Finding Illinois Ancestors at Genealogy Trails

White County

Genealogy and History

1925 Tri-State Tornado

The following stories are from the Carmi Tribune- Times Carmi, White County, Illinois Thursday, March 19, 1925 Page 1

Contributed by Janean Ray

Tornado Kills 30 Persons

Storm Raged Wednesday Afternoon About Four O'Clock, Injuring Over One Hundred People

Houses Demolished, Live Stock Killed, Automobiles Driven On Highways Thrown Into Fields And Wrecked And Things Almost Too Horrible To Chronicle Occurred During Storm
Doctors Work Day And Night
Three Churches And Eight School Houses In County Swept Away And Many Children Attending These Schools Injured. - Rescuers Rush To Scenes Giving First Aid. - Trucks Loaded With People With Axes And Saws To Clear Roads.

Although almost crushed with grief over the misfortunes brought to so many Wednesday afternoon, White county residents have worked unceasingly since the cyclone to bring some relief and comfort to the hundreds in the county who are destitute, homeless and injured. The storm which swept this part of the country Wednesday afternoon about four o'clock is the worst in the history of the southern part of the state.

The storm seemed to originate at Annapolis, Mo., the southeastern part of the state, traveling northwest over a route that took in Murphysboro, Bush, West Frankfort, Benton, Parrish, McLeansboro, skirting Enfield, Carmi and Crossville, in White county, doing terrible damage at Griffin, Ind., and upon reaching Princeton and doing much damage there, seemed to spend its force. The estimate of the dead throughout the path of the tornado is given as 1500, which 5,000 or more injured.

The Carmi newspapers have made every effort to secure facts that our readers might know just what had happened, especially in White county, and the story is written Thursday afternoon, using latest details obtainable. It is impossible to get all the news or a list of all the injured, and many of the injured are dying and our list of dead cannot be entirely authentic, as we have just used the names of those we have been told without doubt are dead.

As we go to press we have learned of thirty dead in the county, one man missing and more than one hundred seriously injured. Several hundred are suffering with minor injuries. All this news brings sadness and if sympathy could be of much use, it is certainly extended to those suffering in the entire path of the storm.

Carmi was not in the path of the storm, however suffered a heavy rain and hail storm, but little did the citizens know of the damage that was being done in the close vicinity. The cyclone went south of Enfield, cutting a swath through the county some half-mile in width, sweeping everything before it. It cut into the Seven Mile neighborhood and skirted Carmi on the north side striking south of Crossville.

Enfield Vicinity
At Enfield it is reported that fourteen or fifteen are killed and several others may not recover from the injuries sustained. The Enfield people are also doing a great work in assisting the injured and homeless and are working day and night. Schools and business houses have closed and all are helping, and the opera house has been turned over for the use of the injured where they are being tenderly cared for. The doctors of the town and all of the towns in the county are responding wonderfully to the calls for help.

The storm seemed to have started in St. Patricks neighborhood. Joe Dunn's home was partially destroyed. Will Hanagan's home and barn destroyed and Mr. Hanagan, wife and daughter were injured, it is hoped not seriously. Robert Clark's home and all buildings in this neighborhood destroyed. Anderson Nelson's, Herman Frymire, John Fields, Marion Bleeks, Ed McCarthy, Alex Jordan's homes and outbuildings were badly damaged as were Ralph Miller's, Dunn Bros. This is in Trousdale District.

In Bethel neighborhood the Will Smith home was completely destroyed and a visitor, Will Richardson of Eldorado was hurt. W. A. Blackburn's, Ed Hayes, Herschel Steele's homes were damaged and some of the occupants hurt. The home of J. E. Willis, where William Dietz lived was entirely destroyed and Mr. Dietz killed. Mrs. Dietz is seriously injured. Mrs. Bolen was killed when her home was destroyed. The home of Delbert Warthen was damaged and both Mr. and Mrs. Warthen injured, Mrs. Warthen being in a serious condition.

As near as we have been able to learn the people killed in this vicinity are John Wilson, Will Richardson, Will Dietz, Vernon Miller, Mrs. Robert Clark and some claim that her baby was also killed but this has not been verified; Mrs. Phillips, Mrs. Jack Murdach, Mrs. Rhein, Mrs. Bolen, a little child of Elza Wilson, Mrs. Sumner Hollister, Sumner Hollister and daughter are reported dead.

Sixteen pupils were in attendance at Trousdale School and of this number only one, Florence Malone escaped injury. Pauline McMurtry taught this school. Vernon Miller, a pupil was killed. Most of the other children sustains broken arms and legs. The school house was wrecked.

Considerable damage was done at Murdach school and many of the pupils injured. Snowden Biggerstaff, teacher is seriously hurt, has a broken arm, broken leg and internal injuries. John Wilson, president of the Enfield Township High School Board was killed here and six other members of his family seriously hurt. A child of Mr. and Mrs. Murdach's was found over a mile away from its home and rescued. It has been brought to Enfield for treatment.

Since noon Thursday the death list has been added to by five. A Mr. McMurtry and all four children of Mr. and Mrs. Delbert Warthen. Mr. and Mrs. Warthen are seriously hurt.

The home of Tom Finney is completely destroyed and Mr. and Mrs. Finney and all three children are badly hurt. John Finney, father of Mrs. Will Neeley of Carmi is badly hurt. The Finneys are all at the Blackburn home for treatment.

Mrs. James M. Stokes, wife of a prominent farmer of near Crossville was instantly killed. Mr. and Mrs. Stokes were at home when the storm approached. Mr. Stokes noticed the threatening cloud and started for the storm cellar, urging his wife to accompany him. Mrs. Stokes remarked that the cellar, she considered was unsafe and decided to remain in the house. Mr. Stokes, peering from the cellar saw his house swept away. He immediately ran to his wife, was was fifty yards from the site of the residence. She was black and blue all over and gasped only once as he picked her up.

