Hebron, OH Area Tornado, Jun 1912


Interurban Car Shed in Village is Demolished, Houses Unroofed and Barns Blown Down


Many Trees Over the City Were Blown Down and Number Was Uprooted---Street Car and Interurban Traffic Forced to Suspend About 1 o'clock Sunday Afternoon and Was Not Resumed Until Monday Morning.

The worst storm which has visited Licking county in years struck the city and county shortly after noon Sunday and did damage to property which will mount into thousands of dollars. As far as has been learned, there was no loss of life, but there were a number of narrow escapes from death and injury.

The storm was general throughout the county, not a section escaping some sort of damage. The greatest fury of the storm seemed to have been spent near Hebrou [sic] where is assumed proportions of a tornado.

There is every indication that the storm lifted as it passed over Newark, for there was little damage done her [sic] except to trees, hundreds of these being uprooted or damaged by the wind.
The wind was accompanied by a heavy rain and much display of lightning. A number of trees and houses were struck by lightning, but no serious injuries are reported.

In the city the storm seemed to swep (sic) a path two squares in width from the southwest to the northeast. The greatest damage was dine in the territory beginning at Locust street between Fourth and seventh streets and extending in a north easterly direction almost the length of the town.

In this path trees were blown down, many were uprooted and trees with trunks 18 to 24 inches in diameter offered no more resistance than did the smaller ones.

Soon after the storm broke the street car traffic was paralyzed. First, the North Fourth street line was put out of commission when a tree between Locust and High streets, on Fourth, blew down, carrying the trolley wires with it. The brilliant lightning made it necessary for the crews of cars to abandon them for fear of injury from the lightning.

A short time later, these cars were put out of commission entirely when trolley poles between Hebron and Newark went down before the wind carrying the high tension feed wires supplying current for the city and interurban cars in the city.

From this time, about 1 o'clock, until Monday morning, not a car was operated.

Telephone service to county points was practically suspended by the effects of the storm. Monday morning it was impossible to reach any county points except Gratiot and Granville.

The telegraph companies had but one line working between Newark and Columbus, and the telephone system of the Ohio Electric, by which its cars are operated, was put out of commission, and it was impossible for the company to learn from this source all the damage was done to its property.

Large buildings near Hebron were unroofed and demolished by the heavy wind and valuable electrical machinery in the big power house was damaged by the lightning.

North of the city, oil and gas derricks were razed by the wind.
Little damage was done in the central part of town. Around the square only a few limbs were torn off by the wind. These trees were cared for within the past few weeks by tree surgeons. No signs in the center of the city were blown down.

A great hole in the roof and shattered weatherboarding at the home of C. W. Klopp, in West Locust St., near Ninth, is the result of a stroke of lightning early Sunday morning. It was about 1 o'clock, during the worst part of the early storm, when the house was struck. The report which accompanied the flash sounded like the boom of an immense gun, followed by crackling, like the report of many rifles.

The bolt struck the iron ventilator pipe which extended above the roof from the bath room. A dozen or more pieces of slate were torn from the roof and as many pieces of the weatherboarding were shattered by the force of the bolt.

The interior of the house was more or less damaged, but fortunately none of the members of the family was injured. They were sleeping in the front part of the structure, while the force of the shock was spent in the rear.

John B. Evans, grocer, of Granville street, lost a valuable horse when the animal was struck by lightning Sunday afternoon. The horse was in the Wright field north of Granville street when a large tree was struck by a bolt of lightning. The horse was some distance away from the tree, near a wire fence. The electrical current seemed to follow the fence and the horse seemed to receive the full force of the bolt. It was instantly killed. Two boys, who gave their names as Dunlap and said they lived in North Tenth street, were in the field at the time. They were so shocked by the bolt that they fell to the ground, but soon recovered, sufficiently to run to their home, badly frightened but unhurt.

On Hudson avenue from St. Clair street south, large limbs were torn from almost every tree. Just north of the W. S. Wright property a heavy branch fell, crushing a long section of fence. A maple tree in the yard of George B. Sprague was uprooted, narrowly missing the house in its fall.

On North Fourth street, north of Locust, in front of the G. B. Stratton property, an uprooted tree, falling across the street, put the wires of the Fourth street, put the wires of the Fourth street trolley line out of commission. On this street also great branches were torn from the large trees, while the smaller growth was torn up by the roots.

Two great trees in the grounds of the Country Club were blown over, one falling across the road leading to the club house. The electric lights here were put out of commission and the gatherings of Sunday evening dinner guests were entertained by candle light. On the Granville road, at the Cherry Valley school house, wires were blown across the roads, making it necessary to station a watchman at the point for the protection of travelers.

At the corner of Pearl and Granville streets the wind lifted a pretty little maple tree, about eight inches in diameter, out of the ground, without breaking a single limb, while at the Fifth street Baptist church corner several large limbs of a big trees were twisted off near the top, the trunk of the tree not being damaged. A big tree in Frank Voight's yard in Granville street was treated the same way.

An immense catalpa in front of Edward S. Browne's residence, corner of Seventh and Granville, was torn out by the roots, taking three fourths of the sidewalk with it. A big elm in front of Miss Stotler's residence, two doors east, suffered in the same way, taking with it one of the cityâ's lamps. The fine elm trees on the other side of the street in front of Carl Norpell's home, were not damaged in the least.

The wind blew down three large forest trees at the home of Henry Cochran and carried and carried them into a neighbor's cornfield. Mr. Cochran was in his barn when the tornado struck his place, several miles east of Hebron. He could not leave for the house, as the air was full of flying missiles and there would have been grave danger of being injured by the flying debris. Mr. Cochran also lost a number of smaller trees on his place. The tornado had partly spent its force before it arrived at the Cochran farm, else much more damage might have resulted.

