Canton, IL Tornado, July 1975

Birth, Marriage & Death Records


Canton, Ill. (AP) -- A tornado which slashed through
a three-block downtown area of the city has killed three persons.
At least 55 others were injured Wednesday, including 15 who were hospitalized, authorities said.
The twister's winds were so forceful that a 15-foot wooden plank was driven through an auto engine block, splitting the front of the car in two.
The twister hit this central Illinois community of 15,000 during the early evening and decimated the business district, severed electrical power and gas lines, sheared off roofs and uprooted scores of trees. It also overturned numerous autos and blew out hundreds of windows.
Initial reports from the Illinois State Police placed the number of dead at four. But a spokesman said early confusion probably accounted for duplicated reports.
A spokesman at Canton's Graham Hospital identified two victims as MATIE SPRAGUE and DOROTHY McCANN, 69, both of the Horton Trailer Court on the city's East Side. Both were dead on arrival, the official said. He said a third victim was confirmed dead but did not know where the body had been taken.
Three of those hospitalized were in critical condition, the spokesman said.
The area hit by the tornado included city square and another block farther south, and also caused extensive damage elsewhere. Authorities said at least minor damage was sustained in nearby rural areas.
The hospital, police station, City Hall and radio station WBYS were forced to operate on emergency generator-powered electricity.
Mayor Robert Jennings said electrical workers on strike against the Central Illinois Public Service Co. refused to repair broken electric lines. Jennings said he had sought help from Illinois Lt. Gov. Neil Hartigan and hoped to persuade private contractors to help out.
The tornado was part of a wide storm system that moved across Illinois on Wednesday night. High winds and hail caused minor damage in northern Illinois, and power outages were common particularly in the suburban area west and northwest of Chicago, state police reported.

Evening Independent Massillon Ohio 1975-07-24


My great grandma was apart

My great grandma was apart of this tornado of 1975 and she survived! She was one of the three people that were hospialized for injuries. I LOVE YOU GRANDMA WE ALL MISS YOU NOW BUT YOU WILL ALWAYS BE A PART OF THE HISTORY OF CANTON ILLINOIS!!!!!!!!

I remember it to this day!

I remember the day like it was yesterday. Living in a house without a basement, we thought we'd be wise to go to my sister's place to ride out the storm. Unfortunately, we discovered on the way to the car that IT was already HERE! Riding the storm out in a car...not the smartest of things... everything appeared so surreal. Debris was flying everywhere and the roar was deafening. Every year on July 23rd, I think of that storm. I've yet to see anything surpasses what I saw that day.

Canton TORNADO 1975

I was there- the sky turned a pea green color, and the sound was like a train approaching.... lots of damage - I still have a photo of me standing on top of the roof of a home that was laying in the middle of an intersection