Hancock County, Illinois
Fires, Accidents, Train Wrecks and other Calamities
Heavy Damage From the Storm
Source: Rock Island Argus, Aug 20, 1902
Keokuk, Iowa, Aug 20 - A violent electrial storm, which raged last evening within a radius of 50 miles of this city, struck the steamer Ottumwa Belle, which had a thousand excursionists on board. A panic among the passengers resulted, several women being injured and rendered unconscious. The boat finally made for the shore, where it was tied to a tree, which was afterward struck by lightning.
An embankment of stone 40 feet high was washed out for a space of 60 feet long at the eastern end of the Santa Fe bridge across the Mississippi river, and a large force of men rebuilt it without interrupting traffic.
Two complete bridges, one a large one, floated down the Mississippi to Fort Madison, where they were stopped.At Ottumwa, Iowa, the wind was of cyclonic nature. It blew the fourth story off the new Bonnifield brick block.
Hancock county, Illinois, suffered much damage to crops and farm buildings. Telephone wires were torn down all over this vicinty.
Suicide of Col. J.B. Backenstos
Source: The Ottawa Free Trader, Nov 21, 1857 -transcribed by J.S.
We find in our Oregon exchanges the following account of the death by suicide of a well-known citizen of this State:
Col. Jacob B. Backenstos, of Portland committed suicide by drowning himself in the Willamette river on the 26th of September. Col. Backenstos was formerly sheriff of Hancock county, Illinois, and as such officer, wac[sic] prominent in the Mormon troubles in that State in 1854.