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The Tornado of 1883
by Jim Jones.
The threat of tornadoes weighed heavily on the minds of Missourians a hundred years ago. In 1871 East St. Louis had been hit by a tornado which left 70 dead. Five years later Minor Schoolhouse just north of Chillicothe was swept away. The remains of desks were scattered nearby, and all but the floor of the building completely disappeared. A slate and an arithmetic book were found near Medicine Creek, six miles away.
Marshfield, northeast of Springfield, received a pale preview of storms to come when one damaged a few buildings on May 29, 1878. Three days later, Richmond was smashed by a tornado which killed twenty and seriously injured about fifty. Even brick buildings were demolished, and other debris was scattered for at least 20 miles. The same storm injured several people and did considerable damage in Carroll County.
Much of Marshfield was destroyed on April 18, 1880. Eighty-seven were killed and the next month many were still hospitalized. One hundred fifty families lost their homes. The second floor was blown off the brownstone courthouse, and many brick buildings were wrecked. Eight months later fifteen more people were injured by another twister there. In the same year Bedford, in southeast Livingston County, lost its mill to a storm that damaged or ruined about fifteen other buildings. Marshfield was hit again on May 18, 1883, but only one or two people were injured.
The next month the weather was wet and stormy. Rivers and creeks were unusually high, and much bottom land was flooded. Communications were disrupted when telegraph lines were downed and railroad tracks washed out.
A tornado passed through Livingston County on the twelfth of June. The Baptist Church at Utica was destroyed. In Chillicothe the bell tower on the high school was damaged and Millbank Mills' engine room was unroofed. Five miles southeast of town Dennis Wolfskill's home was demolished and the family carried 150 yards through the air. Mrs. Wolfskill was cut and bruised on the face and hands and had the three inch blade of a gimlet driven full length into the small of her back. She died two days later.
The tornado at Richmond had been preceded by very sultry weather, with the temperature near 90 degrees. Similar conditions on Wednesday, the 20th of June, alerted many residents south and southwest of Chillicothe, and they took shelter as the weather worsened. About nine in the evening dark clouds, accompanied by a continuous display of lightning, formed in the west. As the storm approached, the wind howled like a banshee, and, above the rattle of windows and slamming of doors, a roar like a hundred trains rumbled through the sky.
The tornado first touched down two miles north of Braymer, smashing the buildings of Christopher Seitter and Newton Motsinger. A mile east, on the Caldwell-Livingston County line, Hiram Morgan lost a barn. Crossing into Livingston County the storm hit old William Pugh's buildings. He had a shoulder dislocated and a rib broken, but was out of danger in a few days. His wife Susan was slightly injured. A neighbor, Joseph Lybarger, lost the roof from his barn. Next, Richard Mutton's buildings were destroyed, and the Hosier School damaged.
Buildings on George Johnson's large farm in southeast Monroe Township were damaged. Johnson Schoolhouse, a 20x24 foot frame building, was blown to bits. Down the road, the Travilla home was partly destroyed. The storm was a mixed blessing to the family, though. Jonathan Travilla and his son, Thomas, had built many homes in the area, and had the prospect of rebuilding many more after the storm.
To the north the Dusenberrys were hard hit. Mary Dusenberry lost her buildings and was injured. Her son, Jack, his wife, and their little boy were cut and bruised. They also lost buildings. Mary Dusenberry's thirteen-year-old daughter Susie was not hurt badly. Her death seven years later was loosely linked with another tornado, though. Just as news was breaking that 900 lives had been lost in the Louisville, KY, storm, young Susie died from heart disease on the morning before April Fool's Day. The newspapers had exaggerated: The final death roll was only 109.
The Snider family lived on the Fisher farm in the corner of Monroe Township. They all reached the cellar except Bert Snider. He almost made it but the house caught his leg and dragged him 50 yards. His brothers and cousins cut him out of the wreckage with an ax and found the leg bruised but not broken. On the same farm the Cunningham family lost their buildings and Mrs. Cunningham was injured.
Henry Glick had moved to the southwest corner of Blue Mound Township from Carrollton eleven years earlier. He had amassed over a thousand acres, planning to give each of his twelve children 80 acres near his home when they married. Even before the tornado bad luck plagued him. A local leader in fattening cattle, he shipped 300 head to Kansas City just as the market dropped drastically. Then 600 head of hogs raised with the cattle died of cholera. In 1880 he had to sell 320 acres of improved land for $18 per acre and was still in debt. At least his home and farm buildings were among the finest in the area -- and then the tornado came.
Nothing remained on the gentle hilltop but a shambles of shattered furniture, boards, tattered clothing, and the piano, which was untouched by the twister but ruined by the rain. Two threshing machines were dropped 20 yards from the barn. All of the residents were in the cellar except Simon Cooper, a hired hand, who was caught in the stairway by the wind. He was unhurt, though. Henry Glick was 54 years old when the tornado ravaged him. He lived another 32 years, but was unable to regain his fortune.
Nearby, Henry's son, John Glick, got his wife and child out of bed and started for the cellar. They were still in the house when the area was swept clean. John was carried about 100 yards away. He started toward his home site and found his six-year-old daughter Katie crying and crawling on her hands and knees. He picked her up and soon found his wife, Amy, lying unconscious. His injuries kept him from moving her but he managed to carry little Katie a quarter mile to his brother Peter's home. Peter sprained his back carrying Amy to his house where Dr. Kittridge was spending the night. Despite prompt medical help, Amy died two days later without regaining consciousness. A piece of pine wood was removed from Katie's head and she was blind for two days, but soon recovered. John Glick had back injuries, two broken ribs, and many bruises on his head and limbs. He recovered, remarried, and became the father of Vernon R. Glick, for whom Chillicothe's American Legion post is named. Some debris from John's house was found about 100 yards northeast of its foundation, along with the heating stove and a couch. Thirty yards southeast of the foundation were the pieces of a smashed sewing machine and a baby doll with its head, a leg, and a hand gone. Peter Glick's home was a little south of the tornado's track, and little damaged.
