Cedar Rapids, IA to Albany, IL Tornado, June 1860



Cedar Valley Times, Cedar Rapids, Iowa - EXTRA of Tuesday.
At about 5 1/2, last Sunday evening, occurred the most terrible storm which this region ever experienced. The tornado consisted of two wings,
one sweeping to the northward, and the other to the southward of this city, in which the awful working of the roused elements could be distinctly seen by us as they swept on their maddening course. The noise was like a stupendous cataract, and all turned pale as they listened. The formation of the water-spout or whirlwind which was in the south wing of the storm was witnessed by a large number of our citizens, being first seen bellying and surging down from the clouds, and twisting and writhing like a huge worm till it finally reached the earth and became an hour-glass shaped column rushing wildly onward with the gale. The column looked to be about 3/4 mile high, and 4 to 5 rods through the smallest part -- an awfully sublime and magnificent spectacle. The cloud which passed over Cedar Rapids apparead to be as felt of force as those at the sides, but fortunately rose too high to do much damage; directly overhead the clouds were of a purple hue, bordered on the van by pitchy black, and the rear by gray and lurid white, constantly illuminated by flashes of lightning. The north wing of the storm was much more extensive than the other, and comprised the real tornado so far as the effects prove, and had the appearance of a mountain mass of heavy, inky colored clouds crashing along the surface of the ground. To the north-east, between Marion and Lisbon, the two wings combined and the awful force thus concentrated swooped round, passing again near our city, then rushed away to the eastward to deal death and destruction to the unsuspecting families who happened in the storm fiend's path. The course of the storm, after leaving this vicinity, was due east till it reached the Mississippi, though verging out of line in some places from five to ten miles. We give an account of the calamities as they have come to our knowledge:
To begin where the tornado first commenced about five miles north of Cedar Rapids, first we have the large dwelling of MR. PARKS, which was unroofed, and all the out-buildings destroyed. CHAFAN HOWARD and SARAH SMITH were badly injured while standing in the yard.
Then the course of the tornado was a little south of east, and the next dwelling we come to is that of MR. WOOLEY'S. This is a good sized frame house. It was turned over three times. MR. WOOLEY'S family present were himself, wife and two daughters, one of which, aged about 5 years, was instantly killed. MR. WOOLEY had every bone in his left hand broken, between the wrist and first joints of his fingers. MRS. WOOLEY and little girl had taken refuge in the cellar, but after the house had been moved the wind lifted both of them from the cellar and landed them in the brush about five rods from the house.

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