Elgin, IL Tornado, Mar 1920 - Warned from the Pulpit

Warned From Pulpit

In Elgin the attack came just at the close of church services. In the First Congregational Church, Rev. J.W. WELCH concluded his sermon with the warning:
“Be prepared for you know not when you will be called.” Heavy rains came almost with the words and hundreds remained until the showers had passed.

Then came the tornado. A loud buzzing like that of a super-dynamo was first noticed. It was drowned in the crash of falling buildings as some of the largest stores in the business district collapsed before the lashing tornado cloud.

The church steeple collapsed and portions of the roof fell in on the waiting church people. Three were killed. One woman was killed in a similar collapse of the Baptist Church.

The path of the storm through Elgin was over 200 feet wide. A theater, a four-story and a six story department store, the two churches and several residences were caught up crushed and dashed into masses of debris Seven were killed during the fury of the storm which lasted but a few minutes.

The Fort Wayne News And Sentinel, Ft Wayne, IN 29 Mar 1920