On this date 150 years ago, April 24, 1867, Kansas experienced its largest ever earthquake, with its epicenter just north of Manhattan, Kansas. It was felt over an area of almost 200,000 square miles, and caused minor damage in Kansas, Iowa, and Missouri, along with a handful of injuries. Damage included cracked plaster, downed chimneys, and loosened stones in buildings. At Paola, KS, one wall of the post office was destroyed.
The report shown here appeared in the Chicago Tribune on April 27, and originally appeared in the St. Joseph, MO, paper on April 25. In St. Joseph, the earthquake was described as a “low rumbling sound, similar to that produced by a heavily loaded wagon passing over a bridge.” At St. Joseph, “almost the entire population had rushed terrified from counting rooms, workshops and kitchens into the streets. At first everybody seemed to be under the impression that his particular building had suddenly become possessed of an unusual number of devils, and was pirouetting by itself; but upon seeing his neighbors rushing out under apparently the same conviction, the idea flashed upon him that an earthquake had playfully jousted us.”