McLean County, IL Tornado, Jun 1902

Storm in Central Illinois Did a Million Dollars' Damage

Bloomington, Ill., June 11.--Stretching across a pathway one hundred miles in width and devastating territory fully two hundred miles long, extending from Livingston county on the North and Macoupin county on the south and leaving its mark clear across central Illinois, a tornado last night effected property loss which will aggregate a million dollars and cost a dozen lives. The brunt of the storm fell upon McLean and adjoining counties. Lightning was incessant for two hours, but was marked by absence of thunder claps. The wind reached a velocity of 100 miles an hour and in its track was left destruction and death. The devastation was the worst ever recorded in the history of central Illinois. Almost complete idleness of telegraph and telephone lines for twelve hours made it impossible to secure the full details of the disaster.

It is known that while the fatalities in McLean county were but three in number, scores of persons were seriously injured and hundreds of narrow escapes from death are reported.

Not a village or city in McLean county escaped and from every district comes the same report of destroyed buildings, injury to growing crops, razed fruit and shade trees.

The aggregate loss in McLean county, not including three lives at Merna or thousands upon thousands of shade and fruit trees were levelled(sic), will be between $300,000 and $400,000 by rough estimate.

Claims for tornado insurance up to this evening among local agents have reached $50,000 and it is believed that this sum will be doubled.

This amount only represents the loss outside of Bloomington in the McLean county farming districts.

Des Moines Daily Leader, Des Moines, IA 12 Jun 1902