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Title: Daylight Reveals a Desolate Scene
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Daylight Reveals a Desolate Scene
Homes at and Near Hedrick Destroyed by Monday's Storm
Eleven Dead is a Revised Toll of the Tornado
Six Seriously and Many Slightly Injured During the Blow
Wind Performs Many Freak Stunts - Sad Scenes at Some Homes
The death toll as a result of the terrific storm which swept across Champaign and Vermilion counties, Illinois, and Warren county, Indiana, Monday afternoon, is 11. Forty-one persons were injured, several of them perhaps fatally, and more than a score suffered slight injuries. The revised list of the dead and injured is as follows;
The Dead:
WILLIAM GRADY, Hedrick, Ind.
GRACE GRADY, Hedrick, Ind.
MRS. PHILLIP HIGH, east of Hedrick.
MRS. JOHN MARSIE, on the Hunter farm.
FLORENCE KUNTZ, on the Hunter farm.
PAUL GRITTON, aged 6 east of Hedrick.
RUTH GRITTON, aged three months, east of Hedrick.
IVAN GRITTON, aged 4 years, east of Hedrick.
GOLDIE SMITH, 17, Hedrick.

Seriously injured:
Anthony Gritton, northeast of Hedrick.
James Downey, northeast of Hedrick.
Mrs. James Downey, northeast of Hedrick.
Mrs. Anthony Gritton, northeast of Hedrick.
Harlan Gritton, age 5, east of Hedrick.
Albert G. Anderson, Ogden.

Slightly injured:
Charles Lemma, Hedrick.
Mrs. Charles Lemma, Hedrick.
Joe High, aged 9, Hedrick.
Frank Ford, Hedrick.
George Ford, Hedrick.
Edward Steffani, Hoopeston.
Mrs. Jennie Steffani, Hoopeston.
Robert Steffani, Hoopeston.
Cecil Ridler.
Philip High, and five children.

Ivan Gritton aged 4, the third member of the Anthony Gritton family meet death, the result of the cyclone at Hedrick, late Monday afternoon, expired at Lakeview hospital at 8:10 o'clock Tuesday night. The child's death had been expected ever since the cyclone swept over the town of Hedrick. Two other children of Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Gritton, former Danville residents were almost if not instantly killed during the cyclone's cruel visit to the Gritton home near Hedrick. Another is a patient at Lakeview hospital where the parents are confined as a result of their injuries, and it's recovery is regarded as doubtful.
Coroner Cole was notified of the death of Ivan Gritton shortly after his demise and will conduct an inquest, probably Wednesday. The inquest will be the first held in this...

...damage until it reached the Albert G. Anderson home three miles north of Ogen, where the first fatality occurred, and where the first terrific force of the storm was felt. Members of the Anderson home heard the cyclone as it approached, the noise resembling that of an express train approaching at a terrific rate fo speed, and sought shelter at various places in their home. The house was whirled around like a top, breaking to pieces as it whirled and tossing timbers, plaster and furniture upon the inmates. Neighbors living on the edge of the path taken by the storm saw the damage wrought and hurried to the assistance of the Andersons. Mrs. Anderson was dead when taken out of the wreckage and the husband, Constance Anderson, a daugher, and Sheldon McDonald, employed at the Anderson farm, were found to be badly injured, and were removed to Lakeview hospital in Daville.

The cyclone swerved almost directly east a few miles north of the Anderson home, and as it swept along, now dipping to the earth, then rising hundreds of feet into the air, uprooting trees and unroofing buildings as it went, but causing no deaths or serious damage until it reached the S. R. Watson farm, east of Bismarck. Here the storm seemed to break in all its fury and demolished everything in its path as it sped toward the little village of Hedrick, where the toll of death and the property loss was the greatest.

At the Watson farm the barn and many corn cribs and small buildings were completely demolished, but the big farm home, one of the finest in that section, was only slightly damaged. A section of the roof was torn off and the chimneys were blown away. It was here that the first freak of the cyclone occurred. A big corn crib was picked up and carried away, portions of it being found in a corn field, more than 500 feet east of the paved road, while scarcely an ear of corn was disturbed.
Horses and cattle in a field in the path of the cyclone were sent rolling and tumbling for a distance of several hundred feet, but none was killed. Their bodies were plastered with mud and Tuesday when Danville people visited the Watson farm the stock was still huddled in a corner of the field, terrified from fright.

At the Charles Kentner home, about a quarter of a mile east of the Watson farm, only the battered remains of an automobile less that a week ago a new car, surrounded by the debris of a barn and other buildings remain. One of the freaks of the storm was the tearing off of the right wheel of the car, the spokes being broken and twisted as though the wheel had been wrenched off in a huge vise. About 50 feet from the wrecked car was the tire, stripped neatly from the rim. Dead chickens, and geese littered the yard at the Kentner home, and huge tres, twisted off at the ground, were strewn around the yard as though tossed there by a giant hand.
The Kentner house was wrenched from its foundation, twisted partly around and hurled across the yard until it came in contact with a big Sycamore tree, the house being crushed as though it was an eggshell.

