Weather-related News Stories

Jasper County, IL


©Transcribed by Kim Torp

The quiet of our town, was, on Monday evening, last, suddenly disturbed by the visit of the most severe rain and wind storm ever known in this part of the State. Heavy, black and threatening clouds made their appearance in the West, at about 6 o'clock, and in a few minutes the storm in all its fury burst upon us. The rain fell in torrents and the wind blew a hurricane, causing great destruction of property. The roof of our Court House was lifted into the air and the fragments scattered all over the East side of town. A part of the upper wall of the room on the west side, occupied by Mr. Bartley, our County Treasurer, was thrown down, smashing the desks and filling the room nearly half full of the broken wall. Fortunately Mr. Bartley was not in the office at the time, his absence having saved him from a most horrible death. We are happy to record the fact that Messrs. Monell and Curtis, were both absent, thus sharing in the escape. There was no person about the building or court yard, consequently, no one was injured.
The Records, papers, &c, were saved in a very good condition, with the exception of a few, which were exposed to the rain, nothing being entirely lost. The contents of all the offices are being removed to Boos' Hall for the resumption of business.
The new business house, recently erected by our friend, John A. Brown, on the South side of the public square, was greatly damaged by having the south end twisted around several feet. Workmen were engaged and the building was placed back in good shape.
One of the large show windows in the front of Mr. T.J. Martin's store was bursted in. This, we believe, was all the damage sustained by Mr. Martin, with the exception of having his fence blown down.
The dwelling house of Mrs. Chrisman, was moved some five feet from its foundation, East, with no other damage than losing its chimney in the transfer.
Burt's Flouring Mill was partly unroofed, or in other words, slightly "caved in."
The smoke-stack of Kibler & Faller's Flouring Mill was slightly "dislocated" and is now balancing itself across the engine-room, looking as if it might have been on a "bender" and lost its equilibrium.
The roof of Mr. Samuel Brown's kitchen is supposed to have been transported to the Dry Tortugas, as it has not yet been found.
Several fences got in a "weaving way" and spread themselves on the ground. Not a few houses have been "ornamented" by having brickbats and morter sprinkled over their roofs.
We know but one man who considers himself favored by the storm, that individual is A.N. Walker, whose new cottage was lifted from its foundation and set some five feet to the rear, and not a splinter knocked off. Just the spot where it should have been put in the first place.
Surely, "Tis an ill wind that blows nobody good."
The loss of property in North, and West part of the County, was very heavy. The roof of Mr. James L. Crews' barn, in Grove Township, was torn off, and a fan-mill which was in the barn, carried the distance of one mile.
The dwelling house, smoke house and contents, barn, furniture, &c., belonging to Mr. Varville, living in the same Township, was literally torn to pieces. None of his family were injured, except Mrs. Varville, who received a slight wound in the face.
The large and capacious barn, recently built by Mr. Trexler, living in North Muddy Township, was also blown to the ground. The entire loss in the County may safely be estimated at $50,000.

Here's a story about the 1872 tornado in Jasper. The Charleston Courier in Coles County printed this piece on April 18, 1872 which they pulled out of the Cumberland Democrat newspaper, date unknown:

Quite a destructive tornado passed through Jasper County last week. The Cumberland Democrat says:

"From Bob Ray who has just returned from Jasper County, we learn that the tornado was terrific in Jasper County and that near Newton a house was blown down and four or five persons killed and that many others in other places have been wounded. We also learn that a large frame house on the old Webster Farm was almost destroyed. Mat. Evans' house, a heavy long one, was almost completely turned around upon its foundation and George Bloomfield's house, also a heavy log one, was badly damaged." (April 18, 1872, Charleston Courier, Transcribed by Kim Torp)

A terrible tornado visited the neighborhood of Newton, Jasper county, Illinois, on the 6th inst. unroofing barns, demolishing houses and forests, and destroying life. The house of Ezra Mehany was demolished and Mrs. Mehany was killed. The house of James Reed was also demolished. Mr. Pope, his father-in-law, and Mrs. Lytle were killed and several others were wounded.
[Juniata sentinel.(Mifflintown, Pa.), April 17, 1872, KT]

Miscellaneous Weather-Related News Stories
©Transcribed by Kim Torp

Rather Large Hail -- Newton, Illinois was visited by a hail storm on the night of the 16th, and all the windows on the northerly and westerly sides of the houses were broken. The Star - whose measurements we by no means indorse - says that some of the larger stones were eight inches in circumferance. [Nashville Union and American., April 25, 1860, (Nashville, Tenn.)]

July 23, 1874
"During the storm at their place on Monday last, lightning unfortunately struck the residence of W.L. Heath, seriously injuring Mr. H. and slightly shocking the balance of the family and Mr. W.C. Alexander and lady. It was feared at first that Mr. Heath was in danger of not recovering, but he is now up and around." Newton Press

May 11, 1876

"The recent heavy rains have caused the Embarrass to overflow its banks, and it is presumed that considerable livestock has drowned in the bottoms. At present writing the water is slowly receding. "

Newton Press, 1904

Lightning struck the barns of P.A. Lambird and Isaac Johnson, in the Boon neighborhood, Monday evening. Mr. Lambird informs us that a metal roof probably saved him serious damaged. His barn was hit twice within a few minutes, the electricity tearing away some siding, thence running along a wire fence a quarter of a mile, shattering several posts, and when it reached the end of the journey traveled back to near the starting place. A lightning rod protected Mr. Johnson's barn from injury. [contrib. by June Swick Kessinger]

Rose Hill, May 25 - James Huddlestun had two horses killed last evening by lightning. His barn, a year or more ago, was also set fire and destroyed from the same cause. Newton Press, 1904, [contrib. by June Swick Kessinger]

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© 2012, Kimberly Torp