The Cyclone, Shipman and Plainview Vicinity, 1883,
Macoupin County Ilinois, ©2001 Sue McMurry
Newspaper article from The Carlinville Democrat - typed and contributed to the Macoupin County ILGenWeb page by Sue McMurry.
Around 9 p.m. Friday night a terrific cyclone passed over the southern portion of the county, the course of the storm being in a northeasterly direction. In the vicinity of Shipman and Plainview a number of buildings were wrecked and a vast amount of damage done. The residence of JAMES ANDERSON was totally destroyed and one person is reported to have been killed. South of this city the residence of a man named TOSH was struck and totally wrecked. The residence of GEORGE BAKER was also blown to atoms and his wife and two grandchildren killed. (Note: Julia A. Baker, b. c. August 18, 1870, and Effie L. Baker, b. c. September 6, 1871, the daughters of Charles Robert Baker and America Esther Raffurty Baker.) Three other members of the family are reported to be badly injured. A short distance northeastward from this the fine two-story residence of FRANK RICE was carried from its foundations and completely wrecked. Mrs. RICE, the lady of the house, was struck on the head by a falling timber and instantly killed. Mrs. W. D. GRAHAM, of this city, who was visiting there, received a severe wound in the back of the head, but was otherwise uninjured. Mrs. EUGENE PHILLIPS, also of this city, was buried under the debris but escaped unhurt. Eleven persons were in the house at the time and it seems almost miraculous that no more were injured. A short distance from this the storm seems to have raised, and we learn of no more serious destruction until it reached the residence of WES BARNETT, in Shaw's Point, which was totally destroyed together with his stock, barn and other outbuildings. His wife is also reported as being severely injured. Adjoining this the barn of G. W. BARNETT was unroofed and several outbuildings laid waste.
I send you a few particulars of the cyclone that passed near this place about 8 o'clock the night of the 18th of May. A strong wind blew all day from the southwest with flying clouds and excessively hot air. Between 8 and 9 o'clock p.m. the heavens were lurid with lightning and a queer looking cloud appeared in the southwest and came roaring and crashing on, the lightning playing furiously above it. It just missed this place on the south. A brief account of the part of its track that your correspondent visited is as follows: Commencing at the residence of JOSEPH BULLMAN one mile southwest of town, in which were six women. It was blown to pieces severely injuring Miss CONTENT BULLMAN; the others escaped with slight injuries. Mr. B's orchard and barn are totally destroyed. Damage about $1000, from there to the farm of E. S. COMBES there were no buildings in its track. The tornado passed a little south of Mr. C's house taking his orchard, barn and all other out buildings and wrecking his house badly, taking chimneys, etc. and entirely clearing his parlor of pictures and bric-a-brac. No one hurt; damage about $1000. The next house in the course was the residence of M. M. GULICK which was completely demolished with all out buildings and the beautiful grove which surrounded it. There were eight persons in the house, all of whom escaped without serious injury, Miss SADIE G. receiving the most serious injury. Mr. G. lost several valuable horses, cows, etc., damage over $3000. The next in the line was EDWARD MAXWELL'S house which is a total wreck; there was no one at home. The storm next visited Mr. DANIEL CAROLE whose house is leveled to the ground. Your correspondent also followed the track through to Spanish Needle Prairie and it is the same story all the way, nothing but devastation in its track. After leaving CAROLE's it destroyed a vacant house belonging to J. M. FOSTER, from there to the residence of GEORGE BAKER, there were no buildings in its course. Mr. B.'s house and other buildings were destroyed, and his wife and two grandchildren were killed; two others seriously injured. The next house was Mr. WM. TOSH's, was nearly all blown down, but the family had taken refuge in a cave near and were not hurt. The next house the residence of FRANK RICE, containing eleven persons, was completely wrecked and Mrs. RICE was killed; the others escaped with slight injuries. It is impossible to describe the desolation of the track of this terrible monster. The track is about four rods wide but everything for rods on each side was sucked into the whirl.
On Friday night of last week one of the severest storms that was
ever known passed over this vicinity. It's terrific roar could be heard
for miles and it carried death and destruction in its path. The storm struck
just below Plainview. The first house it struck was Mr. GULICK's and left
it a mass of ruins, but no one was seriously hurt. The next was Mr. MAXWELL's
which was completely demolished. Mr. KNOWLE's house was unroofed and tore
up, but no one seriously hurt. Following this was an empty house owned
by Mr. FOSTER. this was left a total wreck. Mr. GEORGE BAKER'S house was
next. This it tore all to pieces, instantly killing his wife and two little
granddaughters, the latter aged 12 and 11 years. They were two lovely little
girls, highly respected and dearly beloved by all their schoolmates. The
family have the sympathy of the community in this their hour of bereavement.
The loss of property is very great.
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