Garden Plain, IL Tornado, Jun 1860

The tornado of June 3, 1860 which did such terrible execution at Albany, and in some other parts of the county, also passed through a portion of Garden Plain...

After leaving Albany the tornado passed through the county in a course a little south of east, destroying trees and fences in its way, until it reached the house of Mrs. Senior, on the Baird estate, in Garden Plain, the upper story of which it severed completely from the rest of the building, and scattered it in a thousand fragments. The next house struck was that of R. C. Adams, also in Garden Plain, which was lifted bodily from its foundation, and moved a distance of some four or five feet, racking it considerably. From there it passed along without doing material damage to the line of Mt Pleasant and Lyndon townships where it played the serious prank of hoisting the large two story frame residence of Thomas Smith from its moorings, turning it one-quarter around, unroofing it, carrying it a rod from its foundation, and leaving it almost a wreck. There were seven persons in the house, but strange to say all escaped unhurt. The house of Draper Richmond further on met with a more serious fate. This was a frame building of medium size, and could not have been more badly scattered had a barrel of gunpowder been exploded within its walls. After the storm had passed Mrs. Richmond was found about twenty rods from the house so badly injured that she died in an hour afterwards. Mr. Richmond was also seriously hurt but recovered. George Digby’s dwelling a little north of east of Richmond’s was carried at first south a short distance, then taken north-east about fifty rods through a wheat field, when it was lifted high in the air and whirled into fragments. An apple tree ten inches in diameter was torn from its roots, stripped of its branches, and the body of the tree split into two nearly equal parts. The residence of Mr. Digby’s father was partially destroyed. Further east the storm struck the house of Mr. Dow, removing it west several rods, then raising it into the air shattered it to pieces, while the barn which stood near by, was taken about the same distance east, and disposed of in a similar manner. Neither of time families of these gentlemen suffered much injury, the wind storm being content to demolish their habitations.

From here the tornado proceeded to the township of Montmorency, leaving only a few traces of its passage on time way. The residence of Alonzo Golder was the first one assailed in that township, and although riot destroyed, considerable of it was badly punished. A great deal of the furniture was destroyed, and in the kitchen and dining-room nearly all of it. In the dining-room was a large, old fashioned mirror, which amid the wreck of the other furniture was found unbroken, although carried completely across the room. Some of Mr. Golder’s family were injured, but not seriously. A little school house near Mr. Golder’s was literally blown into fragments. On its track eastward from here it turned Joel Wood’s house entirely around, besides unroofing and otherwise damaging it. It was left in such a condition that it had to be rebuilt. A. J. Goodrich’s dwelling was blown entirely to pieces, as were also Mr. Pike’s and Capt. Doty’s. Levi Macomber’s house was badly racked. At Mr. Pike’s a young girl had her leg broken. Capt. Doty’s son had his collar bone broken, and some of the rest of the family were slightly injured. Without doing further damage the tornado passed out of the county, and pursued its eastward way.

History of Whiteside County, Illinois - from its first settlement to the present time, with numerous biographical and family sketches, 1887, pages 94-95 & 212. Use this Free trial to search for your ancestors.