History Record View

Title: Where Once Stood Hedrick Now Only a Desolate Ruin
File Attachment:
Attachment Type: image

The above cut is taken from a picture of the devastated town of Hedrick, Ind., looking eastward across the main street. To the right are the Illinois Central railroad tracks running past the ruins of the elevator. Further east on the other side of the railroad was the depot which was torn to pieces. In the right center is a short street running west on which stood some of the best residence buildings, stores, etc. In the left background, in the picture from which the cut was made, may be seen three residences on the northwest side of the town, which escaped destruction.

The death toll as a result of the cyclone which swept through Champaign and Vermilion counties, Illinois and Warren county, Indiana, last Monday afternoon, may be increased to 13 within the next few hours, as two of the score or more persons who were severely injured were reported late Wednesday night to be in critical condition. Russell Hanson, the Hedrick merchant who suffered crushing injuries about the chrest, including a number of broken ribs, developed pneumonia yesterday and last night it was reported there was little hope of his recovery. It is believed one of the broken ribs punctured a lung.

Harlan Gritton, a member of the family of seven, all of whom were killed or injured, was reported last night to be in a very critical condition at Lakeview hospital. The boy, who is five years old, was crushed about the body. His parents and sister, Helen, two years old, who are also patients at the local hospital, were considerably improved last night, the father, Anthony Gritton, being so much improved that he was permitted to leave his bed for a time. Two of the Gritton children were killed outright, and one, Ivan, three years old, died at Lakeview Tuesday evening.

Relatives Arrive
Mrs. Otto Lange and three little daughters, of Scribner, Neb., the former a sister of Anthony Gritton, and Everett Lange, a brother-in-law, arrived in Danville Wednesday at attend the funeral of the three Gritton children, Ian, Paul and Ruth, which will be held at 8:30 o'clock this morning from the Arnet Byers home, three miles east of Hedrick. Other relatvies who have arried to attend the funeral are Arthur Gritton and family, of Buffalo, N.Y.

Church is Aiding.
Rev. F. L. Enslow, pastor of the First Baptist church and H. H. Bolles and F. M. Jenkins, members of the offical board, spent the entire day Wednesday at Hedrick, aiding members of the chruch who live there, and who were left destitute as a result of the terrible storm. The Hedrick members of the Danville church, and their families, number 18, and all have been provided with a place of shelter, food and clothing by their fellow church members. In addition to delivering these goods, and aiding the members of their flock in securing living quarters until their homes can be rebuilt, the Danville pastor and the two members of the offical board worked several hours yesterday, recovering household furniture from the debris and salvaging the best of the lumber, which will be used in rebuilding the homes of the unfortunates.

Miss Pearl Zerse has been placed in charge of the First Baptist church's relief work. and spent the greater part of yesterday on the scence. The women members of the church spent Tuesday and a part of Wednesday sewing for the Hedrick victims of the storm and a large number of artices of wearing apparel were delivered to them yesterday by Miss Zerse.

Red Cross There.
Representative for the Indiana branch of the Red Cross society were on the scene Wednesday aiding in the relief work and caring for the homeless and destitue. These representatives are working in cooperation with the various church societies and other relief organizations, and by nightfall Wednesday all the victims of the sotrm had been cared for.

Militia On Ground.
The members of the Hedrick unit of the Warren County Horse Thief Detective association, worn out as a result of having been on duty nearly 50 hours withour a rest, were relieved Wednesday morning from guard duty by 25 members, including the captain, a lieutenant and a sergeant, of the Attica company of the Indiana National Guard. The militia was sent after Sheriff O. L. Stewart had appealed to Governor Warren T. McCray.

Immediately after the militia reached the scence the soldiers were placed on patrol duty, guards were stationed around the wrecked buildings and sightseers were not permitted to rummage among the debris, as they did Tuesday. The soldiers are camped in the heart of the devastated district and are assisting in clearing away the wreckage.

Repairing Buildings.
The work of repairing some of the homes that were not badly damaged has already started. A large force of carpenters and bricklayers reached the scene Wednesday morning and the work of repairing roofs and relaying chimneys was soon under way.

Movie Man There.
A representative of the Pathe movie concern reached Hedrick early Wednesday morning and during the day "shot" thousands of feet of film, showing the wrecked homes and stores, the thousands of persons who visited the scene during the day, and the work of salvaging what was not destoryed by the cyclone.

Freaks of Storm.
Cecil Haupt, who resides on the Ulrich Hunter farm, was a victim of one of the many strange feaks of the storm. Haupt was in his automobile, driving past the Clark Dick farm, when the storm struck him. His car was lifted into the air, hurled around and around, and he was then lifted from the seat, carried more that 100 feet and deposited on the roof of a barn. He suffered a broken shoudler blade and other injuries.

Another freak of the storm occurred at the home of Elmer Harden. Every article of household furniture was sucked through the doors and windows, while the house was but little damaged.

Carried Many Miles.
Debris from Hedrick has been found in Brookston, Ind., 40 miles distant, while it has been reported that bits of wallpaper, torn from the walls of Hedrick homes, have been found at Valparaiso. Timers, a mixng bowl, a carving knife and other articles indentified as the property of Hedrick residents have been found in the extreme northern part of Warren county, more than a dozen miles from the point where they were picked by the cyclone.

Survivors of the storm spent the greater part of Wednesday searching among the ruins for family articles of value, jewelry and other of clothing, furniture, etc. have been salvaged, some of them but little damaged, although buried under a mass of lumber, brick and plaster.

Carried Heavy Bell.
About four and one half miles northest of Hedrick, the "Soul Sleepers" church was wrecked. It was a frame building. One wall was thrown outward upon the ground, but the entire balance of the structure was carried away, including a big bell, weighing several hundred pounds. No trace of this bell has been found.

Across the road stood the Christian Church which was totally destroyed, and its timbers scattered over the country.

Hens Still Setting.
Among the freaks of the wind, was observed two setting hens, still faithfully hovering over their eggs. The wind had plucked their bodies bare of feathers. Chickens, turkeys and geese were hurled into the hedge fences and threshed to death, but at seveal places ducks were to be seen waddling about. Their owners declare ducks appear to have escaped when other fowls were destroyed, possibly because they were closer to the ground or were at the time in the ditches, or small ponds in depressions where they escaped the full force of the blast.

Found Strange Cow.
One farmer, the morning after the tornado, found a strange cow in his barn lot, and another was presented with a fine hog in the same manner. Both animals are apparently uninjured, although having probably been carried some distance.

Bordering the part of the storm can be found articles of houshold furniture, clothing, kitchen utensils, bits of clothes, pieces fo building material, farming implements, dead horses, cows, hogs, dogs, etc. At one point were observed books, tablets, examination paper, pens, maps, etc. from the school house wrecked by the storm.

Written on Photo:
Left side - General View
Hedrick, Ind.
April 17, 1922
Campbells Photo

Right side - Elavator

Date: 4/20/1922
Origin: The Danville Morning Press
Record ID: 00001813
Type: Periodical
Source Archive: Warren County Historical Society
Date Entered: 8/10/2001
Collection: Hedrick
Entered By: Margaret J. Fink

Information in this record is provided for personal research purposes only and may not be reproduced for publication. If you have questions about copyright issues contact the archive source listed above.