Shipman, IL Hailstorm and Tornado Visit Town, June 1869


From the Springfield (Ill.) Journal, June 1.
On Friday evening the town of Shipman was visited by a terrible tornado. It came from the northwest, tearing dwellings, storehouses, warehouses, the depot, fences, barns, the new Baptist Church, hay-sheds, smokehouses, trees, scattering and breaking lumber, blowing the smokestacks off the flouring mills, and otherwise damaging them. Every light in the windows on the west and north sides of the houses was completely riddled by the hail-stones, some of which were as large as hen's eggs. Some ten or fifteen houses were blown down, among them the new Baptist Church, a substantial brick edifice nearly completed, was leveled with the ground. The roof of the depot was blown off. The gable end of the splendid residence of MR. BEE was blown out. The windmill and water tank were demolished, and a large amount of other damage sustained. There is not a house in the place but was more or less wrecked and strained. All the exposed window-glass in the town was broken by the hail. The damage to trees and shrubbery was likewise very great. During the prevalence of the tornado the greatest consternation prevailed among the inhabitants; but, we are happy to say, no lives were lost, although some six or eight persons are reported as severely injured. W. GRAHAM, son of N. H. GRAHAM, had his leg broken and head badly fractured.

The town is a complete wreck, and many families are enterely[sic] destitute, having all their household goods destroyed or swept away. The loss of property in and around Shipman is estimated at $100,000. The tornado passed through Piasa, Fidelity, Medora, Rockbridge and Greenfield. These towns are north and northwest of Shipman.

The New York Times New York 1869-06-06