North of John Glick lived his brother-in-law, George Poole. George remained in the house while his wife, three children, and two employees sought shelter in the cellar. When the summer kitchen blew in against the house, George joined them. Then the kitchen departed to the northwest and a little later the rest of the house was smashed to the ground 20 yards southwest of the foundation. The cookstove from the kitchen was found 160 yards due south. When the north and east walls of the cellar caved in, everyone was huddled in the southwest corner and remained unscathed. The barn was demolished but two horses in it were not hurt. Forty acres of corn were swept away. George had insurance against fire and lightning, but not against storms.
A little beyond Poole's, all of Morgan J. Hughes' buildings were destroyed except the barn. Morgan had been watching the storm and headed for the cellar with his daughter, Maggie, in his arms. His wife, Margaret, had the older daughter, Annie, in her arms when the wind tore the house from around them and blew them into a hedge fence row. Mrs. Hughes was injured in the leg and bruised on the face. The others fared better, and little Maggie became the oldest survivor of the tornado before she passed away a hundred years later. A hired hand, Bill Harris, was asleep on the kitchen floor when the house blew away. He was unharmed, and according to some Hughes heirs, not even awakened by the commotion.
In the neighboring house of William James ,eighteen-year-old Anna James sat on the floor with her back against a door to keep the wind from tearing it away. The house held and the family was safe.
A mile east of Henry Glick, the Tom Jenkins home shifted three feet on its foundation. Part of the roof blew off, the windows were smashed, and the clothing sucked out of the house and lost. The summer kitchen was demolished. A 44 ft. square barn a hundred yards from the house, and closer to the center of the storm, exploded in all directions. Most of the roof couldn't be found anywhere. Three of the six animals in the barn were injured, but none killed.
Further east John E. Hughes, his wife Margaret, their daughter Katie, and a nephew were in the house when the wind tore it away. Mrs. Hughes suffered several injuries, including a large gash in her hip cut by a stove leg. Her condition was critical for some time. Mr. Hughes was temporarily blinded, but soon recovered. Their daughter received many bruises. The boy was unhurt.
Nearby a son of William Lewis decided to stay in the house when the rest of the family went to the cellar. He stayed until the wind forced a door open against his weight, then he ran and rolled to a post outside and hung on for dear life. The house moved a foot on its foundation and its windows shattered. The other buildings were lost. A new house on the same farm occupied by William's son, Fred Lewis, blew off its foundation and turned about 90 degrees around.
William Lewis sent his sons to check on the neighbors. They found William's daughter, Katie, her husband, Chase Glick, and their children knee-deep in water in the cellar where they had remained more than an hour after their little one-story house was scattered for half a mile. Their clothing, furniture, and implements were gone. One horse was killed and another badly injured. The storm was not so kind to their neighbor. Six and a half years earlier Edward James had bought 39 acres at $5 an acre and built a modest one-and-a-half story home. He saw no need to fear the storm. His wife, Phoebe, was at the door between the front room and the kitchen and hurrying to the cave when the kitchen blew to the west and the rest of the house to the south.
She clung to a tree and was windwhipped, bruised, and dazed. Their horses remained tied in the barn when it was whisked away from them, and she found some shelter among them until rescued.
Henry Lewis found Edward James lying in an oat field a few hundred feet from the house with his dog between his feet. Both were dead. There was no sign of injury on him, and his niece, Annie James, suggested that he had perhaps been drawn up into the storm cloud or struck by lightning.
The Lewis boys were unaware that 17-year old Maggie James was safely away visiting for the night, and they searched two hours for her, expecting to find her dead. She was unharmed, though, and had over half a century left to live.
Pieces of Edward James' brand-new farm wagon were found scattered over a large area, recognizable by the fresh red paint. Maggie James' hat was found 1¼ miles southwest of the house. Only a few other small items were recovered. A broom was driven handle first into the ground, up to the brush, near the James home.
In a valley in the timber half a mile northeast of the Edward James home lived Jack Wilson. Jack, his wife, and their little son had just left their home for shelter at her brother's when the tornado caught them. She was blown into a wire fence and died almost instantly. Ten month old Roy was torn from his father's grasp and carried several yards. Although Jack's arm was mangled, he managed to get the child to shelter under the floor of their little log cabin. The rest of the cabin and their other buildings were destroyed. Some time later a neighbor, William J. Jones, walked across the cabin floor and heard Jack crying in pain. An attempt to save his life by amputating the arm failed, and he died the next night. Jack's brother-in-law, Ben C. Johnson, lost all of his buildings also, but was uninjured.
Then the storm cut a swath visible for decades through the sparsely populated wooded hills west of Blue Mound before finding its next victim. Charles Brown had moved here from Canada about nine years earlier. He passed his 70th birthday just five days before the storm. He followed his young wife, Margaret, and their many children into a cave beneath the house just as the storm struck. All their buildings were lost but the family was safe. With a name like Charlie Brown, he could hardly let a little thing like a Missouri tornado discourage him, and he spent the remaining 23 years of his life here.
Half a mile beyond lay the settlement of Blue Mound, scarcely larger then than now. The Wilson W. Campbell family usually sought shelter in the cellar of his father-in-law, John Knox, in threatening weather. This night Wilson's sister, Alice Campbell, thought there was no danger and refused to go. When one side of the house blew out, she ran through the new opening just before the rest of the house departed. She eventually found safety beneath a corn crib. A neighbor, John M. Hoyt, recorded that the wind gently dumped her on a straw stack minus her clothes. Thereafter she always led the way to a cellar when the weather looked stormy.
