the storm; also an account of the wonderful manifestations of sympathy for the afflicted in all parts of the world, 321.
[lxxx] Campoli, The St. Louis Tornado, 25.
[lxxxi] Ancestry.com, “100 Years Ago In My Home Town Wellston, St. Louis County, MO,” http://freepages.history.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~haefner/Hicks/ (accessed November 27, 2009).
[lxxxii] “Low Level Winds in Tornadoes and Potential Catastrophic Tornado Impacts in Urban Areas”, http://www.flame.org/..cdoswell/publications/Brooks_etal_08.pdf, (accessed December 15, 2009).
[lxxxiii] “Killer Tornado Tears Through St. Louis: 400 Dead, 1200 Injured,” St. Louis Inquirer, May 1991.
[lxxxiv] Ibid.
[lxxxv] “The Rush for Houses,” St. Louis Post Dispatch, May 30, 1896.
[lxxxvi] “Killer Tornado Tears Through St. Louis: 400 Dead, 1200 Injured,” St. Louis Inquirer, May 1991.
[lxxxvii] “Rebuilding Problems”, St. Louis Globe Democrat, June 2, 1896, 9.
[lxxxviii] NOAA Photo Library, “Text accompanying: Photographic Views of the Great Cyclone at St. Louis, May 27, 1896,” http://www.photolib.noaa.gov/nws/tornado.html (accessed September 19, 2009).
[lxxxix] “Blown Eleven Blocks,” St. Louis Post Dispatch, May 28, 1896.
[xc] Ibid.
[xci]“Killer Tornado Tears Through St. Louis: 400 Dead, 1200 Injured,” St. Louis Inquirer, May 1991.
[xcii] Frank C. Schaper and Betty Burnett, Images of America: St. Louis Fire Department, (Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2003), 29.
[xciii] Ibid.
[xciv] Ibid.
[xcv] “Killer Tornado Tears Through St. Louis: 400 Dead, 1200 Injured,” St. Louis Inquirer, May 1991.
[xcvi] John Lethem, Historical and Descriptive Review of St. Louis, 1894, (St. Louis: Ennes Press, 1896), 12.
[xcvii] Allen E. Wagner, A History of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department 1861-1906, 310.
[xcviii] Stu Beitler, “Clyclone Horror at St. Louis,” St. Louis, Missouri Tornado May 28, 1896, http://www.gendisasters.com/data1/mo/tornadoes/stlouis-tornadomay1896.htm (accessed September 19, 2009).
[xcix] Ibid.
[c] “The City in Darkness,” St. Louis Post Dispatch, June 3, 1896, Special Tornado Edition.
[ci] Julian Curzon, pseudo., The great cyclone of St. Louis and East St. Louis, May 27, 1896: being a full history of the most terrifying and destructive tornado in the history of the world, with numerous thrilling and pathetic incidents and personal experiences of those who were in the track of the storm; also an account of the wonderful manifestations of sympathy for the afflicted in all parts of the world, 321.
[ci] Campoli, The St. Louis Tornado, 157-158.
[cii] The Center of Attention”, St. Louis Post Dispatch, May 29, 1896, 4.
[ciii]Half a Thousand Tornado Victims: The Loss of Life in St. Louis and Vicinity Fully as Great as First Reports Made It. Homeless People Numbered by Thousands Work of Rescue and Relief Greatly Delayed by Darkness and the Impassability of the Streets. Four Million Dollars Damage in one Section of St. Louis Hospitals Crowded with Wounded -- Hundreds of Families Sleeping in the Ruins of Their Homes -- Relief Measures Taken -- Effect On the Republican National Convention 1896,” New York Times, May 29, 1896,  http://www.proquest.com.www2.lib.ku.edu:2048/ (accessed December 17, 2009).
[civ] “The Death Toll,” Newark daily Advocate, May 29, 1896.
[cv] Ted Steinberg, Acts of God: The Unnatural History of Natural Disaster in America, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), 17.
[cvi] Ibid. 
[cvii] “Mayor Hung in Effigy”, St. Louis Post Dispatch, June 3, 1896.
[cviii] Congressional Record—Senate/House, May 28, 1896.
[cix] “No Extra Session,” St. Louis Globe Democrat, June 10, 1896.
[cx] “Asks for a Special Session”, St. Louis Post Dispatch, June 6, 1896.
[cxi] Ibid.
[cxii] Ibid.
[cxiii] Journal of the House of Delegates (of the Municipal Assembly) St. Louis, May 29, 1896.
[cxiv] “The Relief Ordinance,” St. Louis Globe Democrat, June 2, 1896, 4.
