Clark County, WI tornado, Aug 1925


High Wind Accompanied by Heavy Downpour - Power Lines Down - Damage is Heavy.

The people of Abbotsford and surrounding country realized in some degree that a cyclone might be like Saturday afternoon when a twister hit the village, blowing down sheds and numerous small buildings, breaking windows, distrupting wire service and showed a partiality of silos taking nine of them just in the vicinity of the village of Abbotsford, not mentioning the numerous structures blown over and damage on farms near Green Grove, Atwood, Owen, and adjacent villages. Orchards were stripped of fruit and many trees ruined.

The storm seems to have been the most severe over near Green Grove and Atwood, playing havoc in the villages and the farms. Two barns were demolished, twenty or more silos blown over, machine sheds destroyed and four threshing outfits badly damaged in the community.

Rev. Goetsch, Lutheran pastor at Green Grove was injured when the car in which he was riding was overturned.

Martin Sorenson of Owen had two ribs broken and a shoulder dislocated when he was blown from a load of furniture on the road near Atwood.

It is reported that at Green Grove, the windows of the Lutheran Church were broken, the glass damaging the organ, a porch was torn from one home, and many small buildings wrecked.

The storm swept a narrow path about ten miles long, twisting and wrecking everything in its path. The cheese factory of Elwin Fisher was blown from its foundation. A county road worker was tossed, team grader and all, into the ditch by the force of the wind, but he escaped with slight bruises. Many trees and telephone posts in the path of the storm were blown over.

Much of the region hit by the Saturday twister was in the path of the tornado of September 22, 1924*, which took 50 lives and swept across six counties in Northern Wisconsin. At that time more than 55 families were left homeless.

The storm clouds gathered about 3:30 in the afternoon after a day of oppressive heat. The wind arose with such suddenness and force that not a few persons were caught on the highways.

A Ford touring car, owned by Gene Thistle, and parked at the end of the street near the Hardware Store was jammed back against a Dodge touring car and practically stripped of its top. A congoleum rug on display out in the front of the Hardware Store was badly torn and ruined. At Olson's store, a strip of roofing was torn off, but through ingenuity and foresight, they were able to save goods from any damage.

The garage at the Leitzke's home on the west side oftown was a mess of wreckage. Among the farmers near here whose silos were badly damaged or blown over were George O[illegible], Harry Demand, Herb. Weiderman, Julius Meyer, Harry Bark, Fred Weideman, Sam Lewis, Henry Radatzke and Frank Weise.

Automobiles were carried thirty and forty feet by the wind. A Lutheran minister from Menomonee, driving on Highway 16, was carried to the didtch near the Demand farm on the outskirts of Abbotsford. The car was tipped on its side, the windshield broken and the occupants found it necessary to break a window in the side of the car in order to extricate themselves. They were uninjured except for a few minor cuts and bruises and after righting the car with the help of Mr. Demand, and his team, they continued on their way to Stetsonville, where the minister was to speak at the Mission Festival Sunday.

The steeple of St. Bernard's Catholic Church was completely blown off. The bell, clanged as the steeple scarped down the side of the roof, landing south of the Church very close to the parsonage. The roof was quite badly damaged and the balcony and from the entry just below were left open to the downpour of rain that accompanied the wind. The bell was damaged somewhat, but not beyond repair. No injury was done to anyone when it fell through. People had been entering and leaving the church through the entire afternoon.

At the Louis Mauritz home a great deal of damage was done. The house was twisted on its foundation, about ten window panes were blown in, rain entering the house and ruining the wall paper, rugs and much of the furniture.

At Gust. Arndt's, Eli Mittlestead's and other homes, window panes were blown in and like damage done, though not of quite such fearful character.

We might go on indefinitely listing minor and other more serious damages caused by "old man wind" in our village, but suffice it to say that Abbotsford people are feeling very thankful that it was of no more serious nature. A downpour of rain, which was badly needed accompanied the wind, the rain continuing on through the night, bringing an end to the long dry spell, which has been with us for so long a time.

The Curtiss Advance, Curtiss, WI Sept 2, 1925

* This tornado occurred on Sept 21, 1924