Image of the City of Regina

Mary (McIntyre) Shaw (1862-1912)
James McDougall (1866-1912)
Ida Hetherington McDougall (1908-1912) and Catherine Barbara McDougall (1904-1912)

Victims of the 1912 Tornado

Sunday, June 30, 1912, at 4:45 p.m., Regina was devastated by a killer storm that roared from south to north through the heart of Regina. In total, 28 people were killed and $5,000,000 worth of damage was suffered.

Mary was killed walking across Victoria Park. Ida, four, and her 46-year-old father, James, died from injuries received when their veranda collapsed.

These ornate sandstone markers are indicative of a unique artistry popular in the early 1900s.  These two sites indicate only a tip of the tragedies wrought by this terrible event. Headlines in the various Regina newspapers on July 1, 1912, unanimously agreed that “Today will be the day Reginans will never forget”. About 4:45 p.m. on June 30, two enormous funnel clouds formed about 11 kilometres south of the city and proceeded towards Wascana Lake at speeds well over 100 miles per hour tearing up and destroying everything in their path. Continuing through the heart of the city, the tornado finally expended itself about 15 kilometres northeast of Regina near Balgonie. The result was 28 dead, $1.2 million in property damage and 2,500 people left without homes.

One victim was Mary Shaw of 2320 12th Ave., who had been strolling through Victoria Park. Samuel D. Shaw, her husband, was a yardman for the CPR. Although she was rushed to the Regina General Hospital, she died from her injuries.

Her memorial was a popular design in the early 1900s. Constructed solely from sandstone, a dead branch resting atop the monument depicts the loss of Mrs. Shaw’s life. Hanging from one of the branches is a scroll containing the details of her death as well as a brief epitaph. The large tree trunk rests on a sculptured log base.

James McDougall, 46, had just been employed as a mechanic for the Cockshutt Plow Company after being unemployed for some time and was enjoying the July 1st holiday at home, when he became alarmed by the sight of the approaching tornado. James grabbed his youngest daughter, four-year-old Ida, hoping to escape their home on 1435 Lorne St. However, the veranda roof collapsed pinning them under the wreckage. When a rescue team finally showed up, James and Ida were found in critical condition. They died later that evening at the Grey Nuns Hospital.

While the four McDougall sons escaped relatively unharmed, Mrs. McDougall and three other daughters — Gibra, Marvel and Barbara — were also critically injured. Barbara, eight, died in December 1912.