Lightning Strikes St. Olaf’s Church

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 15, 1906

Lightning Strikes St. Olaf’s Church

The Tower on the Corner of the Edifice Wrecked and Splintered

Damage Amounts to $200

Happened About 5:00 O’clock This Morning During Electrical Storm — Work of Repairing Damaged Parts Will Commence at Once

About 5:00 o’clock this morning, during the severe electrical storm, St. Olaf Lutheran Church, on the corner of south First Avenue and Fourth Street, was struck by lightning doing considerable damage. None of the residences in the neighborhood were struck or damaged in any way, though those living near heard the crashing of the timbers and the falling bricks, and were greatly frightened by it.

The lightning struck the topmost metal ornament on the steeple, and following the slanting roofs down, wrecked the tower greatly. Large holes were torn in the sides, shingles and bricks being thrown to the street below.

The extent of the damage is not exactly known. It has been placed at about two hundred dollars ($5,032 today), as the whole tower will have to be rebuilt and strengthened again. The damage to the interior is not very great, the frescoing being left in a fair condition.

Lightning also struck the disused Minneapolis and St. Louis station, wrecking a chimney and slightly damaging a portion of the roof. the building is the property of Andrew Hower and is used by the Hower & Hoffman flour store for a storehouse. The contents of the building were not damaged.

(Editor’s note: In the 1898 directory, the Minneapolis & St. Louis depot is listed at 1010 Sixth St. S.)

(Editor’s note: The 1908 Fort Dodge city directory lists the church location as First Avenue South, southwest corner Fourth. It was called St. Olaf’s Norwegian Lutheran Church then. That building is currently the Coppin Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church.)

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