Two barns were blown over on the farm of N. Q. Fleming, one mile west of Hanover, killing a horse and injuring a mule.

A barn on the A. A. Stasel farm, near Hanover, was also blown over, but fortunately none of the live stock was injured. Much damage was done in the vicinity of Hanover by the wind. A number of barns and outhouses were demolished, trees were uprooted and garden truck partially ruined. Many fruit trees are also down and small apples, peaches and pears were blown from the trees.

The roof on the Dry Creek bridge, four and a half miles north of this city, on the Mt. Vernon road, was carried away by the wind and deposited in the river bottom. It is said that several automobiles had taken refuge on the bridge, but none of their occupants were injured, although they were badly frightened.

The blacksmith shop at Vanatta is said to have been split in twain and one half of it blown across the B. & O. tracks. This could not be verified, as all telephone communication has been cut off.

At Gratlot, in Hopewell township, the telephone company was the worst sufferer, a number of poles of the independent company being blown down and many instruments being put out of commission. Many trees are also down, but fortunately no houses or barns were damaged.

The havoc of the wind in the construction camp on the new pike east of this city it told by Lawrence Wilson, the nephew of L. B. Wilson of this city, who is in charge of the construction gang. The camp, accommodating about 30 men, is some three miles from Newark and is situated near a grove of 28 large trees. The wind struck camp at 2L25 Sunday afternoon and continued for 20 minutes. Some of the trees were from three to four feet across the base, but the force of the wind leveled 21 of them.

Mr. Wilson was in a small frame building which is used as his office and as the commissary, when the storm broke. A large elm tree fell upon this building, demolishing it. Seeing the tree topple, previous to its fall, Mr. Wilson escaped from the building just before the tree struck it. In this building was stored 100 pounds of dynamite, together with 100 boxes of dynamite caps. Some sticks of dynamite were crushed by the fall of the tree, but fortunately the caps were not set off. The laborers on the work are accommodated in two large bunk houses, one of which was crushed by the falling timber. In the corral at the camp were 30 mules, and though trees fell all around the enclosure, not one of the animals was injured.

Mr. Wilson was in Newark Monday morning, arranging for the repair of the damaged buildings at the camp, and stated to the Advocate that almost every farm in the vicinity had suffered damage from the storm. On the John Swisher farm the east end of a large barn was destroyed, the barn on the Owens farm was damaged, a derrick on the Miller farm was blown over, and a number of trees in the orchard of the Nichols farm were uprooted.

In the camp of the construction gang which is working on the new pike east of Newark was a pen of three small pigs. A tree, falling, tilted one end of the pen and the porkers escaped, just as two other trees toppled over, splintering the pen into kindling wood.

On the John Swisher farm, east of the city, happened one of the cyclone freaks, which shows the force of the wind while the storm was raging. The roof of the barn was torn off and one of the slates from the roof was blown through the sides of a clapboard house, falling inside the house. The slate made a clean cut through the siding of the building.

One of the large oak trees, over 13 feet in circumference, in front of Walter C. Metz' home in Buena Vista street, was shattered by the wind. Tree surgeons had recently repaired the tree, placing more than a yard of concrete in it. The upper part fell, taking the spouting off the house and destroying some beautiful shrubbery in the yard.

Dr. F. E. Corkwell was at home when the storm broke Sunday. Having been in Missouri when a cyclone appeared, the doctor lost no time in hurrying to the cellar with his family. Speaking of the Missouri cyclone, Dr. Corkwell says that he saw straws driven by the wind into trees, and talked with a Missouri residen who saw the family horse picked up by the wind and carried to an adjoining farm.

As soon as the storm was over, Public Service Director McCarthy got busy with a force of men and teams and by night had many of the fallen trees taken off the streets.

Weekly Advocate, Newark, OH 20 Jun 1912



Hebron, situated in the direct path of Sunday's cyclonic storm, suffered great damage from the fury of the wind. The barns of the Ohio Electric railway, frame buildings situated at the eastern edge of the village, were demolished, and present to view only a heap of splintered wreckage. In all parts of the village chimneys were blown down, windows broken, and trees torn up by the roots. The old Cully homestead in the village, a brick structure built in 1848, suffered severely, the roof being damaged, one side crushed in and a chimney demolished. The family was in the house at the time but all escaped without injury.

Along the interurban line between Newark and Columbus much damage was done. A passenger on one of the cars coming to this city from Columbus said that he counted 30 barns between these points that suffered severely in the storm.

Just east of Hebron between thirty and forty trolley poles went down and the high tension wires made it dangerous to be in the vicinity until the company shut off the power. Part of the roof of the Hebron elevator was blown off and struck a house nearby, shattering a large plate window, the sash being knocked into a room where several persons were sealed without injuring any of them.

Trees in different parts of the town were uprooted and in some instances carried many feet away. Outhouses and workshops were toppled over and the scene presented was quite desolate. Men were put to work cleaning up the debris and it is expected that it will be several days before this will be accomplished.

Along the trolley line west of Columbus the wind upset one of the little passenger stations and turned it over several times. Three children were in the building at the time, one being slightly hurt.

From all parts of Licking county come reports of damage to buildings. On the Franks Lock farm in Newton township, a new barn was moved three or four inches off its foundations.

In the vicinity of Wagram Sunday's storm was especially severe. Roofs were torn from many barns, and the roof of one church was taken away. Many poles were torn down along the road.

Weekly Advocate, Newark, OH 20 Jun 1912