Littleton, IL Destructive Tornado In Small Town, Nov 1856



From the Chicago Democratic Press, Nov. 4.
The village of Littleton, situated about fifteen miles from the Illinois River, in Schuyler County, was visited by a most destructive tornado or whirlwind, on the 23d ult., by which nearly every house in the place was entirely destroyed, and several persons injured, some of them it is feared fatally. We obtain the following particulars from a private letter received in this city yesterday:
"Beginning at the south end of the village and on the east side of the street is JACOB SOWERS' house, which is completely demolished and the furniture destroyed, broken up and carried off with the wind. MR. SOWERS' arm broken and otherwise injured. Next the Baptist church, torn all to pieces and scattered in all directions, part of the roof was found about two and a half miles distant. The Medhodist church next, brick, was torn down to the foundation. This was a very strong, well-built house, but now a mass of ruins to the ground.
Next was WILLIAM SNYDER'S house, occupied by Z. ABBOTT and MR. EDMONSON. This was very much wrecked, windows, &c., torn out, and timbers thrown into it, but the body of the house is still standing though moved from its foundation several feet. Part of both families occupying it were slightly injured. Next was REV. MR. STEWART'S (Baptist minister) house, entirely demolished with its contents -- occupied by himself and wife -- not injured. Next was DR. DAVIS' house, office, barn and smokehouse. These were good new buildings -- all, with their contents, destroyed. Some of the Doctor's books and papers were picked up from one and a half to two miles distant.
Next was ISAAC O. SMITH'S house, occupied by PRESLY CORDELL, and a small house owned by same, and occupied by ALEXANDER SIMPSON, all with their contents destroyed -- MRS. CORDELL badly bruised and injured -- child one week old injured some, but not considered dangerous.
Next MR. NICHOLAS' tavern and barn. The house is very much wrecked -- roof all off, and moved from its foundation -- the north end of the stove in -- furniture much injured -- the barn a total wreck, and a valuable horse killed. Next on north side of the road opposite the tavern, ELIJAH WILSON'S house and blacksmith shop all leveled to the foundation. MRS. WILSON was cut on the head and bruised. Next north of the Main street, TALBOT CRAWFORD'S dwelling was entirely destroyed, with REV. MR. SHELLY'S furniture, all of which is lost or much damaged.
On the west side of the street, at the south end, WILLIAM HILL'S house and stable torn down, contents generally destroyed. MRS. KNOWLES, who was there on a visit, is badly injured, supposed fatally -- ribs broken and other wise badly cut and burned. MRS. HILL is also badly hurt, but not considered dangerous. MR. HILL was also injured some. Next, KANADA ODELL'S house and contents destroyed, family escaped uninjured. Next. DR. WINDOW'S house, occupied by MRS. DALE and five children -- lost everything she had -- even her cow was killed -- the house torn to the ground -- family not hurt. Next, WILLIAM HILL'S large wagon and blacksmith shop which is yet standing, but very much wrecked, and considerably injured within and without -- his books, notes and papers are lost.
Next, MR. T. CRAWFORD'S store and warehouse, which are about demolished. They are not so effectually carried off as most other buildings, but are moved from their foundations, and so much wrecked that they could not be repaired without taking what little there is left apart in rebuilding. MR. CRAAWFORD, who was in the second-story of the building was somewhat injured, not very bad, but MR. WM. CRAWFORD, father of MR. T. CRAWFORD, is supposed to be fatally injured.
MR. DEVITT'S house was not very much injured, the porch in front is partly torn off, and the back shed torn, several timbers drove in through the walls. The front of his store was torn about one-third off, the balance was left hanging loose, his fence nearly all thrown down and hay-stacks blown off. So far as we have learned, all the damage done by the storm was at Littleton, except some fences blown down."
The people of Rushville have contributed about $1,000, and those of Macomb $450, for the benefit of the sufferers by the dreadful calamity.

The New York Times New York 1856-11-08