Lone Tree, NE Tornado, Jul 1871
John L. Martin describes the tornado which swept through Merrick County, July 5, 1871, as follows: "On the 5th of July, 1871, about 6 o'clock in the evening, a tornado, or water-spout, or whirlwind, crossed the county, going in nearly an easterly course. It destroyed everything in its course for a width of about 200 feet. It lifted the roof from the depot at Lone Tree, destroyed a part of Bryant's Hotel, a blacksmith shop and some small houses, scattered a good part of Traver & May's lumber yard, and, about one mile east of town, leveled to the ground the house of E. Phelps, where he and his four children were eating supper. They were carried some eighty feet into the air, and thrown upon the ground about eighty yards from where the house had stood. The dead body of Mr. Phelps was found partially hanging in a cottonwood tree, while his children were lying among the debris. Strange as it may seem, they all recovered, without having suffered any severe injuries. Some portions of the house and furniture were found nearly two miles away."
History of the State of Nebraska, 1882, Andreas, A. T.; The Western Historical Company, Chicago, IL 1882.