Through a crack in the weather boarding at the Kentner house about two thirds of a lace curtain protruded, driven through the small opening by the terrific force of the wind. So tightly wedged was the curtain that persons who visited the wreckage were unable to pull the rest of the curtain through the small crack. The lineoleum on the kitchen floor was ripped off and carried hundreds of feet away, while a table which stood on it and on which were dishes, was not disturbed. Big trees were hurled hundreds of feet, their twisted and broken trunks tearing great gashes in the ground as they sped along. The members of the Kentner family who have many relatives in Danville, escaped by seeking safety in a milk cellar, which is only a few feet from where the house stood before it was wrecked by the storm. Heavy timbers were driven into the earth which covers the cellar, but none penetrated the roof.
Just west of the Kentner home is a large meadow into which were driven hundred of pieces of timber and boards, which resembles giant wheat stubbles.

At the Thornton Hagler farm, east of Bismarck, the barn was lifted around on its foundation, but remained standing and is but little damaged.
A barn on the Scott Page farm was lifted up and carried away, leaving the horses uninjured, standing on the floor. There were many similar freaks in the path of the storm.
A long, closely woven wire fence enclosing a field between the Watson and Kentner homes was plastered with paper, some of it wallpaper torn from the walls of the wrecked homes, until at a distance it resembled a board fence painted white.

As the cyclone swept along, demolishing barns, damaging houses, tearing down fences and uprooting trees, it seemed to gather force as it approached Hedrick, the prosperous little village which was all but wiped out of existence by the terrific storm. The first home in the vicinity of Hedrick struck by the storm was that of William Miller, on the Earl Goodwine farm, one and half mile southwest of the town. Mrs. Miller and five children were at home, the husband and father being away at the time. Mrs. Miller made an effort to get her children to a place of safety, but the storm struck the house and ripped it to pieces, the timbers and plaster falling upon them.

Two of the Miller children were carried a distance of nearly 200 yards and deposited in a field, little worse for their thrilling and unusual experience. The other members of the family escaped with but slight injuries.
The home of Bert Ward, manager of the Seeger and Betts elevator, was next in line. Both the elevator and the Ward home were swept away. Mrs. Ward, who was in the house at the time, emerging from the wreckage with but slight injuries about the head and face. Mrs. Ward, unmindful of her own injuries, hurried to the Miller home to render what aid she could.
At the John Acton farm the barn was razed, but 10 head of mules in the structure were unharmed, and were contentedly munching hay when persons reached the scene.
At the Harley Hurley home the house was completely destroyed, but Mrs. Hurley and children escaped without a scratch. A piano was the only article left where the house had stood and the polished surface of the musical instrument was not even scratched.
As the storm approached Hedrick many of the little town's citizens saw the swirling black clouds and heard the rumbling noise, and while some sought safety, others, apparently terror stricken, remained where they were standing. After the storm had passed only six buildings were found to be intact in the village of Hedrick, and at the little settlement known as Pleasant view corner, three miles northeast of Hedrick, not a building of any description was left standing. The death toll at Pleasant View, in proportion to its population, was greater than at any place where the storm struck and the damages was also greater.

Grover Johnson and William Grady were both on the Illinois Central railroad tracks, running toward their homes when they were picked up as though they were straws, whirled through the air and dashed, with flying debris, to the ground. They were dead when found and are believed to have been killed instantly.
The building occupied by the Johnson grocery on the ground floor and the Jordan Masonic lodge on the second floor, was twisted off the foundation, then wrenched apart and carried away. Johnson, owner of the grocery, who was killed on the railway track, was the master of the Jordan lodge.

The home of Lawrence Strickland, a former resident of Danville, and who has many relatives living here, was in the path of the storm. Mrs. May Clarey, Mrs. Strickland's mother, and a son of Mrs. Strickand were sitting near a hard coal stove when the house was wrenched apart and fell upon them. The stove prevented the heavy timbers from falling upon them, and they escaped with only slight injuries.
Postmaster Joe Clarey heard the strom coming and hid underneath a counter, which protected him from the debris which crashed down when the building was swept away.

The old family home of Scott Hedrick of Danville, built many years ago by his father, for whom the town of Hedrick was named, was completely demolished, only a pile of brick and mortar remaining where the once beautiful home had stood before the storm struck the town. The house was occupied by Glen Doney and family, who excaped injury.
South of the old Hedrick home is an automobile, standing in an open field more that 50 feet from the road. It was occupied by Edward Steffani, a farmer living near Hoopeston, his wife and two friends. All were slightly injured. The machine with its occupants was picked up by the wind and hurled with terrific force into the field, where it now lies, a mass of battered and twisted steel.
One of the many feaks of the storm occured at the Hurley home, when Mrs. Etta Hurley, who was in the yard at the time the cyclone struck her home, was stripped of her clothing. Her daughter, standing only a few feet away, retained her clothing. Neither was injured, although debris from their wrecked home fell all around them.
The 16-month-old child of Mr. and Mrs. James Downey was carried more than 100 feet and deposited in a field, where it was found after the storm, unharmed but stripped of its clothing.

Before daylight Tuesday morning, Hedrick in automiblies lined all roads leading to the village, and before noon it was estimated that more than 5,000 persons had visited the wrecked town. At one time the machines which occupied the open spaces surrounding the town presented a scene which resembled the parking space at the I. & I. fair grounds during fair time.

[The article was typed as the newspaper presented the information. Any omissions were that way in the original article.]

Date: 4/19/1922
Origin: The Danville Morning Press
Author: Unknown
Record ID: 00001877
Type: Periodical
Source Archive: Warren County Historical Society
Date Entered: 8/10/2001
Collection: Hedrick
Entered By: Margaret J. Fink

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