cyclone of unusual intensity, following a cloud-burst
in which ten inches of water fell in less than an
hour, swept a path 300 yards wide through the east
half of the town of Paris, and in addition to giving
the town the worst scare in its history, did property
damage estimated at $10,000. The twister came during a
lull in the rain which had blown in sheets from the
northwest for nearly an hour, and darted down on the
town from the southeast. The cloud was smoky and
elongated, shaped like a huge serpent, and literally
writhed through the air. In less than two minutes it
had passed, seemingly bounding upward, and no damage
was done outside the town, little or no wind being
twister first came to the ground in a field of rye
just southeast of W. R. Baskett's residence on
Fairview Heights, where it wrecked a self-binder
belonging to Harris Henning. It then swept through the
Paris fairgrounds, where it wrecked everything in its
path, uprooting beautiful oak trees a hundred or more
years old, reducing both amphitheaters to kindling
wood, snapping big timbers as if they were straws, and
making debris of the art hall, agricultural building,
nursery and woman's building.
was at the fairgrounds that the miracle of the story
occurred. A party of young men and women, 13 in all,
had gone there for a picnic, given in honor of Miss
Myra Sharp of Fulton, visiting Miss Oma McGee, and had
sought refuge from the rain on and under the
amphitheater. Misses Rubey and Marguerite Goetz and
Oma McGee, James Branham, Robert Horn, Paul Nipps and
W. C. Scott of Rushville, Ill, were in the director's
room on the small amphitheater. When the structure
blew over it split just at this point and four of the
party fell one way and three another. Strange enough,
and beyond explanation, no of them received a scratch.
Paul Shaw, John Woods, Loyd Pool, Miss Kittie Blakey,
Miss Myra Sharp and Mary Margaret McBride were
standing in the exit under the center of the main
amphitheater and the big structure, with all of its
heavy timbers, by some chance equally as strange, blew
back of them. Immediately after the cyclone the branch
between town and the fairground was a veritable flood,
having run over both bridges on south Main street and
though the wreckage was visable it could not be
reached. Alarm was allayed only when the young people,
safe and unharmed, came over into town a few minutes
storm next unroofed the old Ashcraft house, occupied
by Lew Smizer, and blew down James J. Browning's barn.
then struck the railroad dump east of town and blew
four box cars out of the middle of a Wabash freight
train, dropping them at the bottom of the embankment,
Brakeman Bridgford stood on the long trestle at the
time and saved himself by lying down between the rails
and holding to the ties.
Ackerman, who was working on the engine, was blown
from the cab and down the embankment when the cyclone
struck the train and engineer Ross was stunned. The
engineer was preparing to take water at the time and
the top of the tank was blown over on it.
Dooley hotel was partially unroofed, as was also the
Masonic Temple and Main street filled with debris.
was torn from the roof of the courthouse and part of
the tin roof on the Odd Fellows' building stripped
off. Rain that night did much damage to interiors.
of the Major livery barn blew down and the barns of
Dave Thomas and Will Meteer were wrecked. The porch of
the Arnold house was blown down and the top taken of
the Katy water tank.
of Main street little or no damage was done save to
shade trees, the streets being almost impassable for
fallen limbs. East of Main street the town looked as
if it had been bombarded with German seize guns, all
Friday and Saturday being required to get rid of the
debris. The rain preceding the storm was the hardest
Paris had ever seen. The streets looked like rivers
and the branches became torrents, Salt River being out
of its banks, as well as Elk Fork, before the storm
was over. A steady downpour continued all night and
lights and telephones were both out of commission and
strong wind set up again at 11 o'clock that night and
did considerable damage southeast of town. The side of
Jim Waller's home was blown in and the roof damaged,
the home of Walter Bryan unroofed and the house
occupied by the Boyd women, each over 100 years old,
was badly blown down and oat fields suffered.
is estimated that 200 culverts were washed out over
the county, not even concrete structures being able to
withstand the torrents. The branch in south Paris ran
over the top of the wagon bridge on Main street and
through the Westpheling pasture for a width of 75
feet. North of town the water washed away nearly all
of the crushed rock recently placed on the Cunningham
hen and chickens (33) were placed in a box by Mrs.
Claud Bedford when the rain began and boards placed on
top of the box. After the cyclone the box and the
boards were found in W. E. Flanders' garden across the
street and the hen was discovered hovering her
chickens on the spot where the box stood.
directors met Friday afternoon and decided to hold a
meeting of stockholders Saturday afternoon to decide
upon what action should be taken to save the
fairgrounds from falling into private hands. The new
association which has never been able to hold a fair
on account of droughts, inherited a debt of $3,200 and
storm losses will run this up to nearly $6,000, the
value of the grounds. The plan is to issue new stock,
probably 100 shares at $25 a share.
most acute distress caused by the cyclone is being
suffered by Squire Crawford, who had two dozen spring
chickens just big enough to fry blown "clean
away". Chas. Forbis had 60 chickens drowned.
Wills' horse was lifted bodily from his barn lot and
set down in his chicken lot.
acres of corn belonging to R. M. Brown south of Paris
was inundated by Elk Fork.
home of Estel Combs north of Paris was unroofed and
other damage done.
at Oak Ridge, the most beautiful place in Monroe
county, the grove of big oaks and elms, many of them
over a hundred years old, was literally torn to
pieces. Many of the trees were uprooted and others
stripped of their branches, The church was not
the bottom back of the Poteet place south of Paris the
cyclone mowed a path fifty yards wide through the
timber and uprooted nearly every tree in its path.
the home of Dennis Young the family had just finished
supper and left the table, the meal having been served
on the porch. After the storm the dishes were found
piled under the table, not a dish being broken.
at the Waller place the destruction was almost
complete, only the log portion of the house escaping
damage. The barn and all outbuildings were wrecked,
fences scattered and every chicken on the place blown
Mercury office was deluged with water after the roof
of the Masonic had been blown off and suffered damaged
at $150. The wind of Sunday evening lifted the
temporary roofing and let in another deluge, adding to
Bell Telephone office was also deluged and Manager
Harley with assistants worked all night and Sunday
night as well, sweeping back water to save the main
cable and keep the system in commission.
pile of brick from a flue on the Masonic temple went
through the roof of the Dooley house and the rain that
followed did damage estimated $200.