Charleston, IL Tornado, Apr 1860

A Church Destroyed

[From the Charleston (Ill.)Courier 17th]

On Monday evening last, about 7 o’clock, our town was visited by a violent storm of wind and rain, more violent and destructive in its consequences than any ever before felt here. The tornado lasted but a few moments, but in that time it caused a no small amount of damage to many buildings. From a walk around town the morning after, we were enabled to make note of the following:

The Presbyterian Church presents the greatest wreck; the tall spire was uprooted from the base, and thrown down, scattered into fragments, the base however, left lying on the roof. The building, by this means, is partially unroofed, and otherwise damaged. The loss is, perhaps, not less than a thousand dollars. MR. JAS M. MILLER’S dwelling sustained injury by the blowing off of the tin roofing, but this is slight, compared with the damage to his large three story brick. The shock that this building sustained, has caused the walls to crack at both ends. So that now it stands in imminent danger of falling, and there seems to be no safe course left but to take the building down or partially so at least. This is a great loss.

The tin roofing flew off several large storehouses like pasteboard. Among these we noticed Mr. [illegible], PARCEL BROS., THOMAS J. MARCH, C.H. MORTON and WILSON BROS. The gables to DR. FERGUSON’S dwelling, TEMPLIN, DEVAULT & BAKER’S blacksmith shop and POOR-MAN’S GROCERY, were blown in, besides considerable other minor injuries. MR. HUTCHINSON’S frame warehouse, immediately back of his storeroom, was blown down, but without much damage to the goods stored away.

The new frame building of GEORGE CLARK, in the eastern part of town, which was partially weather-boarded, is an entire wreck. This is a serious loss to MR. CLARK, who was ill prepared to bear it. Various old frame tenements were demolished, but without any great loss. It is a matter of great consolation that no person was injured in the whole town, so far as we have learned.

Chicago Tribune, Chicago, IL 21 Apr 1860