[cxv] Journal of the Council of the Municipal Assembly, St. Louis, June 5, 1896. City of St. Louis Ordinance No. 18526
[cxvi]Merchants Exchange of St. Louis 1880's - Early Commodity market - Eads Bridge Vignette,” http://www.scripophily.net/merexofstlou1.html (accessed September 21, 2009).
[cxvii] Holt, S. D. to C.H. Spencer, President, Merchants Exchange, June 1, 1896, Merchants Exchange Correspondence, Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis; Kidd, G. W. to C.H. Spencer, June 1, 1896, Merchants Exchange Correspondence, Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis.
[cxviii] “The Work of Relief,” St. Louis Globe Democrat, May 29, 1896.
[cxix] “The Work of Relief and Repair,” St. Louis Globe Democrat, June 2, 1896.
[cxx] “The Work of Relief”, St. Louis Globe Democrat, May 29, 1896;”Relieving the Distress”, St. Louis Globe Democrat, May 31, 1896; “Work of Relief and Repair”, St. Louis Globe Democrat, June 2, 1896; “Post Dispatch Relief Fund”, St. Louis Post Dispatch, June 4, 1896.
[cxxi] “Noble Work of Relief”, St. Louis Post Dispatch, June 1, 1896.
[cxxii] “Give Little for Aid”, Chicago Daily Tribune, June 2, 1896, ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849 - 1986), 2.
[cxxiii] “The Storm Swept District,” St. Louis Globe Democrat, June 21, 1896.
[cxxiv] “Was Immensely Successful”, St. Louis Post Dispatch, June 8, 1896; “To Concentrate the Work”, St. Louis Globe Democrat, June 6, 1896.
[cxxv] ”The Earth will Tremble”, St. Louis Post Dispatch, June 4, 1896; “Fat Men’s Ball Game”, St. Louis Post Dispatch, June 5, 1896; “Infatuating in its Fleshiness”, St. Louis Post Dispatch, June 7, 1896.
[cxxvi] C. L. Dixon, Asst. Secy to the Mayor to George Morgan, Merchants Exchange, June 15, 1896, Merchants Exchange Collection, Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis.
[cxxvii] St. Louis Star to George H. Morgan, June 15, 1896, Merchants Exchange Collection, Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis.
[cxxviii] George Morgan to Mayor, Broken Bow, Nebraska, June 27, 1896, Merchants Exchange Collection, Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis.
[cxxix] “District Stations Closed, ´ St. Louis Globe Democrat, June 7, 1896, 22.
[cxxx] Stu Beitler, “Clyclone Horror at St. Louis,” St. Louis, Missouri Tornado May 28, 1896, http://www.gendisasters.com/data1/mo/tornadoes/stlouis-tornadomay1896.htm (accessed September 19, 2009).
[cxxxi] Ibid.
[cxxxii] “The Work of Relief and Repair,” St. Louis Globe Democrat, June 2, 1896.
[cxxxiii] Ibid.
[cxxxiv] “Active Relief Work Begun,” St. Louis Globe Democrat, June 1, 1896, 2.
[cxxxv]St. Louis Provident Association General Manager Thomas Finney, letter to the Merchant Exchange relief committee member George H. Morgan, October 24, 1896.
[cxxxvi] Merchants Exchange relief committee: Disbursements of St. Louis Cyclone of May 27, 1896 Relief Fund, 5-30.
[cxxxvii] Ibid., 30.
[cxxxviii] “The Work of Relief and Repair,” St. Louis Globe Democrat, June 2, 1896.
[cxxxix] “Aiding the Tornado Victims,” St. Louis Globe Democrat, June 9, 1896.
[cxl] George Grantham Bain, “The St. Louis Disaster,” 570.
[cxli] Ibid.
[cxlii] “The Storm Swept District,” St. Louis Globe Democrat, June 21, 1896.
[cxliii] Ibid.
[cxliv] George Grantham Bain, “The St. Louis Disaster,” 610.
[cxlv] “The Convention Auditorium”, St. Louis Post Dispatch, June 3, 1896, Special Tornado Edition, 5.
[cxlvi] George Grantham Bain, “The St. Louis Disaster,” 610.
[cxlvii] St. Louis: Queen City of the West, (St. Louis: The Mercantile Advancement Co., 1899).
[cxlviii] Ibid., cover.
[cxlix] Major J. Lowenstein, Official guide to the Louisiana Purchase Exposition at the city of St. Louis, state of Missouri, April 30th to December 1st, 1904: by authority of the United States of America,” (The Official Guide Co, 1904).
[cl] Kyle A. Beatty, What Would be the Monetary Loss if the 1896 St. Louis/East St. Louis Tornado Happened Today?, (Newark, Ca: Risk Management Solutions, Inc), 7.5.
[cli] Ibid.
[clii] “Our Losses and Prospects,” St. Louis Post Dispatch, May 28, 1896.

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