Three years before the tornado, Charles McAlear traded farms with his neighbor. The old place was spared, but his new farm was devastated. He had been watching the weather and roused his family just in time for the nine of them to crowd into their 4 x 6 ft. cellar. Charles and a son were barely able to hold the cellar door shut as all the buildings were swept away. The farm wagon, implements, and the orchard disappeared. McAlear had maintained the Blue Mound Post Office in his home. He found one unopened envelope of stamps lodged in a tree. All the other postal business was lost. Nearby the Burner Schoolhouse was also destroyed.
A quarter mile east of Blue Mound lay Joseph Knox's farm. He saw the storm coming, got the family and guests to the cellar near the house, untied four horses and turned them out of the stable, rescued his valuable papers from the house, and barely beat the storm back to the cellar. The nine people crowded into the cellar were unharmed, but the house was smashed to bits. The barn and 175 trees in the orchard were lost. One horse was injured. Several chickens were killed and plucked clean of their feathers. His farm wagon was mangled.
John M. Hoyt writes of Sarah, Joseph Knox's wife, riding to shelter on an old blind horse after the tornado. She didn't even mention the destroyed home, but loudly lamented the loss of her barrel of homemade soap. The house was insured against tornados for $500.
The storm then turned south-southeast to John C. Mead's farm. His family remained safe in the cellar while one end was blown out of it. The log barn was wrecked, although three horses inside were uninjured. All other buildings were lost.
After hitting Mead's, the storm lifted and seemed to split into two parts. One continued east-northeast to strike the home of a Mr. Barrett west of Avalon. He and his wife were blown 200 yards and his four children 200 yards in the opposite direction. One child was seriously hurt and Mr. Barrett was critically injured.
The other part of the storm tore into Carroll County. Charles Hardy's house at Coloma was blown to bits. William Little's house was blown 40 yards, remaining intact and not injuring the family in it.
Hailstones up to ten inches in circumference pelted the settlement of Van Horn, near the present cemetery of the same name. Peter Young's house was carried 20 yards and demolished without injuring the occupants. The blacksmith's home twisted halfway around. Dr. Haren's stable scattered over an acre. Van Horn Church was ruined. Further south the top was torn off Squire Buzzard's barn. The Liberty Church, seven miles northeast of Carrollton, was a wreck. After another tornado demolished it again many years later the congregation gave up and moved to Carrollton. Big Creek was flooded higher than ever known before.
The tornado was followed by intense lightning and extremely heavy rain for an hour and a half. Four inches of rain fell on the Morgan J. Hughes family as they huddled in the hedge row where they had been blown. Clear Creek, normally just a trickle, became a torrent southeast of Dawn. Young Robert W. Jones watched a mare and colt seeking shelter in a barn try to swim across. They were swept a quarter mile downstream before gaining the other side.
A rescue party from Dawn had to detour four or five miles upstream to cross Clear Creak. Finally teamster Robert Ward's grey horses could ferry the 18 men across one at a time. Even Grand River was on a rampage, and 150 ft. of the Jimtown bridge was washed out. The river remained out of its banks for more than a week after the storm.
The tornado left four people dead or dying and a few more were not expected to live. Perhaps two dozen suffered serious injuries, and some never completely recovered.
Sometimes the storm seemed to pick on victims of other misfortune besides Henry Glick. Morris E. Davis had buried a son 19 months earlier, and lost his wife Mary exactly seven weeks before the tornado. The storm injured another son and wrecked all of his buildings except his house.
Eighty-three year old retired Rev. Robert T. Evans was paralyzed before the twister, and was reported by Chillicothe and Carrollton newspapers to be fatally injured by the storm. However, the news of his impending death was apparently premature. His tombstone in the Plymouth Cemetery says he died exactly one year after the tornado, on June 20, 1884.
Wilson W. Campbell's 29-year-old wife, Sarah had died three and a half years earlier on Christmas Day. The storm spared the rest of his family, but raised havoc with his buildings. The buildings of William Oster and Jacob Butschli were damaged and Mrs. Butschli injured. Both men, veterans of many Civil War battles, were spared.
The following families not mentioned earlier were among those who lost their homes: Jacob Bunch, S. H. Burner, Jim Carr, George Cowen, William Duggard, William J. Grimwood, A. Geirty, Adam Jeire, Jackson Johnson, Thomas Kimber, Eli Lundy, Tillmon B. Lynch, Nelson Moorman, E. A. Morris, Marion Motsinger, James Oster, H. Stephens, Ben Street, William Stoughton, Elliot Wolford, and L. Ultman.
All together more than 50 homes were destroyed. Others were damaged. The twister bypassed some homes to strike stables, barns, and grain cribs. Orchards were uprooted, equipment smashed, and even fences destroyed.
Many of the crops that escaped the wind washed away in the floods. Sometimes the tornado seemed to be playing. A package of straight pins was driven nearly halfway into a hedge post at John Glick's. Straws and even feathers were driven into posts.
An estimate of the damage in Blue Mound township alone was merely $54,150. However, prices and wages were very low by modern standards. Some homes had been valued at only $300; a new home could be built for $700, and even Henry Glick's mansion was worth only a few thousand. Farm hands were paid room, board, and about $15 a month. Hogs were selling for $6 a hundred pounds. Peter Glick played in the Dawn band, and his B flat coronet was claimed by a proud local reporter to have cost $40. Even then men's toys were expensive.
More than $2000 was raised to help the destitute victims.
Homes and barns were rebuilt. The long process of replacing orchards was begun.
Injuries healed. But for decades many families dated events not just by the
calendar, but whether they happened before or after the tornado.
1. Christopher Seitter: buildings lost.
2. Newton Motsinger; buildings lost.
3. Marion Motsinger: buildings lost.
4. Hiram Morgan: barn lost.
5. George Cowen: buildings lost.
William Oster: buildings lost.
