CYCLONE (TORNADO)

May 20, 1916

 

 

 

Plainville Times, May 25, 1916, Plainville, Rooks County, Kansas

 

CYCLONE SAT. EVENING

Passes Near Codell Doing Immense Damage

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††††††††††† A small but wicked cyclone visited southeastern Rooks county Saturday evening about 7 oíclock.It started about three miles south of Codell and traveled northeast for about fifteen miles.At the John Hoskins place about nine miles due east of Plainville where it done the most damage it appeared to be nearly a quarter of a mile wide.

††††††††††† It first appeared at the Henry Overholser place where Arthur Hoskins lives and tore his stable all up.

††††††††††† At Werner Overholserís, a son of W. F. everything is reported torn up, including three wagons.

††††††††††† At Willis Johnsonís it took a few shingles off the house, got Mr. Johnson down and tore down a stone cow barn 50 or 60 feet long.

††††††††††† Crossing Paradise Creek at Wilber Overholserís it moved his barn from the foundation, tore up a surrey and badly damaged his apple and cherry trees.

††††††††††† It passed about ten rods east of George Otisí.

††††††††††† J. L. Hoskinís house seemed to be right in the center of the stormís path but fortunately it was spared, though large patches of shingles were torn from the roof and the porch destroyed.Mr. And Mrs. Hoskins saw the cyclone was going to hit the house and started to run thinking they could get outside of its path but did not get thirty feet from the house, as Mrs. Hoskins was so excited she fell and they hastily got behind a small shed nearby for shelter.Something may have struck her, but they were not sure as everything happened so quickly.The windmill crashed down only a few feet behind them.The cement roof of the smoke house adjoining the house was lifted off and about 400 pounds of meat attached to the ridge pole was scattered about the yard.A bucket of eggs underneath was unmolested.A tin lid left on a jar in the tinroofed building.Mr. and Mrs.Hoskins were both injured some, but not seriously.Mr. Hoskins says he could but take $2500. And replace the damage done.He especially feels the loss of his orchard, which it has taken him years to secure.It was one of the finest in the county.Great plum and apple trees up to eighteen inches in thickness were torn up by the roots.One was landed in a pasture a quarter of a mile away.His garage entirely disappeared and his auto is sticking upon the side of a large tree with only the engine, front axle and radiator left of use.A deep furrow five or six feet long as if plowed with a lister marks where the auto first lit.A stone weighing about 200 pounds, buried underneath the ground to which a wire brace on the garage was attached was lifted out and carried several hundred feet.He had about twenty-five tons of alfalfa in his barn and attributes this to saving it although it was partly unroofed and twisted out of shape.Practically all of his sheds, granaries and various farm buildings were wrecked.Tuesday about twenty-five members of the Codell I. O. O. F. Lodge, to which Mr. Hoskins belongs and a number of others went out and worked all day putting things to rights.They got the house fixed up, the barn straightened and most of the buildings repaired and the most necessary work done.It will take him some time yet to get straightened out.

††††††††††† At Frank Jonesí nearly as much damage was done.The main path of the storm seemed to be a little east of the house.A large shed about 40 feet square was destroyed.The large barn with stone basement was completely wrecked.Two windmills, two wagons, a surrey and buggy were destroyed, leaving Mr. Jones without a rig of any kind.He estimates his damage at $500 or $600 and Mr. Demetz about $1500.As a result of some kind of a presentiment he did not understand, Mr. Jones rushed his chores that evening, attending to his horses first and turned them out of the barn into the pasture without feeding, as was his usual custom.He had barely got to the house when his wife remarked ďThere is a cyclone coming.ĒShe saw it on the hill south of Mr. Hoskinís.The ground was wet.It looked like a large whirlwind.There was no debris or dust flying. Chas. Carmichael a quarter of a mile away saw it and thought it simply a whirlwind and did not even tell his wife about it.Mr. Jones and wife each took part of the children to the cave and ran back to the house after his mother and had just got in when the storm passed over.A minute or so later when the noise had ceased he looked out and saw the big whirlwind passing over the hill northeast of the house.He did not see any debris flying, probably because it was too high up.He did not imagine any damage was done until his wife called his attention to the barn and shed being destroyed.

††††††††††† Some damage was done at A. J. Yowells on the Andreson place.

††††††††††† At Art Besseys a windmill was destroyed and the walls of his house were spread out in a manner hard to fix.Header boxes, outbuildings, etc. were damaged.

††††††††††† The last damage heard of as being done was at Tom Barnettís one and one half miles east of Laton.

††††††††††† At the time of the storm Guy Hockett, Blaine Hoskins and a boy were passing the Hoskins place.The boy got out of the buggy and started to get behind a big cottonwood tree standing beside the road.They would not let him and pulled him back in the buggy and just reached the top of the hill as the storm passed a few rods behind.It was the last rig that has passed over the road.The big cottonwood, about two and one half feet or more in diameter fell across the road entirely blocking the way.If the boy had gotten behind it he would have been killed.

††††††††††† Further details of storm are given by our Codell correspondent.

 

††††††††††† The first damage done was at Arthur Hoskins, where the stables were badly damaged, and also his brotherís automobile.Next came Werner Overholserís where the house was torn to pieces except one room.Mr. Overholser and family got into the cave and were thereby protected.The washing machine and debris were dumped into the cave.All their clothing, bedding and every household effect in the part of the house struck was swept away.Three wagons, hay racks and all machinery were destroyed, together with the windmill, chickens, chickenhouse, barn, cattle shed, etc.It is said that after the cyclone passed over a board was found with a nail in it and chickens heart sticking on the nail.A calf tied to a tree was taken about half a mile and dropped unhurt in a wheat field.The next in the path was W. H. Johnsonís three quarters of a mile east of town.Mr. Johnson was cooping some little chicks and did not see it until a rod or two away.He fell to the ground.The force of the storm pinned his there tightly.His barn, stablings, corral, woodshed and windmill were all about totally demolished and a calf killed.A quarter of a mile north it struck W. J. Overholserís barn moving it seven inches off the foundation and twisting it considerably and took his windmill.It took his surrey up some distance and when it hit the ground it was only a pile of wreck.The heaviest force of the storm was east of the barn where it twisted large trees up and one of them came down top foremost and were driven into the ground.

††††††††††† The next place it struck north of Frank Jonesí was A. J. Yowells where his binder, three wagons, and other things too numerous to mention was totally wrecked and dumped into a pond of 3 or 4 feet of water.†† Rev. Robert Parker pastor of the M. E. Church at Codell had been out to E. N. Sidwells on horse back and was returning when he saw the cyclone.†† He had no time to dodge it so jumped from his horse and lay that to the ground.It seems almost a miracle that no one was killed.

††††††††††† A heavy rain had just proceeded the cyclone and the air was simply full of mud.