Jennings County, IN Tornado, May 1917


Houses, Barns and Trees Over County Leveled by Wind.

NORTH VERNON, Ind., May 27. – Property loss will reach $100,000 in Jennings County as the result of a tornado that swept through this city Saturday night. The twister razed trees, barns and houses. The storm accompanied with hail as large as hen eggs, arose so suddenly that telephone and telegraph wires were snapped before news of the disaster could be sent out, and not until late today was communication available outside of the city, and then authorities were unable to confirm reports that several lives were lost in the county.

Practically every house in this city is damaged, either the roof is gone, stripped of chimneys or without windows. The greatest property loss occurred in the downtown business district. The roof on the Stemm Hospital was blown away and patients were removed to nearby residences. The Catholic, Methodist and Baptist Churches were partially unroofed, the Christian and colored churches demolished, the Walnut street livery barn, Dowd’s 10-cent store and the Ball wall paper store were virtually ruined.

The brick residence of Mr. and Mrs. Asa Mingus, an aged couple, was swept from the foundation and both persons were seriously injured. At Vernon the roof was swept from the Court House, and the Rev. W.D. Cole is reported to have received a serious flesh wound as the result of falling glass. The Simons flour mill and the Wenzel Building were damaged. In this city hardly anything is left of the Fair Grounds, the cattle sheds and forty shade trees being blown down. Electric light wires are down all over the city, and the electric plant is out of commission and will be so for several days. No deaths were reported in this city.

The Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis, IN 28 May 1917