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1899 Tornado: Hawkins Smith Ackerman
Posted by: Constance Golden Date: March 12, 2001 at 17:47:27
  of 107

Characters: JE Hawkins (see my post #1991, Hawkins Forum) - Father
Mrs. Hawkins - Wife
Mrs. Nosler - Mother of Wife
Nola, Bert, Arthur - Children

Hawkins' had lived in Ottumwa for some time, and eventually moved to farm near Herman, Washington, Nebraska. Herman suffered a terrible tornado in 1899. See for more details:

William Hawkins, brother to JE, wrote this story:

                     W.H. HAWKINS WRITES OF THE
                      DEATH OF HIS BROTHER
                       HOUSE CARRIED AWAY
               Family Was Just Preparing to Enter
                     the Cellar When Storm Picked
                     House Off its Foundation --
                      Injuries Are Serious.

[From Saturday's Daily.] {22 June 1899 - Ottumwa, Iowa}
       For the benefit of the friends of J.E.Hawkins and family, including Mrs. Nosler, and in view of the conflicting stores circulated, I will give as nearly correct an account as I can of the death of Mr. Hawkins and the injuries received by members of the family in the Herman, Neb., cyclone, after being on the ground and seeing the same and condition of the family. Mr. Hawkins was with the family in the kitchen trying to get a trap-door open to go to the cellar, when the house and contents were lifted into the air and scattered. He was blown with the cook stove, and also the gasoline stove, about 200 feet or more and dropped in among the contents of the barn, which was destroyed. The fire from the stoves caused the debris to burn. His body was not recognizable, being burned beyond recognition. Mrs. Hawkins, Mrs. Nosler and Nola were not taken so far, but were helpless from injuries. Bert, the oldest boy, got to the cellar by the outside entrance and only received a small cut on the head and was able to give the alarm to willing neighbors, who rushed to the scene. Arthur, the youngest boy, was not at home, so was not injured. Their worldly possessions in the house are all gone, there being nothing left that can be found worth picking up. Their horses are all alive, but more or less crippled. The cows and young cattle, and also about seventy hogs, are dead or missing. The farm machinery was all wrecked so that it is worthless.

       Mrs. Nosler has both arms broken between the elbow and wrist, and also received internal injuries, which are considered very serious to a person of her age. Mrs. Hawkins has a limb broken near the ankle, several ribs broken on the right side, and one is puncturing the lung, besides other bruises and cuts. It is hard to say what will be the result. Miss Nola's spine is said to be fractured. When I saw her last she was resting easy, but only able to move her left arm slightly.

       Mr. Hawkins was buried at 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon, by the Modern Woodmen of America, at Forest Lawn cemetery, Omaha, Neb.
                                   W.H. Hawkins

Bert Hawkins married Anna Ackerman. She was a young lady/nurse from Tekemah, Burt, Nebraska who was sent to help this family recuperate.

James ARTHUR (my ancestor) married John George and Ollie (Flinn) Smith's daughter, Edith Myrtle of Blair, Washington, NE.

Just a note: All the people in this story eventually moved to Klamath Falls, Oregon. Many are buried in Ashland, Oregon. No one else died because of their injuries.

If anyone has additional information about this family, or had info about the tornado, I'd be happy to listen.

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