6. William Pugh: buildings lost, him injured.
Joseph Lybarger: barn unroofed.
7. Thomas Williams: house down.
8. David O. Hughes: buildings lost
Julius Ogion: buildings lost.
9. Jacob Seitter: barn lost.
James Snodgrass: barn lost, house damaged.
10. A. Hayden: house off foundation.
11. George Johnson: buildings lost.
12. Johnson school house: destroyed.
Mary Dusenberry: buildings lost.
She and her and her daughter injured.
Jack Dusenberry: buildings lost, him, wife, and child injured.
13. Jonathan Travilla: house damaged.
14. Fisher farm: Cunningham family: buildings gone,
Snider family: buildings gone, Bert Snider injured.
15. Henry Glick: buildings gone.
16. John A. Glick: buildings gone, he and child injured, wife killed.
17. George W. Poole: buildings gone.
18. Morgan J. Hughes: buildings gone except barn, wife injured.
19. Tom E. Jenkins: house damaged, barn gone.
John E. Hughes: buildings gone, he, his wife, and daughter injured..
20 Chase Glick: buildings gone.
21. William Lewis: house damaged, other buildings gone.
Fred Lewis: house damaged.
22. Edward James: buildings gone, he killed.
23. Jack Wilson: buildings gone, he and wife killed, child injured.
Ben C. Johnson: buildings gone.
24. Charles Brown: buildings gone.
25. Wilson Campbell: buildings gone.
Charles McAlear: buildings gone.
Burner schoolhouse: destroyed.
26. Joseph A Knox: buildings gone.
27. John C. Mead: buildings gone.
Eighty-three year old Reverend Robert Evans had been paralyzed
before the tornado. A week after the storm the Chillicothe Crisis
reported, "Rev. Robt. Evans cannot live we hear;..." According to his
tombstone in the Plymouth Cemetery in northwest Carroll County he died one year
later to the day.
From the Chillicothe Crises, June 28, 1883
The cyclone, of which we gave a short account last week, which visited the south west part of this county, on Wednesday night of last week (June 20th), was more destructive to life, limb and property, and the region visited by it more extensive than was at first reported here. The high waters almost cut off communication between here and the stricken district. The destruction begun near Catawba, in Caldwell county, from whence the demon of destruction traveled almost due east for about 14 miles. It entered this county near the south-west corner and cut a swath of one-third to three fourths of a mile in width, the south line of which was from one half to three fourths of a mile north of Carroll county line. At Chase Glicks, 8 miles east of where it entered this county it veered a little to the north, but got back on the line of beginning again, and went on east to the northwest corner of 36, 56, 24 where it turned S. S. E., swept away John C Mead's buildings in the center of 36 and then rose.
On Tuesday, the Editor of the CRISIS went to the scene of destruction, viewed some of the ruins and conversed with some of the sufferers. Nothing that can be said by word of mouth or pen can make one comprehend the force of the storm or the completeness of the destruction. We have read accounts of the awful work of cyclones; heard people tell of it, but until last Tuesday never even imagined the desolation these demons leave in their paths. We say to all, visit the scene.
That is a most beautiful and fertile country. It was all enclosed and well Improved. It is high rolling prairie. The farmers were in comfortable circumstances, with probably a few exceptions, but some of them are needy now and must be in want. Just think! A man has a nice comfortable house; within it the usual furniture, carpets, beds, books, ornaments made by wife and daughters' hands, and the many things that make a house comfortable and beautify it; the beautified door yard; farm machinery necessary to run his farm; buildings to shelter his stock and crib his grain; his necessities are all supplied; he is at home and he and family have retired for the night; they are aroused by a mighty roaring and are seized with dread; in their night clothes they hasten to the cellar; in an instant the storm has passed on; they look out and see that everything is gone; they have nothing left but the naked land and their night clothes!
From our interviews we gather that the situation just before the destruction was as follows: In the west there was a black cloud approaching; to the north west it was denser; the display of electricity was continuous and the thunder constant; the wind was blowing from the southeast. Mr. Wm. Lewis, who is a thinker and well read, and withal a philosopher, gave us his theory of the formation of cyclones, made up in part, we suppose, from his observations that fatal night. We stopped over night with him and had more time to talk with him than with others. As we understand him his theory is as follows:
A warm moist current next to the earth comes from one direction and a cold and higher current moves in the opposite direction. When these currents approach each other, the one being charged with positive and the other with negative electricity, a commotion ensues and when they have mingled to a certain extent the warm, moist current endeavors to rise above the cold current and finally forces an outlet through the cold current above and then rushes up this chimney, as it were, of a mile, more or less, in height, producing the powerful suction and whirl.
All called the destructive power "the whirl."
This destruction occurred between 9 and 10 o'clock. A clock at Henry Glick's stopped at 25 minutes after nine. All who took refuge in cellars and caves were saved without injury. The awful noise of the approaching cyclone is what warned so many to their caves and cellars. The cyclone lasted a very short time-variously estimated at 2 to ten minutes, and was followed by the greatest rain storm, accompanied by lightning and wind, that ever visited that section, which lasted an hour and a half; every little hollow would float a barge. Clear Creek was almost Instantly raised a dozen feet or more. A relief company from Dawn had to go four or five miles east, up the creek in order to get across it. Robt. Ward's horse was used as a ferry and eighteen were ferried across, one at a time.
We only spent a half a day in the path and did not see but about one-seventh of the ruins. We had time to call on but a few of the sufferers.
