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Assumption, IL Tornado, May 1917

Funnel Shaped Clouds

A family of W.C. Lacy residing five miles west of here watched the storm approach. They saw two funnel shaped clouds, both with the points toward the earth sweeping eastward. The family resides in a large frame house and the wind assumed such a velocity that the structure was shaken. In this home resides Mr. Lacy's invalid mother, who because of her infirmities could not be removed to the basement for safety. The children grouped about the aged lady and momentarily expected to meet death in the tornado.

Started Near Owaneco

The cyclone seemed to start near Owaneco, although there were no lives lost there. The cyclone moved rapidly east from Owaneco wrecking several farms and outbuildings near dwelling houses. The windmill on the farm Edward O'Brien was blown over and all of the outbuilding of the farm were completely destroyed.

The outbuildings on the Walter Barrett farm east of Owaneco were destroyed. Members of the family saved their lives by going to the basement when the storm broke. The barn and out buildings of this farm were also wrecked. The Barrett family were able to see the storm cloud as it approached and the debris whirling in the funnel shaped cloud.

Path Mile Wide

From here the cyclone moved in a path about a mile wide, striking for the n=most part, only open fields. The fences in the path of the cyclone were removed like so many straws.

School Destroyed

The school house at Dunkel was flattened out. The roof of the elevator at Dunkel was damaged. The roof was torn off the house of Walter Lacy living about a half-mile east of Dunkel, although here no one was injured. It is estimated that the damage at Dunkel will total $700.

Assumption Stores Damaged

The roof of the implement shed of F.F. Kuhle was riddled by the hail stones.

The water was standing six inches deep in the garage of J. McClure, while the cars which were in the garage at the time of the storm were completely drenched.

The windows in every house in town which faced the north were broken in and the houses flooded by the rain.

Church Windows Smashed

The skylight in the Hotel Phillip, one of the best hotels in this section, was smashed in. The large stained glass windows in the Methodist church were broken out as were the north windows in the Christian, Catholic and other churches of the city.

The Daily Review, Decatur, IL 27 May 1917

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Build Homes For Tornado Victims

Assumption, May 30.- Displaying the fraternal spirit which manifests itself in all of the movements sponsored by the association 300 members of the Assumption Anti Horse Thief Association are hammering away today building one room homes for Edward Behle, William Whaley and Mrs. Horace Cochran four miles east of town all of whom lost their homes in the tornado Saturday.

All Volunteered

The men met at the home of William Whaley yesterday morning and planned to complete three one room houses by nightfall. The work was directed by Edward Rodier and Edward Cocaine, two local contractors. Most of the men took their dinners. Coffee furnished by Charles Huffer and O.E. Clark local grocers was served at noon by the women of the Christian church.

Mr. Behl and Mr. Whaley are both member of the Anti Horse Thief Association.

The large one-room houses will provide shelter until houses can be rebuilt.

Saved By Caves

That no member of the three families were injured in the tornado is fortunate. The families of Mr. Behle and Mrs. Cochran widow of Horace Cochran, who was murdered by Thomas Dowler about a year ago sought safety in a cave. Mrs. William Whaley had a miraculous escape. She was alone in the kitchen of her home. The cyclone demolished the remainder of their home but left the kitchen standing alone. Mr. Whaley and his son were in the field when the storm broke and escaped injury by lying flat on the ground.

The Daily Review, Decatur, IL 30 May 1917

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