Mrs. Kelly Fitzgerald was instantly killed in the collapse of their home and her husband was badly hurt.

Mrs. Henry Maurer, wife of a tenant on the James Garner farm was burned to death. Mr. Maurer succeeded in saving his son from the burning building. The body of Mrs. Maurer was recovered from the debris of the home this morning. The heating stove was found lying over her body. The legs and lower part of the trunk of the body had been burned away.

Fred Bennett was in a cellar with a number of other people when he raised his head above the level of the cellar and a rafter struck him on the neck, killing him instantly.

Mrs. Shelley R. Stanley and son are seriously injured. They were immediately taken to an Evansville hospital and reports Thursday at noon gave both an even chance for recovery.

Lawrence Kuykendall was seriously hurt, but it is not thought the he is fatally injured.

Mrs. William Copelin and children are injured. Mr. Copelin was coming through the field to the house during the storm and was blown into a fence. He held on to the fence post and his clothing was literally stripped from his body. Mrs. Copelin fled from the house before the storm struck carrying two little boys. A baby was left behind. Later, Mr. Copelin found the baby. It is not thought that the baby is seriously ill.

Lige Johnson sustained a broken leg and other injuries.

Houses in the path of the storm in this vicinity that are totally destroyed are Lige Johnson's, Luke Hon's, Lawrence Kuykendall's, Phil Fieber, Albert Bramlett's tenant house; Jimmy Garner's tenant house, Virg Davenport's, Will Copelin's, Roy Stokes, Shelley Stanley's and Kelly Fitzgerald's. The home of Albert Bramlett, considered the most beautiful country home in the county was wrecked. The Bramlett's were unhurt and a freak of the storm was that a fresh egg was found lying on the front porch after the tornado.

Stokes Chapel was leveled and Wabash Church also blown away in this township. At Graves School, Scigal Martin, teacher, showed wonderful presence of mind. He ordered the children to leave the school when he saw the cloud approaching and they went into the yard and lay flat down. None were hurt. The school building was blown away and Mr. Martin's automobile demolished.

Poplar Ridge school is said to have been in the path of the storm, but this report has not been verified.

At Bell school the teacher, Percy Rawlinson had dismissed for the day and no children were in the building. The school was blown away.

Frank Ridenour of Crossville was driving along the state road and he saw the storm coming. He tried to beat it to Crossville but ran directly into its path. He stopped his car and lay in a ditch at the side of the road. His car was picked up by the tornado and blown against the railroad track and demolished. He was beaten by the wind but sustained no severe injuries.

Mrs. Enos Jordan sustained terrible injuries in a peculiar manner. She was seated in her home during the storm and a kitchen range from the home of a neighbor blew through the roof of her home, crushing her. A vertabrae of the neck is fractured and she has other severe injuries. She was brought to Carmi to the home of a relative where she was given fedical aid.

Seven-Mile Vicinity Several hundred were injuried here, and four were killed. "Aunt" Jane Rippy, whose real name is Smith was killed at Trumbull. George Speck, who resided in Newman School - vicinity died after his lung had been pierced by a scantling. Mrs. Orval Warthen and four year old child were killed when their home was destroyed. Herman Bingman, a pupil at the Hadden School was killed when he sustained injuries at the school building.

The Newman School, five miles west of Carmi was literally blown away. The bell, one desk and a few timbers marked the site. A pump was pulled from the ground here. Jasper Mossberger is teacher at Newman and his condition is bad. He seemed rational but could not comprehend that there had been a cyclone and seemed to remember nothing about it. He has a bad cut on one leg and body bruises. Practically every child in this school was hurt, several seriously.

Mrs. John Young and daughter, who resided on the C. S. Conger farm are badly hurt. Their home is blown away. The home of Clarence Hubele, also on the Conger place was blown away, but fortunately neither Mr. or Mrs. Hubele were at home. The large stock barn and silo and a tenant house on the place are among the missing. Eighteen acres of woods are stripped, giving one the impression of photos shown during the war of woods that had been under shell fire for several weeks. A number of hogs, sheep, chickens and a mule were killed here. Miles of wire fence has disappeared, posts and all. Here a local woman found a clothes pin in a tree to the depth of two inches.

The baby of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Speck was found living at the side of the road, fifty feet from where the house had stood. It was whimpering and its little mouth filled with mud when found. It will recover it is thought. "Grandmother" Speck sustained serious injuries when the Speck home went. Mrs. Nibbling was cut about the head and sustained bad injuries.

The daughter of Ed Young, who resides on the McCallister place was badly hurt at the Newman school, sustaining several broken bones. The Young home was destroyed by fire, after the house had been wrecked by the wind.

The daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Powers, who reside on Seven-Mile Creek was also badly hurt in the Newman School wreck.

A large tree landed squarely in the center of the Emanual Berry home. Mr. Berry was unhurt, but his wife sustained a bad head injury. She is not in a critical condition.

North and Northwest of Carmi
The Freiberger School presented the most sorry spectacle in this vicinity. It was totally destroyed and one child, Wilburn Felty, age 9, was instantly killed. Many others whose names we were unable to get were seriously hurt. The house of Jacob Maurer, Sr., was destroyed and Mr. Maurer is badly hurt. He sustained a compound fracture of the leg and other injuries that make his life despaired of. His advanced age is also against him. Other members of the Maurer family were hurt.

George Randolph, a bachelor, residing west of Barth Church is missing. Mr. Randolph lived alone. His house was demolished and search for his body failed to locate him. No one has reported seeing him since the storm. The Barth Church, while not entirely demolished was set in the middle of the road and is badly damaged.

