Nov. 8, 1883 – Madison, WI
1:40 p.m. a deafening crash startled the city. It started with a cracking sound that grew louder and
louder ending with a great crash. Great clouds of dust rose from the site bringing thousands of
onlookers, including a young 16-year-old Frank Lloyd Wright. The roof and south side of the wing of
the extension had caved in, and groans and cries could be heard, as men called for assistance from
At that time Madison had no hospital, the wounded were carried to offices or to their own homes.
Frank Lloyd Wright wrote about it 50 years later in his autobiography, the architect said the event had "a lifelong effect" on him.
"(I) was just in time to hear the indescribable roar of the building collapse and see the cloud of white lime dust blown from the
windows of the outside walls, the dust cloud rising high into the summer air carrying agonized human cries with it. Whitened by lime
dust as sculpture is white, men with bloody faces came plunging wildly out of the basement entrance blindly striking about their heads
with their arms, still fighting off masonry and falling beams. Some fell dead on the grass under the clear sky. Others fell insensible."
"One workman, lime-whitened too, hung head-downward from a fifth story window, pinned to the sill by an iron beam on a crushed foot,
moaning the whole time. A ghastly red stream ran from him down the stone wall…"
are interred at Forest Hill Cemetery
Bernard Higgins and James Kelly are interred at Resurrection Cemetery
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