Oakville, IN Tornado, Apr 1884


MUNCIE, Ind., April 2. – A cyclone struck this county at about 5 o’clock yesterday afternoon, completely wiping Oakville, seven miles south of here, on the Fort Wayne, Cincinnati and Louisville railroad, entirely out of existence, and doing great damage to life and property. At about five o’clock a heavy black cloud came driving from the west and another from the north. The clouds met at the house of Lewis Cochran, two miles west of Oakville, lifted it from its foundation and tearing it into kindlingwood, distributing it over a distance of two and a half miles. A minute later it struck Oakville. Of the houses in town all but three were torn down. Four persons were killed outright in Oakville, and a fifth died this morning. James Sanders, two miles west of Oakville, was also killed, making six killed in all, and fifty reported wounded. A large warehouse and small house adjoining, are in ruins, and the scene is a chaos of rubbish, of whose ownership it is impossible to tell. Anna Dearborn, an old lady, two sons of Colonel Johnson and James Sanders are among the killed. The track of the cyclone was about a quarter of a mile wide and everything in its track was destroyed.

The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, GA 3 Apr 1884


CHICAGO, April 2. – A dispatch to the Daily News from Muncie, Ind., gives the following detail of the Oakville cyclone: In the path of the storm, four and five miles east and west of the village, the damage is equally great. Every farm that the cyclone passed over was made a perfect wreck, barns, houses, orchard and forest being blown down and fence leveled to the ground. Everything presents a scene of desolation. On the farm of James Sanders, four miles east of Middletown, the dwelling and barn were completely destroyed. Mr. Sanders, who was a merchant at Middletown, but who was out on the place at the time and had taken refuge in a barn, was killed. At the town of Murray a family if eight had their house blown to splinters, and the father, Wm. Lines, was killed outright, the others escaped, uninjured. W.T. Frank, a planter, while out on his farm four miles east of Oakville, was killed by the storm. The people of Oakville are without homes, food, clothing or bedding. They were found standing in a cold, blinding snow storm or shivering in few fireless houses that remained. A portion more fortunate than others, have opened their homes to the suffering, and are making arrangements to feed the hungry until they may be able to help themselves.

The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, CA 3 Apr 1884