The home of William Hubele, Jr., was blown away and Mr. Hubele was badly hurt about the head.

Chris Seitz had a leg broken and other bruises when his home blew away. Bill Seitz's place was blown away and his wife and baby hurt.

The home of Ed Winters was blown away. No injuries reported.

The home of Mr. and Mrs. John Winters was destroyed and both Mr. and Mrs. Winters are injured.

The home of Charles Mays was blown away and he and several of his children are hurt. One of the children was blown through a window, several yards away from the home.

The home of Emil Botsch was damaged and the occupants slightly injuried. The above account of the disaster does hardly more than scratch the surface of the facts, but it is all that is available at this time. We have taken every precaution to give only authentic accounts and we trust that we have not been misinformed on a single item.

Relief expeditions were organized in Carmi immediately after the disaster. Trucks traveled throughout the night to stricken homes bearing all the injured who wanted to come to the county infirmary. Our local physicians responded nobly and worked throughout the afternoon and night. Especial comment should be made of the fact that B. S. Crebs, who several years ago retired from active practice, took his place on the firing line as did Rev. Th. Eckerman, local priest, who has a medical degree. These men lent valiant service throughout the night.

A phone call was made to neighboring towns for medical aid but a special train had already been made up to take available physicians to Parrish but Dr. O. N. Gibson and Dr. A. H. Beltz of Eldorado, who were out on calls when the special train left responded and gave all the assistance in their power. Physicians from Albion and Grayville, out of the path of the storm also were present helping take care of the injured near Crossville.

It is almost impossible to list the property damage in the county, however that is of secondary importance when the dead and injured are taken into consideration but local authorities place the property loss at at least a half million dollars in this county.

Several automobiles were blown from the state road, between Carmi and Crossville and demolished.

The wind blew one of the brick banisters over at a culvert on the state road near Crossville and left the other stand.

As stated in the first of this article it is impossible to depict the terrible tragedy we have suffered but we have done our best.

Relief work to help the sufferers was continued today. Clothing and food were taken from Carmi to scores of victims. A mass meeting was held at the court house at one o'clock and money was pledge to carry on the relief. Another meeting will be held tonight. Donations of clothing, money and food is being received at the library.

Many Cyclone Victims Dying

Several Of Those Injured Are Being Cared For At Infirmary

Red Cross Nurses Are Assisting In Taking Care Of The Unfortunate Ones And Hospital Facilities Splendid
27 Dead In County
High School And Orphanage Boys, Together With American Legion With Many Others, Including Neighboring Farmers Are Working Every Day To Clean Up Debris

News of the terrible cyclone experienced on Wednesday, March 18th, continues to pour in. Several of the injured have died since the storm and many others are in a critical condition. Sad hearts are everywhere but all are trying to realize that we must go on living just the same and all are co-operating to bring order to the places so badly demolished and to do everything humanely possible for the stricken territory.

It is impossible to get down to the every day affairs of life in between the times that help is being extended to the cyclone torn country and people, and all stand ready and willing to respond to every call for help. We feel so strongly that it might have been us that suffered that we are more than willing to be of assistance and the tie that binds has been strongly felt in this great disaster.

Carmi folks cannot help but feel proud of the words said in her behalf Monday by Henry M. Baker, national disaster relief director for the American Red Cross, of Washington, D.C., who is now in active charge of the county on this relief and reconstruction work. He made the statement that White and Hamilton counties had handled the situation better and were better organized than any other places within the stricken district. He said they were on the job at once, using the right methods, giving first-aid, and could not be praised too highly.

The survey of the Red Cross in White county Monday shows that in addition to lives lost in the storm; twenty-six were seriously injured; over one hundred injured; 110 homes destroyed, averaging each at $2,500; 220 outbuildings destroyed; live stock, implement and household furnishing loss not estimated, but the total property damage was set at three-quarters of a million dollars in White county.

The ladies of Carmi have been especially busy in the relief work. An organization was perfected with Mrs. A. S. Rudolph as chairman, Mrs. Roy E. Pearce as Vice Chairman and Mrs. Lucy Berry as Treasurer. Various committees have been appointed and the work is going steadily forward.

The library has been turned into relief headquarters and the sufferers have been given supplies there.

People from all parts of White County have been liberal with their donations. Clothing for babies, men, women and children have been received in profusion, as well as gifts of canned goods of every description. The people who so quickly responded to the call we know desire no publicity for their donations but it is only fitting that the public know that out of the kindness of their hearts and for suffering humanity the following gifts have been received at the library: Large boxes of clothing from the Krenning-Schlapp Wholesale Grocery Co. of St. Louis; fifty-two large boxes of clothing from the churches of Fairfield; a box of new clothing from Golden Gate; sweaters, raincoats, pillow slips and sheets from Sears, Roebuck & Co., of Chicago; 130 yards of muslin for night gowns from the Campe Corporation who own the Carmi Manufacturing Co.; a box of baby clothing from Fellner-Crow Company of East St. Louis; a box of clothing from Will Boyer of St. Louis, a former Carmi boy; a box from Ridgway and many others coming. The state sent two hundred blankets and other supplies. R. L. Gaylord of Rockford sent box of baby clothes. I. K. A. of Springfield sent clothing to Senator Sneed of Carbondale who sent same to Carmi. The box was sent to Enfield for disposition.

The Red Cross Tuesday evening shipped in 1350 blankets, 100 tents, 400 cots, 100 wood stoves; 10 cooking outfits and household furnishings. Two express cars were filled. The cars came from St. Louis and we are informed by the Red Cross that the Louisville & Nashville railroad made no charge of express on the cars to Carmi.

