Ward, NY Tornado, July 1838


No event in the history of the town [Ward] is of deeper interest than the tornado which swept across the country on the 26th of July, 1838. The direction of the hurricane was from northwest to southeast, its path being about half a mile in width. The storm occurred at about eleven o’clock in the forenoon. It was ushered in by heavy and repeated peals of thunder, which were soon followed by the whirlwind. Rain in torrents accompanied and followed the tornado. Buildings were destroyed and all the timber in its path leveled to the ground. The trunks of large trees, which had been half buried in the ground, were torn from their resting places and tossed in the air. The house of Eliphalet Johnson was destroyed, and a daughter, Martha S. Johnson, twenty-four years of age, killed by the falling of the stone chimney. His son, Charles Johnson, was severely injured. An infant daughter, now Mrs. Daniel Fuller, was found rolled up in a feather bed by the roadside. Another daughter, three years old, now Mrs. James T. Green, was found a short distance from the house, in a hollow which had been burned in the side of a large stump. She was uninjured although held fast by a piece of timber which had been blown against the stump. The house of Philip Schuyler was destroyed, as was that of his son. A small house built on the farm of Mr. Johnson by the Thompson brothers Edward, Calvin and William, was crushed by a large tree. They were clearing land for Mr. Johnson, but were not working at the time. Caleb Sackett’s house and barn were destroyed, as was the house of John Lillis. The buildings on what was known as the “Beach farm” were destroyed, and E. W. Babbitt had a limb broken. The house of Beriah Bliven was unroofed, and his son William slightly injured. After passing across the Vandermark valley the storm diminished in violence, and came to an end in the northern part of Andover.

History of Allegany County, N.Y, 1879, page 340