Liberty, MO Terrific Tornado Damages Towns, July 1857


A storm passed over this place on Sunday night last, which, for violence and duration, exceeded any we have ever before seen. About 10 1/2 o'clock P.M., a dark cloud arose in the north, a gentle wind blowing from the south and the cloud rising directly against the wind. By 11 o'clock the wind had changed from the south to the north, and blowing a moderate gale. An immense fall of rain ensued and lasted for about half an hour. Almost instantly the wind changed from the north to a point a little south of east. Its strength increased from a moderate gale to a terific tornado. Hail and rain descended in perfect torrents; fences, fruit and shade trees gave way before it; the lightning flashed like quivering sheets of fire, making the surrounding scenery almost as light as day. Houses were shaken on their foundations, others were seriously damaged, whilst some were blown entirely down. The gable end of the south wing of the Lunatic Assylum was blown in, one half the roof on that wing was blown off and scattered in every direction. Many of the patients were thoroughly drenched, though none were injured.
They have all been comfortably provided for and workmen are now busily engaged repairing the damage. Loss from three to five thousand dollars.
The Deaf and Dumb Assylum was also injured, though not so severely as the other. Either from lightning or the effects of the wind, a hole was made in the roof of the portico, extending through the plastering. The damage will amount to about three hundred dollars.
A new mill just erected by MESSRS. BENSON & RAWLINGS was blown dhelter skelter; the timbers being twisted and broken so as to be little or no value for any purpose.
Even the foundation was blown down on the east side. Loss about $600.
Other houses were more or less injured, some of them having been moved on their foundations two or three feet, without affecting the main body of the buildings.
The loss in these will be about two thousand dollars while the loss in ornamental, shade and fruit trees, fences, &c., will amount to over $1,000 more. Altogether, we suppose, the loss cannot be far short of $10,000.
We have not heard how far the tornado extended into the south, but it did not reach one mile north of town. -- Fulton Telegraph.

The Liberty Weekly Tribune Missouri 1857-07-31