What Is Being Done
As much assistance as is humanly possible having been given the injured work has started on cleaning up the debris. Over a hundred high school boys, the boys from the Baptist Orphanage and members of the American Legion started Tuesday morning on the clean-up campaign. The accomplishments were wonderful. Principal attention is being given the clearing of the fields at present. Workers will gladly go out from this city until the job is finished.

The churches of the city are taking special days in providing meals for the patients and nurses at the county hospital. Monday the Christian church will furnish; Tuesday the Presbyterian church; Wednesday the Methodist church; Thursday the Evangelical church; Friday the McHenry church; Saturday the Catholic church and Sunday the Big Prairie M. E. church will furnish the meals. The fortitude shown by our forefathers when they helped make White County the best place on earth to live has been manifested both by the injured and by those who have given assistance in the crisis through which we are passing. Those in charge of the supply depot report that the people that have received aid in the way of clothing, etc., have been wonderful in their attitude toward the help. Greatful in the extreme all have been fearful that they might take more than they actually needed. The Relief Committee wishes to assure all that there is plenty for everyone's needs and if any victims of the storm haven't what they need they are requested to call at the library and get it and if unable to come to send word what is wanted. Everybody will be cared for if they but ask.

In telling just a little about what is being done for the sufferers several items are worthy of report.

Among the first telegrams that meant real money was received by Judge J. C. Kern Saturday when Senator William B. McKinley asked that he be drawn on for one thousand dollars for the districts of White and Hamilton counties relief. Judge Kern has paid over to the Secretary of the Relief Committee, Joe A. Pearce the sum of $500 and has sent to Hamilton County the other $500.

James E. Martin, residing near Springerton states that if anyone who has stock or anything left after the cyclone and wants to have it sold he will cry the sale without charge if notified. In order to secure his services call J. B. Proudfit, through Springerton.

An airplane came through Carmi Friday, piloted by Frank O'Neil of Vincennes, Ind., bearing Sam Guard of the Sears-Roebuck Foundation and E. G. Thiem of Chicago, Assistant Editor of the Prairie Farmer. They were to establish a relief station at Carbondale for this district. Sears-Roebuck and Company had clothing in Carmi soon after the visit of the airplane.

A volunteer worker that helped materially was Rev. R. O. Clements, a Methodist minister who following the cyclone, assisting in the embalming work. Rev. Clements was wired for to go to Benton, but felt that he was needed here and owed his efforts to this community.

Senator Lyman W. Emmons wired to know extent of damage and immediate requirements of county and stated that he would do everything possible to see that White County got proper consideration in the relief funds to be appropriated by the state.

H. Clay Gott and J. C. Borah were here from Springfield Saturday in the interest of the state in relief work. They were finding out the needs of the community and stated that a supply of tents had been sent to Enfield and two nurses obtained for Carmi. A quantity of sheets, bedding, bandages, etc., were also sent by the state. Harry L. Ziegler, manager of the Simpson Lumber Company has received a telegram from the Lahon Company of Chicago, makers of Mulehide Roofing, stating that they were shipping a car load of roofing here to be used free in the district for those suffering because of the cyclone damage. The roofing will be distributed by Mr. Ziegler.

The big truck from Fairfield, which brought a great supply of clothing to Carmi Tuesday was in charge of Rev. W. J. Fahnestock, Methodist minister, U.S. Staley and Paul Wilson. The donation was made by the churches of Fairfield.

Action of the Cyclone
Last week, in order to give our readers the news as quickly as possible a number of items were overlooked that will prove of interest relative to the ravages of the cyclone in our midst.

At the Homer Dickey home, three miles southwest of Enfield, he was in the barn and was not hurt. An old barn, just back of the barn in which he was in was completely destroyed. Mrs. Dickey and their eight year old adopted daughter were in the house. The child was ill, suffering from appendicitis and as the storm broke she called to her mother that the bed was moving. Mrs. Dickey picked her up from the bed and started to run to the kitchen. This part of the house was falling in and she ran through the hall to another room, but found the other room gone. She then remained in the hall and both were practically uninjured, Mrs. Dickey suffering but a bruise on the hand. After the storm Mrs. Dickey saw her dishpan on a fence about thirty feet from the house. How the pan left the house is not known as none of the doors were open and the surmise is that the pan went out through the kitchen roof. As she started to remove the pan from the fence she got a scare worse than she had just passed through when a live rooster and hen fell out. They have been pinned to the fence by the pan and were unhurt. The house was moved about three feet from the foundation and about thirty chickens killed in the yard.

One of the worst wrecked homes in the path of the cyclone was that of William Hanagan, four miles southwest of Enfield. It was blown completely away and the barn was also wrecked. Mr. and Mrs. Hanagan and daughter Kate were in the house when the storm broke. Mrs. Hanagan was found outside the house after the storm. She had been blown out on a feather bed and struck against a tree. She was badly bruised and is at the home of her son in Enfield. Kate Hanagan suffered three broken ribs, a badly scratched face and a big gash on the forehead. Her condition is considered critical. Mr. Hanagan was found lying in the center of the house in a pool of blood. He was not seriously hurt, however. One horse and one hog were killed and two cows crippled.

An empty house on the William Fisher farm, two miles southwest of Enfield was moved off of its foundation, but was not badly damaged.

The Joe Dunn home, three miles southwest of Enfield, was torn to pieces. Mrs. Dunn suffered a broken left arm and right shoulder. She was taken to the Walker hospital in Evansville and is getting along as well as can be expected. Mr. Dunn was in Enfield when the storm broke and their two sons, who were working in a nearby field crawled under the barn and were not hurt. The house was blown twenty feet from the foundation. The smokehouse was demolished and thrown a distance of twenty-five feet against the side of the house. One big barn and three sheds were destroyed and the barn in which the Dunn boys took refuge was moved four inches from its foundation. Two horses and three cows were killed. A granary with shed was blown completely away. At this place trees standing closely together were uprooted, one tree being carried in one direction and one in the opposite direction, showing the twisting force of the storm. Thirty hogs in the woods nearby were unhurt.