The first cyclone sufferer we meet is Charles McAlear whom we see in Dawn. He had been watching the clouds on the fatal night and was dressed in his work clothes. The other members of his family were in bed. The cloud's appearance prompted him to go in the house and notify his family to get up and dress and be ready. He again stepped out to view the storm and concluded they had best make for the cave. The family had been slow about getting up and dressing and he grabbed one of the children, yet asleep, from the bed, threw his overcoat around it and they all run into the cave. The oldest boy came in last and saw the cloud when quite near, he describes the cloud as the revolving funnel-shape, such as visited Marshfield and other places. They had just got into the cave when the cyclone was upon them. The cave is about 4 by 6 feet and it was pretty well filled when Mr. McAlear, his wife and their seven children got into it. It was all Mr. McAlear and his son could do to hold the little door shut. When they emerged from the cave, they found the house, barn and all other buildings swept away; furniture, clothing--everything gone. The upper floor and roof gone, he knows not where, and the lower floor lodged in a locust tree to the east. The children's trunks in which were their best clothes were locked, but they can find nothing of them. A boot of one of the boys was found with the heel off; a shoe with the sole off; some few clothes found scattered here and there, all torn and soiled. One of his girls has literally nothing left but her night gown. He loses everything; wagon and farm implements all gone he knows not where; his orchard gone, apple trees that had stood the storms of 30 years taken off to parts unknown. McAlear was postmaster of Blue Mound and the office was at his house; the whole outfit is gone. He says the government is very particular about mail locks and he made thorough search for the bags and locks, but can find nothing of anything; all he found connected with the postoffice was an envelope of $15 in postage stamps which he had received from the government and had not yet opened; he found it lodged in a tree. The cloud roared mightily, not claps of thunder, but a sound a person once hears can never mistake it afterwards, he says. Mr. McAlear's house was on N. E. 35, 56, 24, due south of Chillicothe.
Wils. Campbell lived north of McAlear's 80 rods and his house was on the north edge of the storm's fury, while McAlear's was on the south edge. Campbell, his two children and sister and James A Smith and family were at the house that night. They all, except Miss Campbell, went north to Campbell's father-in-law's, who had a cellar. Miss Campbell would not go she did not think there was any danger and she remained at the house. The storm blew out one side of the house and she run out at the opening and got under the corn crib where she was found safe, she had just gotten out of the house when it was swept away. From McAlears the storm passed on east 80 rods to Joseph Knox and then turned south, south-east.
JOHN C. MEAD.
Mr. Mead lives south, southeast of Knox's about the center of 36, 56, 24. His house and other buildings were swept away. He and family had taken refuge in the cave and were saved without injury.
Near Mead's the cloud seems to have risen and the next serious damage we hear of was at Van Horn in Carroll county, where a church was blown down and other houses in the vicinity.
The next sufferer we meet is
G. W. POOL.
He is on the scene of his demolished home. His house was a story and a half frame. His family consisting of wife and three children had gone to the cellar. Mr. Pool remained upstairs until the summer kitchen came against the house. The wreck of the kitchen went to the northwest. In about ten minutes after this when all were in the cellar the house went to the southwest, as complete a wreck as can be imagined.
As we write this we see the mass lying all broken and mashed, flat upon the ground about 20 yards southwest of where it stood. The cook stove lays 160 yards due south. It was in the kitchen. The first puff came from the ease, the next from the west and the whirl from the southwest, says Mr. Pool. The cyclone had a continuous roar as loud as thunder.
The cloud was of copper color as Mr Pool describes it. He did not see the whirl. There was in the house Edward Shrader and Hannah Ulman who were working for Mr. Pool. They were all in the southwest corner of the cellar and were saved without a scratch. The east and north walls of the cellar caved in. Barn demolished but two horses in it were not hurt. Loss total, house $600, barn $200, 40 acres of corn swept clean. Fire and lightning but no storm insurance.
A quarter of a mile southwest of Pool's stood the fine residence of his father-in-law,
We sit among the ruins. The ruins here are greater than elsewhere, because the improvements were greater. On this beautiful knoll sloping to all points of the compass, there is a mass of broken timber and boards, furniture, &e., the material of a two story frame house which cost several thousand dollars. The house fell to the south, southeast. The piano is south of the foundation 15 yards among the shade trees. The barn, which was 100 yards southeast of the house, seems to have been crushed together, falling mostly a little north and partly on it's foundation. Two threshing machines fell south of the barn 20 yards. A horse which was in the pasture west of the house was found dead just south of the house. We met here Jonathan Murphy who formerly lived on Al. Fowler's farm near Chillicothe. He and his family consisting of two children and his mother in law, lived at Glick's. The following is his statement: We were all watching the two clouds-one the northwest and the other to the southwest, expecting a storm. It was all cloudy in the west but the two clouds referred to were the most fearful looking. The wind was blowing hard. The last time I looked at the clouds the one in the northwest was of a copper color. It seemed to be coming over us and moving west [sic]. The wind was blowing hard, doors were being blown open and the clouds looked so fearful we all took refuge in the cellar under the north part of the house, except Simon Cooper, a hired hand who was upstairs, and had been in bed but had gotten up and dressed. A strong straight wind blew before the whirl came, and the house cracked from its force, but when the whirl came the house was smashed instantly. Cooper escaped without injury. He was half way down the stairway when the house went. All escaped uninjured.
A TALK WITH HENRY GLICK
While talking to Mr. Murphy, Henry Glick came up. He said that he thought always that he was pretty stout hearted, but he had gone twice to the wreck to work but his heart failed him. Mr. Glick is aged 55 years and has lived here on his farm 11 years. In this place he has 320 acres, but it is encumbered heavily, so that with the loss he has suffered his interest in the place is not much. He has had bad luck in the past, but was getting on his feet again financially. His loss is over $5,000.
