When Tornadoes Came without Warning
Ferguson, Marshall County
Before radar tracked the storm systems that could produce tornadoes and county sirens warned of their coming with a blast of sound that carries for miles, the tornadoes that touched the ground in towns and on farms were often deadly. The suddenness and ferocity of tornadoes that come to ground and the scale and peculiarity of tragic destruction they leave behind make them the subject of many Iowa weather stories.
On September 25, 1900, a tornado (cyclone) struck the town of Ferguson in Marshall County. Two people were killed; three were seriously injured; another eleven suffered lesser injuries. At 8:30p.m. on that day the tornado struck the Hotel Hutson run by John Lovelady. Inside the building were the Loveladys’ children, George 3 and Elma 1, and other adult occupants of the hotel: Mamie Holivar, an employee of the hotel; Thomas Pelling, a railroad worker; and Mrs. Lovelady. The two young children were killed.
The storm also struck and demolished the homes of Robert Keean and Peter Olson, the railroad station, and the grain office of L.G. Beale and Company.
Source: SHSI: The First 100 Years, Ferguson, Iowa, 1882-1982.