The home and barns of Herman Frymire, two miles south of Enfiled were completely blown away. Mr. and Mrs. Frymire and his father John Frymire went into the yard to hold to fence posts, lying flat on the ground. John Frymire was blown loose from the fence and it is supposed that he was thrown against a post by the force of the wind and received injuries from which he died Thursday night at eight o'clock. The daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Herman Frymire sustained bad bruises at the Trousdale school when the cyclone razed the school building. Two horses, one mule, three hogs and three sheep and two lambs were killed on the Frymire place.

John, Thomas and Charles Dunn, well known Enfield cattle men, together with their mother, Mrs. Anna Dunn and two sisters, Maggie and Mamie Dunn were uninjured during the storm, the room they were in in their home being the only one left intact in the entire two-story dwelling. A practically new barn on the place was wrecked and several sheep and hogs together with two hundred chickens were killed. A check blown out of this house was found at Washington, Indiana, approximately a distance of 140 miles. The check was sent to L. A. Gowdy, cashier of an Enfield bank. A Dodge automobile parked at the Dunn home was badly wrecked. A tire was found a half mile from the machine and the radiator was a quarter of a mile away.

The home of Robert Clark was completely wrecked and Mrs. Clark was killed. Her head was crushed against the stove. Her small daughter, in the house with her, was blown a distance of a quarter of a mile to the Joe Dunn home, but was not seriously hurt. Mr. Clark was in Enfield when the storm hit. A barn on the place was demolished and an auto in the barn destroyed. Two horses, three head of cattle and a lot of chickens and guineas were also killed at this place.

Joseph Meaher and William Devoy, who reside on the Meaher property one and a half miles due south of Enfield owe their lives probably to the fact that they went to the cellar just before the storm broke. This was the extreme northern part of the storm and the house was damaged. Trees were blown down on the cellar and three barns were totally wrecked and one new barn damaged on the Meaher place. There were two horses, a cow and two calves in the barn lot when the barn was destroyed but the animals were unhurt. A number of chickens were killed here. Eight beautiful big cedar trees in the yard were destroyed.

One of the many miracles unsolved is how Anderson Nelson and his wife were not killed when their home was wrecked one and three-quarter miles south of Enfield. Their home and the barn was completely destroyed but Mr. and Mrs. Nelson were unhurt. A number of shade trees were uprooted in their yard.

Henry Goetz, near the Freiberger school had a narrow escape when his home and barn were wrecked. He was in the barn and the building was lifted right over him, leaving him unhurt. Mrs. Goetz and three small children were injured in the house. Mrs. Goetz has a bad injury to her head, the scalp being torn. Carl Goetz, age eight had his leg broken; Frances, age 9 had an arm broken and suffered an injury to his hip; Ralph, 4, had his head hurt and is bruised about the body. Glenard, who was at the Freiberger school was slightly hurt. These people are all at the Charles Rhein home in Carmi being cared for.

The Elijah Johnson home near Crossville is one of the worst wrecks of the storm. He and his wife were at home during the storm and Mr. Johnson fell by the side of a concrete pillar, having a miraculous escape. He suffered a bad gash on his head. His wife got near a heavy refrigerator and was unhurt.

Two people were killed at the home of James L. Boland, 4 miles east of Enfield, his mother, Mrs. Rosa A. Smith and his sister, Mrs. Lucy Ellen Phillips. Mrs. Phillips resided at Paris, but was at the Boland home to care for her mother, who was ill. Mr. Boland and Mrs. Phillips' baby were not seriously hurt. All were taken out of the wreck of the house. The funeral of Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Phillips was held Saturday afternoon. The barn at the Boland place was also destroyed. No stock was killed, but sixty chickens were killed and blown away. The bungalow belonging to J. E. McArthy, one and a half miles south of Enfield is a complete wreck, although fortunately no one was seriously injured. All of the family were away from home during the storm with the exception of their 21 year old son, who went into the basement. He had a splinter driven into his lip. The McArthy home was built about nine years ago and had just been repainted. The house was picked off its foundation, all together and carried across the yard. When the porch hit the road bank the house started to roll down the hill and at the bottom of the hill was demolished. All outbuildings were destroyed and one cow killed. Several horses were hurt. A lot of machinery was destroyed and a new Essex-Six car completely junked. The farm was fenced, hog-tight, and no fence can now be found.

One hundred and twenty-five chickens were killed. After the wreck a one-gallon glass churn was found in the rubbish, unbroken. The John M. Fields residence, 2 miles southwest of Enfield was badly damaged. The foundation was left intact but the roof was carried away and the building wrecked. Fortunately no one was at home at the time. Mr. Fields was in Enfield, a daughter and son at high school in Enfield, Mrs. Fields and two youngest children were at the home of Alva Veatch, just outside the cyclone zone. Two of their sons, however, Edmond and John, Jr., age 11 and 14, were at Trousdale school, which was wrecked. John had his right leg broken, a compound fracture and Edmond suffered gashes in scalp and left hip. The Fields barn was wrecked and two sheep and three lambs killed.