Here at the Henry Glick farm we meet Joseph A. Knox, another sufferer. He lives or did live 4½ due west [should read due east] of here. His house and barn were completely demolished. He and family consisting of wife and three children saved themselves by going into the cellar 20 feet from the house. He saw the cloud coming, put his family in the cellar and then went to the stable and untied four horses and turned them out, then run to the house, got a tin box containing his valuable papers and got in the cellar just in time to get his back against the door when the storm struck. The house was blown into fragments. John Bowman, wife and two children were at Knox's and also took refuge in the cellar. All were saved without injury. There were three separate puffs, Knox says. Several chickens were killed and were picked clear of their feathers by the storm. One horse injured, Cyclone insurance on house $500, on horses $300. He had a wagon smashed. Spokes twisted from hub of one of the wheels and tire mashed together and broken. Orchard of 100 old, and 75 young trees a total loss. His loss is $1,500 or more.
JOHN GLICK'S SORROW.
From the ruins of Henry Glick's place we passed across southwest [should read southeast] to where his son John Glick's house had stood. To a stranger here who had heard nothing of the facts, this scene would not be so sad, as the site of the house is swept clean and little indicates that a house was ever here. But deep sorrow is here. Here John Glick lost his lovely wife. She received fatal injuries of which she died on Saturday. Here his child and he himself were injured. To the northeast of the house about 100 yards lie the heating stove, a couch and part of the debris of the house. Southeast of the house site 30 yards is the sewing machine all broken to pieces; the foot of a child's bedstead, and a doll baby with its head, a leg and a hand gone. How any of the family escaped alive is strange. They had a cellar; had gotten out of bed and started for it. An addition of two rooms to the south had been built to the house recently. They were in the southwest room at the door between the two south rooms when the storm struck the house. He was carried about 100 yards to the southeast. He got up, and coming toward the house found his little girl aged 6 years about 75 yards from the house; she was crawling along on her hands and knees and crying. He picked her up and came about twenty-five yards further where his wife lay in an insensible condition. He, being injured himself, could do nothing more than take the child in his arms and go after help; he went to his brother Peter's (the rain all the time coming down in torrents) about ¼ mile south, and when the door was opened he fell down exhausted from his injury. He told Peter where to find his wife, who with Dr. Kittridge who was stopping at Peter's over night, went after her and carried her to his home. Mrs. Glick had a gash across the forehead and otherwise bruised. She never recovered consciousness. John's back is injured, two ribs fractured, mashed on the forehead and nose, and on legs and arms. He is in a fair way to recover and is sitting up. The little girl was injured on the back of the head and on the side of the temple, over the eyes and was blind for two days. Under the advice of her physician she is kept ignorant of her mother's death, the physician fearing brain fever.
W. CHASE GLICK
From Henry Glick we get the particulars of his son, Chase's loss. He lived 1½ miles east of his father's, in a one story frame. He and family consisting of wife and two children were saved by going into the cellar. The house was blown to splinters and scattered a half mile to the east. He lost everything, clothes, furniture, implements, one horse killed and another badly wounded. Loss $700.
Son of Wm. Lewis and son-in-law of Henry Glick was at home with his wife and her sister. They were all upstairs but had gotten up and come downstairs. The house was wrecked a great deal but not torn to pieces. None injured.
Peter Glick's house was on the south edge of the storm track and was probably not touched by the whirl. It was wrecked a little. He sprained his back some carrying his insensible sister-in-law to the house, and is hardly able to get around.
THE SNIDER BOYS
lived at the Fisher place, ¾ of a mile south-west of H. Glick's. The house was turned half way around and blown five or six rods to the east, and was badly wrecked. All but one got into the cellar, and the other one, Bert, was just getting in the cellar when the building caught his leg. He crawled along on his hands and one knee and kept up with the building and this saved himself more serious injury. His leg was badly bruised, but no bones broken. His brothers and two cousins, who were there, cut him out with an ax.
Leaving Mr. Glick's we go north to the section line and then east to Morgan Hughes', which is on the north side of the road and 3-4______ miles east of G. W. Pool's. Hughes has gone to Utica today, and we get our information from his sister-in-law, Miss Anna James, who, not in the house during the storm, is here on the scene and knows the facts. There was in the house Hughes, his wife and two little children, Wm. Harris, Jim Tewalt and Julia Wilson. Harris and Tewalt were in the kitchen and the others in the front room. The kitchen was blown to the west and the front to the southwest. Harris found himself on the kitchen floor 60 feet west. Hughes and his wife took the children in their arms: the house went leaving the floor and they fell to the south. Hughes was bruised about the shoulders and head. Mrs. Hughes was hurt pretty badly on the temple and her body bruised. The others escaped injury. There was a cellar under the house, but the opening was from the outside and they did not get to it.
EDWARD D. JAMES' DEATH
Miss James also gave us the particulars of the storm at her uncle Edward D James' house and his death. James' house was one mile east and a quarter of a mile north of Morgan Hughes'. There was no one in the house but James and his wife. They were down stairs (the house was 1½story). James was in the north room and Mrs James was standing between the kitchen and front room, at the door. The kitchen separated from the other building and went west, the other building went south. When the buildings separated, Mrs. James fell to the ground. James was blown twenty-five or thirty rods to the south, where he was found dead. His dog which always slept outdoors was dead between his dead master's legs. On Mr. James body there were no bruises, and it is not known how he was killed. Miss James thinks he may have been killed by being drawn up in the cloud or by a stroke of lightning. After he was placed in the coffin his face became blue and showed the appearance of bruises. Some say he was bruised on the back of the head, but his brother failed to discover it when he washed him and laid him out.
T. E. JENKINS
Mr. Jenkins lives south-east of Morgan Hughes one half mile
and a ¼ mile south of the section line. His house is on the s. w. n. e.,
section 32, 56, 24. Mr. Jenkins says a gale came from the southeast which
induced him and family to go to the cellar. In an instant a whirl came from the
west. The summer kitchen, four feet from the house, was blown to pieces and the
cook stove set five rods due east, while most of the kitchen cannot be found.
