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Camanche, IA Tornado, Jun 1860

Tornado Destruction Preparing Coffins Comanche IOWA Tornado 1860 memorial.JPG

Terrible Tornado and Loss of Life.

A most destructive tornado passed over portions of Illinois and Iowa, on Sunday evening last, about the same hour that the storm of rain and hail visited this portion of the country. This storm moved in an easterly direction, and the first we have yet heard of its effects was near the Mississippi river at the town of Camanche, Iowa, which is situated on the Iowa and Nebraska railroad, about five miles from Clinton, and at Albany, Ill., which is about three miles from Camanche, and about eight miles from Fulton, Ill. It caused more destruction of life at these points, than any of the tornadoes of this season, which is already so noted for them.

The telegraph account of this tornado says that it came upon these towns as a whirlwind, at 7:30 P. M., and lasted but two and a half minutes. The destruction of property is unparalleled. Not three houses are left standing uninjured in Albany, and at least fifty persons are wounded, some seriously. The escapes, of course, are miraculous.

In Camanche, on the other side of the river, thirty-two dead bodies have been found in the ruins, and more that cannot be got at. The citizens of both places are left without shelter, while their household furniture is destroyed. Citizens of Fulton, Lyons and Clinton repaired to the spot early Sunday morning, and were doing all in their power to relieve the sufferers.

The whirlwind continued through the country passing the towns of Lyndon and Mount Pleasant, which are situated about five miles south of Morrison, Whiteside county, Ill. In these towns the killed were, MRS. RICHMOND, MR. AND MRS. DORR, GEO. ROWORTH, one boy drowned and one child of MR. BARNUM. The wounded as far as heard from are THOS. DIGBY, BENJ. SETH (LETH?) and wife, MR. RICHMOND and HIRAM MANN, seriously, JABEZ SETH (LOTH?) and family, and MR. DAVIS' sister, slightly.

Loses as far as known as present: MR. RICHMOND'S house entirely destroyed, and considerable stock killed; GEO. DIGBY, JR., house and barn entirely destroyed; JOHN HOWARD, house much damaged; BENJ. LETH, house destroyed; GILES GREEN, house destroyed; THOS. SMITH, house destroyed and stock killed; JOHN McDONALD, house destroyed; JABEZ LOTH, house destroyed.

Duration of the tornado at this point not over ten minutes. It was accompanied by thunder, lightning and hail, and swept everything in its course. No account of it after it crossed Rock river below Sterling, Ill.

The Chicago Journal notices the effect of a tornado, which may be a continuation of the above, upon the country along the Chicago and Milwaukee railroad, near Waukegan, which passed over a belt of country, from east to west, about seven miles wide, -- a region between those pleasant suburban villages, Highland Park and Winnetka, the latter sixteen miles, and the former twenty miles from Chicago. Prostrate trees lay beside and across the track, and the beautiful groves, so far as the eye could see, were stripped of their leafy crown - fairly twisted off, many of them, mid-way of the trunks. One dwelling house near Glencoe was entirely demolished. The beautiful park of forest trees on the premises of LUCIEN GURNEY, Esq., of Glencoe, is entirely ruined.


article | by Dr. Radut