The wreck of the Trousdale school was pathetic in the extreme and the work of the teacher, Miss Pauline McMurtry in helping her pupils is worthy of commendation. There were sixteen pupils in school at the time of the cyclone and one boy, Vernon Miller, 12 year old son of Ralph Miller, was killed. Harry Erkman was noticed by Miss McMurtry under the heater and was drug out. He was not hurt. One girl, Reba Jordan, daughter of Willie Jordan, was found by Miss McMurtry in a hole where a tree had been uprooted. She had been blown into the mud and water head first and had not the teacher noticed her plight she would doubtlessly have perished. Her face was badly scratched and bruised. Reba Hollister was badly hurt. She suffered a fractured skull and brain bruises. She is at the county infirmary for treatment. Charles Williams was blown about a hundred feet from the school building. He suffered a bursted knee cap, his eye was cut and his face bruised. Johnnie Fields had his leg broken in two places. Edmond Fields suffered a gash on hip and his head and face bruised. Lucille Lee suffered a broken collar bone. Roy Erkman has internal injuries. Gilbert Veatch has a badly cut face and head. Lee Jordan was cut about the head and leg; his injuries are not serious. Only three of the pupils, Fern Lee, Florence Malone and Harry Erkman were unhurt. Miss McMurtry, teacher, was hit on the left side of the face. Her left eye is hurt, hip bruised, legs bruised. She was blown down several times while rescuing the children. The west side of the building came down on the pupils then lifted off and went back west. The injured were taken to the home of Willie Jordan immediately after the storm.

Although buried in rubbish when the Sam Trousdale home, two miles southeast of Enfield, was wrecked Mrs. Trousdale and her sister-in-law Miss Hattie Trousdale were not badly hurt. Mr. Trousdale was in Enfield during the storm. Both ladies were in the kitchen and after being buried in the wreckage of the home another gust of wind removed the debris from them. Mrs. Trousdale was bruised, but is able to get around on crutches. The big barn and silo on the Trousdale place is listed as missing and one horse, a cow and eight hogs are also missing. A large number of chickens were killed.

Snowden Biggerstaff of Enfield, teacher at the Murdach school was so badly injured that he passed away Friday evening in the Evansville hospital where he had been taken for treatment. Both his arms and one leg were broken and it was necessary to amputate one of his legs at the hospital. He was on horseback when the storm hit him. His horse had a leg broken and when found the faithful animal was standing over his stricken master. Mr. Biggerstaff had seen the threatening cloud and had dismissed his school. Had he remained in the school building he would have been safe, as the building was not in the path of the cyclone.

John H. Wilson, age 74 was killed when his home near Enfield was blown away. His wife, Mrs. Mary Jane Wilson was wounded on the hand and wrist and sustained bad body bruises. A daughter Rachel was slightly bruised and a daughter Lucy was bruised over the eye and has a broken arm. Mrs. Wilson and her daughters were trying to hold the hall door closed when the door gave way, throwing them into the yard, as the porch of the home had been blown away. The house caught fire but the women succeeded in removing the body of Mr. Wilson. He had been killed instantly. His neck was broken, both legs broken and left shoulder broken. His funeral was held at West Union at 1:30 Friday afternoon. One mule was killed at this place and two horses and one mule were badly injured. A son, Rufus, arrived from St. Louis that night.

At the Jack Murdach home near Enfield two people were instantly killed and one died later from injuries received. Mrs. Murdach and her daughter, Mrs. Alvin Rhein were killed outright when the Murdach house caved in on them and Alvin Rhein died later from injuries he received in the home. The Rhein baby was blown clear of the house and was found later in the brush nearby and it is thought that it will recover.

George Speck, who resided west of Carmi was so badly hurt when his house was wrecked that he died Thursday morning. His mother, Mrs. Kate Speck had a broken leg, a cut over her right eye and a gash in the back of her head. She is not expected to recover. Mr. and Mrs. Speck and Mr. and Mrs. Fred Speck hurried to the cellar but George Speck went back to see about his mother and to get some valuable papers, and was in the house when the full force of the storm struck. Evelyn Speck, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Speck was badly injured. Both the Fred Speck and George Speck houses and barns were completely demolished.

The John and Tom Finney house, near Enfield was destroyed, as were the outbuildings and John, Tom and wife and four children are all seriously hurt.

Seven people were in the William Black home on the William Smith place when the house and barn were destroyed. William Richardson, a carpenter from Eldorado was killed. No one else in the house was seriously injured.

The residence of Ralph Miller was slightly damaged and his barn destroyed. No one was injured, however Mr. Miller's son was killed in the wreck of Hadden school. The W. T. Jordan home near Enfield was badly damaged and the barn torn up. No one injured.

The house and barn of Marion Bleeks was destroyed. Bleeks lost 18 head of cattle. No one injured. A neighbor, Luther Lee also lost his house and barn without serious injury to any member of his family. He lost one horse, some cattle and five head of hogs. These houses were one and a half miles southeast of Enfield. In the wreck of the Delbert Warthen home, mentioned last week, Mr. Warthen and Charles Argo were fatally injured. This house was near Enfield.

William Dietz of Enfield was instantly killed and his wife and a child was badly hurt during the storm. The Dietz house and barn were totally wrecked. Mrs. George Akers was so badly hurt when the Akers home was destroyed that she died Thursday afternoon. Mrs. Akers and her son, George, Jr., were in the house. He was unhurt. The Akers home and two barns were totally destroyed. Mr. and Mrs. Miller Poors, residing on the John T. Smith farm had a narrow escape when they were uninjured after the storm had badly damaged their home and wrecked their barn.

In Carmi Township, as we have been able to gather the damage to property was as follows:
The John Powers home was slightly damaged and the barn destroyed. No one hurt.

The garage of Frank Wagner and his barn were destroyed but the house was not injured. Roof was lifted off of the Chris Wagner home.

The Charles Leisure house and barn were destroyed. No one was injured. The family were moving out of the house when the cyclone struck.

The barn on the Max Nibbling place was destroyed.

Chris Nibbling's house and barn were damaged and Mrs. Nibbling seriously injured. The Wes Black house was badly damaged.

The barn was destroyed on the Walter Warthen place.

The roof was torn from the Jake Burkhardt home and the barn was demolished.