The house was moved three feet from its foundation, part of the roof torn off,
windows smashed out by missiles and most all the clothes of the family blown out
of the house and off where they can't find many of them. The house is otherwise
badly wrecked. He says his cellar is not much of a cellar, but that he wouldn't
have taken a township for it that night. His large barn 44x41, 100 yard
northwest of the house, exploded, falling in all directions. About ¾ of the
roof cannot be found anywhere. There were six work animals in the barn, three
were injured, none killed. Jenkins had eighty acres of corn, running east and
west, through which the storm center swept. He had one cow and two hogs killed.
His fine orchard is destroyed. His loss is $2,000 or more. We are talking with
him with the ruins around us. Yet he says, jokingly, that he has a good start
left--a wife and six children, the oldest of whom is twelve years old. He might
add that he has 400 acres of fine land.
East of Jenkins, one half mile, lives William Lewis. He and his family, except his son, went to the cellar under the granary, a rod east of the house. His son Henry would not go, but said he would stick to the house. He stuck until the door blew open in spite of his weight against it, when he ran out and rolled to a fence post in front of the house and held for dear life. The granary blew from over the cellar, going east. The smoke house blew to the east, except the floor of it, which went northwest. None was hurt. The house was moved a foot from its foundation, windows smashed. His stable and outbuildings were swept away. A new house just built at a cost of $600, on another part of his farm, and occupied by his son Fred, was blown off its foundation and turned a quarter way around. Doors smashed and house wrecked: his large barn near the house was unroofed. Some sheep killed. A mile of fence blew down and crops badly injured. A spring wagon, seventy-five yards south of the house was blown, part 100 yards to the northwest and part to northeast of the house. His damage is $1000, but he has 940 acres in his farm and will not suffer. Mr Lewis started his boys out to see how the neighbors fared. They found Lewis' son-in-law, Chase Glick, wife and children in the cellar, where they had been from the time the house blew away--over an hour--in the drenching rain, up to their knees in the water. They then went to E. D, James'. They found Mrs James fifty yards north of the house, in a dazed condition--out of her mind. She was dressed-had her hat and veil on. James was found by Henry Lewis. They hunted for the daughter about two hours, expecting to find her dead, but she was not at home that night and so escaped.
Southwest of Wm Lewis and a ¼ southeast of Jenkins lived John Hughes, in a two story frame. Hughes' wife, child and nephew were in the house when it was blown down. Mrs. Hughes was badly hurt, a stove leg having cut a large gash in her hip. She is otherwise injured. She is in a precarious condition. Hughes was wounded and was blind for awhile, but is about recovered. The child, a little girl, was bruised up considerable. The boy escaped injury.
DEATH OF JACK WILSON AND WIFE
Wilson and wife, one half mile east north east of James', down in the valley and in the timber lived in a little log house. They had started to go to Benny Johnson's and had gotten several rods from the house when the whirl came. They then attempted to get over a fence. Wilson, who was conscious up to his death, said the wind snatched his wife from him, and about the same time he was struck by something and his arm broken and otherwise injured. He heard his child crying and went to it. He saw his wife nearby dead. Wilson's arm was terrible mangled, the bone sticking out. He died next evening, without having had his arm amputated.
Edward D. James
Mrs. John Glick
Mrs. Jack Wilson
John Glick and child
Jack Wilson's child
Wm. Barrett, wife and three children
Mrs. J. B. Dusenbury
John E. Hughes, wife and child
Wm. J. Hughes and wife
Mrs. Dusenbury's little boy
Rev. Robert Evans
Son of Morris Davis
Mrs. Morgan Hughes
M. J. Williams, of Utica
Most of the above received serious injuries. Doubtless there
are many more who were injured more or less not named above. Barrett was in
doubtful condition for awhile, but is better now. John Glick and little girl are
recovering. Wm Pugh is out of danger. Rev. Robt. Evans cannot live we hear; he
had been paralyzed previous to his injury. Mrs. John Hughes is still in danger.
Wilson's child is improving
DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY
The following is a list of those having property destroyed, where not otherwise mentioned, dwellings, barns, out houses are gone.
William J Hughes, Elliot Wolford, Mr. Cunningham on Fisher farm, T. R. Evans, ____ Stevenson, Jake Sieter, barn; Hosier school house, Wm. Oster, Richard Hughes, D. O. Hughes, Jules Oglar, Wm. Peugh, Tom Williams, Thos. Bonderer, old barn, ____ Phillips, Geo. Johnson, damaged, Mrs. J. D. Dusenbury, L. Ulman, Wm. Barrett, Henry Glick, Chase Glick, John Glick, Peter Glick, damaged, G. W. Pool, Wm. Lewis, damaged, Fred Lewis, damaged, T. E. Jenkins, barn, orchard, also house badly wrecked, Morgan J. Hughes, except barn, John E. Hughes, Ben C. Johnson, Jack Wilson, Johnson School house, Chas. Brown, Joseph Knox, W. W. Campbell, Chas. McAlear, Thos. Kimber, Burner school house, Ad. Hare, Alex. Wolford, Jas. Oster, Ben Street, Joseph Lybarger, barn, Hiram Morgan, barn, _____ Snodgrass, house damaged, Jake Walker, house injured, Eli Lundy, ______Greenwood, ______ Hosier, house damaged, ______ Lynch, house damaged, Chris. Sieter, Geo. Cowen, _____ Cowen Newton Motsinger, ______ Motsinger, Bud Stevens, Nelson Moorman, Morris Davis, all but house, Jim Carr, Dick Mutton, D. W. Williams.
