August 29, 2010

Tornado of April 1945

On Thursday, April 12, 1945, at 10:20pm just hours after residents learned of the death of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a tornado struck Quincy without warning. Nineteen people were reported injured but no one died.

The storm had touched down in Palmyra, Missouri, before striking Quincy. It then continued on to Mendon, Plymouth, and Industry, Illinois.

Mayor Edward Schneidman declared a state of emergency. Governor Dwight Green activated the state militia, and nearly 175 state police officers were sent to Quincy. On Friday, sightseers were so thick that the militia has to fix bayonets to clear people from the streets.

Losses from the tornado were estimated at about $1 million.

A second serious storm hit the city on July 2. This storm destroyed many of the trees in the city, damaged numerous buildings, and cut CIPS transmission lines that interrupted services to all Adams County.

These two photos of the Adams County Court House looking at the East Wing from Vermont Street (facing north), the photo at the top of this post is from the Broadway Street side. All photographs are donated by the Historical Society of Quincy & Adams County and Arlene Middendorf. (you can click each image for a large version)...

Alley between 5th & 6th, on Hampshire next to the Hotel Quincy

East side of 4th Street, between Jersey & York

Rear of St. Peter's Catholic Church, Meyer-Schutter Grocery at 120 South 8th Street

Jefferson-Johnson Motors, 323 Maine Street

7th & Hampshire, south side of street next to Musselman Building

Hampshire Street between 5th & 6th Streets

Belasco Theater, 6th & Hampshire

Richardson Lubricating Company, Front Street

Consolidated Oil Building, Front Street

Hampshire between 6th & 7th, taken from rear of building

St. Peter's Catholic Church, 8th & Maine

South side of Hampshire, between 5th & 6th

Hampshire Street, between 5th & 6th, looking west

Rescue of two residents, rear of Werneth's Market, between 6th & 7th on Hampshire

St. Peter's Catholic Church

Stern Building, northwest corner of 5th & Hampshire

Chatten Implement Company, 10th & Broadway

Rear of St. Peter's Catholic Church, 8th & Maine

Between 5th & 6th, looking east down Hampshire

Between 6th & 7th, looking west down Hampshire


  1. Very Interesting!!! And the technology they had back then is amazing!!!! In High School I hated History. I was the fool. Now that I older I wish I would have paid more Attention in History Class!!!

  2. I enjoyed the olld pictures.

  3. I was only 2 yrs old when this happened. wasnt there another one that came from the east in the early 50"s? i remember that one.

  4. I noticed a sign on the front of the cafe on the alley on 6th St. It said open 24hours. The pic was from 1945, after the Tornado.