On the Conger place the house occupied by Mr. and Mrs. John Young was blown away and both Mr. and Mrs. Young were hurt. The house on this farm occupied by Clarence Hubele was demolished but no one was at home. The large barn on the place and a tenant house was also destroyed.

The Ed Young home on the McCallister place was destroyed by the wind and the debris burned from fire started from the stove. No one hurt.

The Emanuel Berry home was wrecked and Mrs. Berry was injured about the head. The George Wagner barn was unroofed.

Fred Speck's home and barn were totally destroyed. They were not at home. George Speck's home and barn were destroyed and Mr. Speck was killed. The Oral Warthen home was destroyed and his wife and baby killed.

The residence of Jacob Maurer, Sr., was wrecked and Mr. Maurer and his son Reuben badly hurt. An empty house on their place was also destroyed together with the barn and outbuildings.

The home of Henry Goetz was destroyed and his wife and three children were hurt. The John Green house and barn were destroyed.

Henry Freiberger's house and barn were demolished.

Jake Maurer, Jr., house was moved off the foundation and the barn was damaged. The George Randolph home was destroyed. Mr. Randolph was listed last week as missing but he has been located in Indiana where he was visiting.

Two barns were blown down on the William Burkhardt place.

The residence and barns of William Hubele, Jr., were destroyed and Mr. and Mrs. Hubele were hurt.

The Barth Church was badly damaged and moved into the middle of the road.

The roof was blown off the Peter Roland house.

The Norman Hubele home was destroyed and he was hurt.

The Emanuel Kallenbach home was wrecked.

Charles May's house and barn were demolished.

An unoccupied house on the Dr. J. T. Legler place was wrecked.

Mrs. Ben Gabel was hurt when her house and barn were wrecked.

Part of the Ed Winters home was damaged and the barn destroyed.

The John Winters home and barns were destroyed and Mrs. Winters was fatally hurt.

Mr. Winters is in a very grave condition.

Tom Brooks lost his house and barn.

One was killed at the Fenton Bingman home and Mrs. Bingman is in a serious condition.

The house and outbuildings were destroyed.

The Emil Botsch barn was destroyed.

The William Botsch house was picked up, then slammed down in the basement of the house.

The home and outbuildings of Julius Botsch's place were destroyed.

The Chris Seitz home was wrecked and the barn blown away. Mr. Seitz was dangerous injured.

The William Seitz home and outbuildings were destroyed.

The barn of Ben Kallenbach was badly damaged.

The residence of John Weiss was wrecked and the barn destroyed.

From the John Weiss home the storm jumped across the river and the damage in Crossville vicinity was as follows:
The Clarence Stokes house and barn were demolished and Mr. Stokes and his son Aquila were hurt and are at the county infirmary.

The home of Harvey Graves was blown away and Mr. Graves was hurt.

The house occupied by Tom Berry and family on the William Moser place was destroyed and Mrs. Berry was seriously injured.

Mr. and Mrs. Henry Moreland were both injured when their home blew away on the George H. Brown farm. They were able to leave the hospital Sunday.

The James Stokes house and barn were blown away and Mrs. Stokes was instantly killed. Mr. Stokes had fled to the cellar and was unhurt. Mrs. Stokes was blown fifty yards from the house and died as her husband reached her side.

Mrs. Revis Jordan was seriously injured when the home occupied by herself and husband and Mr. and Mrs. Enos Jordan on the George Jordan farm was destroyed. A stove from a neighbor's house blew through the roof and struck Mrs. Revis Jordan. A vertabrae at the neck was broken. W. W. Stokes of this city was at the Jordan home and took refuge in the cellar, as did the other occupants of the house and they were unhurt. The Hugh Stokes house and barn were demolished. Mr. Stokes and his sisters and nephew Martin were not at home when the storm struck.

The William Copelin home was entirely demolished, together with all outbuildings. Mrs. Copelin was seriously injured and the Copelin baby was blown over a hundred yards by the wind.

Stokes Chapel was totally wrecked and many of the monuments in the cemetery adjoining were blown down.

Joe Ridenour's home on the Boss Graves place was blown away and his barn demolished. At the Pink Young place the house and barn were badly damaged. A Collie dog that none of the family had ever seen before was blown through a window of the home. The dog was not badly hurt.

The Roy Stokes home and barn is a total loss. Mr. and Mrs. Stokes and the children suffered from bad body bruises.

About half the Dick Graves home and the barn was destroyed.

The Graves School taught by Scigal Martin was blown over. Mr. Martin saw the storm approaching and made the children go into the yard and lie down.

J. C. Caplinger's house and outbuildings were damaged but not beyond repair. The beautiful home of Albert Bramlett was wrecked.

A tenant house on the Albert Bramlett place was wiped away. It was unoccupied. The Phil Fieber house, barn and tenant house were destroyed.

The residence of Jimmy Garner was damaged and the barn damaged.

The tenant house on the Jimmy Garner place, occupied by Harry Maurer was blown over and caught fire. Mrs. Maurer was burned to death and one of the children was saved from the burning structure. Mr. Maurer almost lost his life trying to rescue his wife. Her body was found the day after the storm under a stove.

A roof was blown off the house on the Ed Brown place. It was unoccupied.

The new house on the Bert Kuykendall farm was damaged. No one lived in the house but several people had gathered there out of the storm.

The residence on the Henry Kuykendall place was badly damaged.

The Lawrence Kuykendall home was practically destroyed and the barn was demolished. Mr. Kuykendall was seriously hurt and his wife and Gene Kuykendall were slightly injured.

The Luke Hon residence and barn were swept away. There were eight people at this home. Mr. and Mrs. Hon and several children were hurt but not seriously.