THE DAMAGE IN DOLLARS
is hard to estimate. The cost of furniture, wearing apparel and other things usually kept in a house is much more than one would first think. The loss where the damage is total is from $700 to $5000 each. The total damage is hardly less than $75,000 and may be much more.
house was not injured as reported, nor was his wife injured.
Though the course of the storm was to the east, Maggie James' hat was found 1¼ mile southwest of the house
Farmers have to herd their stock where last week were their enclosures. They have built corrals to put their stock in at night.
The pasture north of Wm. Lewis' house is covered with boards and building timber. It is a quarter of a mile from where any house was blown down. In the center of the pasture there is a spot where a good portion of some house, which one is not known, had been slung to the ground, and taken mostly away again. Some of the planks stuck into the ground a good distance and then broke off. All over the pasture can be seen planks sticking in the ground.
Edward D. James' new farm wagon, which had not been used was broken all to pieces, the spokes out of the hubs, and parts of it dropped in every direction; part of it in Lewis' pasture ½ mile to the southwest. Parties who examined the grounds carefully, think the wagon must have made a number of circuits around the hill.
A broom, with the handle sticking into the ground clear up to the brush of the broom was found near E. D. James'.
Jonathan Murphy, on the Henry Glick place had a horse killed;
and is seriously damaged by destruction of crops; he lost household goods also.
Barrett, William 11, 34, 35
Bonderor, Thomas 35
Bowman, John 27
Brown, Charles 9, 17, 35
Brown, Margaret 9
Bunch, Jacob 13
Burner, S. H. 13
Burner School 17
Burner School House 35
Butchli, J. 36
Butschli, Jacob 13
Buzzard, Squire 11
Campbell, Alice 9
Campbell, Sarah 12
Campbell, Wilson W. 9, 12, 17, 23, 35
Carr, Jim 13, 35
Cooper, Simon 4, 26
Cowen, _____ 35
Cowen, George 13, 15, 35
Cunningham, _____ 4, 16, 34, 35
Davis, Mary 12
Davis, Morris E. 12, 34, 35
Duggard, William 13
Dusenberry, Jack 3, 16
Dusenberry, Mary 3, 16, 34
Dusenberry, Susie 3, 34
Dusenbury, Mrs. J. B. 34, 35
Evans, Rev. Robert T. 12, 34
Evans, T. R. 35
Fisher Farm 16
Fowler, Al 25
Geirty, A. 13
Glick, Amy 5, 33
Glick, Chase 5, 7,17, 19, 28, 32, 35
Glick, Henry 4, 13, 16, 21, 25, 26, 29, 35
Glick, John 5, 13, 27, 34, 35
Glick, Katie 5, 7
Glick, Peter 5, 13, 28, 29, 35
Glick, Vernon R. 5
Greenwood, _____ 35
Grimwood, William J. 13
Hardy, Charles 11
Hare, Ad. 35
Haren, Dr. 11
Harris, William 6, 30
Hayden, A. 15
Hosier, _____ 35
Hosier School House 35
Hoyt, John M. 9, 10
Hughes, Annie 6
Hughes, David O. 15, 35
Hughes, John E. 7, 17, 33, 34, 35
Hughes, Maggie 6
Hughes, Margaret 6, 7, 34
Hughes, Morgan J. 6, 11, 16, 29, 30, 35
Hughes, Richard 35
Hughes, William J. 34, 35
James, Annie 6, 8, 30
James, Edward D. 8, 17, 30, 32, 33, 36
James, Maggie 8, 36
James, Phoebe 8
James, William 6
Jeire, Adam 13
Jenkins, Tom E. 6, 17, 31, 35
Johnson, Benjamin C. 9, 17, 33, 35
Johnson, George 3, 16, 35
Johnson, Jackson 13
Johnson School 16, 35
Jones, Robert W. 12
Jones, William J. 9
Kimber, Thomas 13, 35
Kittridge, Dr. 5, 28
Knox, John 9
Knox, Joseph 10, 17, 26, 35
Knox, Sarah 10
Lewis, Fred 7, 17, 29, 32, 35
Lewis, Henry 8, 32
Lewis, William 7, 17, 21, 29, 32, 35, 36
Little, William 11
Lundy, Eli 13, 35
Lybarger, Joseph 3, 15, 35
Lynch, Tillmon B. 13, 35
McAlear, Charles M 10, 17, 22, 35
Mead, John C. 11, 17, 20, 24
Moorman, Nelson 13, 35
Morgan, Hiram 3, 15, 35
Morris, E. A. 13
Motsinger, _____ 35
Motsinger, Marion 13, 15
Motsinger, Newton 3, 15, 35
Murphy, Jonathan 25, 36
Mutton, Richard 3, 35
Ogion, Julius 15
Oglar, Jules 35
Oster, James 13, 35
Oster, William 13, 15, 35
Phillips, _____ 35
Poole, George W. 5, 16, 24, 35
Pugh, Susan 3
Pugh, William 3, 15, 34, 35
Seitter, Christopher 3, 15, 35
Seitter, Jacob 15, 35
Shrader, Edward 25
Smith, James A. 23
Snider, Bert 4, 16, 29, 34
Snodgrass, _____ 35
Snodgrass, James 15
Stephens, H. 13
Stevens, Bud 35
Stevenson, _____ 35
Stoughton, William 13
Street, Ben 13, 35
Tewalt, Jim 30
Travilla, Jonathon 3, 16
Travilla, Thomas 3
Ulman, Hannah 25
Ulman, L. 13, 35
Walker, Jake 35
Ward, Robert 12, 22
Williams, D. W. 35
Williams, M. J. 34
Williams, Thomas 15, 35
Wilson, Jack 8, 17, 33, 35
Wilson, Julia 30
Wilson, Roy 9, 34
Wolford, Alex 35
Wolford, Elliot 13, 34, 35
Wolfskill, Dennis 2
Young, Peter 11