Cleveland, OH Violent Thunderstorm, May 1887


Cleveland, Ohio, May 1. -- A violent east-bound thunderstorm passed over this city this afternoon, striking several houses, but doing no great damage to any, the heaviest loss being the destruction of about a thousand dollars' worth of property in GLIDDEN & JOY'S varnish works. JOHN WILLIAMS was sitting at a kitchen window on Barber avenue, when a ball of fire dropped into the porch beside him, and rolled into the yard. He was thrown against a stove and upon the floor with great force, but he was not killed, a probably will recover. He thought he had been shot in the back of the neck. His muscles were contracted, and the whole body partially paralyzed for a time.
At Lima a Standard Oil Company's tank was set on fire, and, on account of its being in the midst of about a million dollars' worth of petroleum and other combustible property, caused great excitement. At a late hour tonight people were firing cannon balls into the tank to let the oil run out, and making dams of earth to confine the conflagration.
The schooner Louie O'Neil, of Cleveland, foundered in the storm to-day off Port Stanley, across the lake from here. The crew consisted of seven men, but it is hoped that they were able to save themselves in small boats.

The New York Times New York 1887-05-02