(continued below)
   The home and barn of Cliff Pritchett were destroyed. Mrs. Pritchett was hurt. Mr. Pritchett and his farm hand 
were in a car and were blown from the machine by the force of the storm.

   The site of the Bell school is all that is left and you cannot tell that there was a building ever on the site.  
Percy Rawlinson, teacher had dismissed school but was near the building, himself, when the storm hit. He was hurt 
about the head.

   The Little Wabash Baptist Church was completely demolished and the monuments in the cemetery nearby were blown 

   The barn on the Loren Boultinghouse place was blown away.

   The home and barn of Chris Stanley were slightly damaged.

   The old Calhoun Davenport place, unoccupied, was badly wrecked.

   The John Bennett home and outbuildings were demolished and Fred Bennett was killed. Mr. Bennett, Fred Bennett 
and Lawrence Watson were in the cellar sprouting potatoes when the storm broke. Mrs. Bennett and daughter were in 
the house. A sill of the house struck Fred across the head killing him instantly. The same sill pinned Watson to 
the ground, where he was removed, slightly bruised.

   Virg Davenport's house and barn were badly damaged. A little boy was in the house alone and it so happened that 
the part of the house the boy was in was the only part of the structure undamaged.

   The new part of the Chris Hughes house was wrecked and the two rooms, built probably seventy-five years ago were 
still standing. The barn was also destroyed.

   A concrete walk that led to the front steps is all that is left of the Shelley Stanley home. Mrs. Stanley and 
little son were badly injured and are in the Evansville hospital for treatment. The outbuildings on the place were 
also blown away. 
   Tom Cotton was driving along the road in his car when the storm struck and his car was blown into a ditch and 
Mr. Cotton carried into the Stanley field. He succeeded in removing Mrs. Stanley and child from the wreckage. 
Mr. Stanley was not at home.

   One barn was blown over and the house partly unroofed on the George Davenport place.
   The John Charles home was slightly damaged.

   A barn was blown down on the George Coleman farm.

   The home and barn of John Langford were leveled.

   Harry Clark's home was practically destroyed.

   Mrs. Louis Moser was slightly injured when the storm destroyed their barn and house.

   Mrs. John Butsch and family were hurt when their home and barn was torn up by the wind.

   The barn on the Susan Sharp place was destroyed.

   The Kelly Fitzgerald home and barn was totally destroyed and Mrs. Fitzgerald was killed. Mr. Fitzgerald was 

   Several other houses in this vicinity were damaged.

County Infirmary Is A Splendid Hospital

Large Number Of Those Badly Injured Have Been Brought To Carmi Where Medical Attention And Nurses Are At Hand For Immediate Needs

Miss McGreevy, Field Nurse of the Red Cross is in charge of the nurses looking after the injured. As many of the injured as so desire have been taken to the hospital at the infirmary and Miss McGreevy reports that splendid attention is being given them and that physicians and nurses are in a position to handle others of the injured who want to be transferred. The danger of infection after the injury is much greater in the home than in the hospital and in addition the attending physicians can give the patients better and quicker service and the attention of graduate nurses is available. There is no charge whatever at the hospital and injured are urged to come there for care.

There are eleven nurses now on duty at the hospital and more can be obtained if necessary.

Only one death has occurred at the hospital since the storm and that death was expected as the patient had a fractured skull.

Following is the hospital report Wednesday morning:

Mrs. Maggie Warthen, whose husband was killed during the storm lies with both arms broken and her body covered with severe bruises. Floyd Warthen, her 2 1/2 year old son has a terribly torn cheek and his teeth knocked out. Louis Warthen, 12 years old, another son, is suffering from pneumonia as a result of the exposure.

Clarence H. Stokes, 41 year old Crossville farmer has a bad fracture of the right leg and a scalp wound and other body bruises. His 8 year old son, Aquila, is in a cot by him reading "Buffalo Bill" stories and seems cheerful. Aquila has a leg broken in two places and numerous scalp wounds.

Edmond Fields, age 12, is suffering from a bad scalp wound. The boy also has reumatism, not however, brought about by the storm.

John Fields, 14 year old brother of Edmond has a compound fracture of the right leg above the knee and body bruises.

Jacob Maurer, age 70, has a compound fracture of the left ankle and is in a serious condition.

Reuben Maurer, son of Jake has his ribs fractured and has developed pneumonia.

The family of Thomas Finney have a separate room at the hospital. The father and mother are only badly bruised, not seriously, but the children are in a serious condition. Clinton Finney, age 5 has his right arm broken and it is feared that his skull is fractured. He also has numerous cuts and bruises. Mary Finney, 9, has a bad scalp wound and a deep cut on the thigh. Helen Doris Finney, 1 year old has a scalp injury and is suffering from pneumonia from exposure.

William Hubele and his wife are both in the hospital. He has a scalp wound, body bruised and a badly skinned leg. Mrs. Hubele had the end of one of her fingers torn off and has bad body bruises. Their son, Norman Hubele, age 20 has fractured ribs and a bad scalp wound.

Mrs. Susie Bingman, whose son was killed during the cyclone has a fractured jaw bone, fractured ankle and her body was literally skinned all over, having the appearance of being sand papered. She has not been told of the death of her son.

Mr. and Mrs. Henry Moreland were given treatment and their condition warranted their discharge from the hospital Sunday.

Reba Hollister, age 12 has a fractured skull and body bruises.

Lena Young, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Young is in a serious condition after being hurt in the Newman school wreck. Her leg was pierced by a piece of wood and tetanus has set in. She also has a bad scalp wound.

Mrs. Celia Young suffered a fractured arm, has her eyes injured, hand hurt and body bruises. She is the wife of John Young.

Harvey Graves is being treated for bad body bruises.

There are a large number of injured people who are being treated at their homes.


Genealogy Trails History Group

Copyright © Genealogy Trails