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Title: Second Twister Visits County Same Day - 11 Dead
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Taken from April 20, 1922 Review Republican

Town of Hedrick Wiped Off of the Map
Monday and Several Fine Country Residences Completely Destroyed, Leaving Dead and Injured in the Path of the Storm.

The complete destruction of the town of Hedrick in the southern part of Jordan township, in Warren county, a list of twelve dead and many injured, the demolishing of hundreds and thousands of dollars worth of property is evidence of the awfulness of the tornado which swept over the county about ten miles northwest of Williamsport Monday evening about 4:30 o'clock. The list of dead and wounded in the county is as follows:
List of Dead:
Grover Johnson, Hedrick, Ind.
William Grady, Hedrick, Ind.
Mrs. Philip High, east of Hedrick.
Mrs. John Marsee, on the Hunter farm.
Florence Kuntz, 14, on the Hunter farm.
Paul Gritton, 6, east of Hedrick
Ruth Gritton, 3 months, east of Hedrick
Goldie Smith, 17, Hedrick
Harlan Gritton,
Ivan Gritton, dead at hospital
Grace Grady.
John Hasty.

List of Injured:
Mr. William High
Mr. Thomas Marsee and his two children were slightly injured.
Mr. George Ford and Sister
Mrs. Dean, housekeeper for Mr. Ford.
Mrs. Reid, seriously injured.
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Downey, seriously hurt. The ten months old baby blown from the house into the garden was deposited into soft mud and uninjured.
Nellie Kuntz
Mrs. William Miller and five children.
Mrs. Ward
Lawrence Strickland.
Mrs. May Clarey,
Joe Clarey.
Anthony Gritton,
Mrs. Bessie Gritton.
James Downey,
Mrs. James Downey.
Shelby McDonald
Leslie Smith

Signs of the Storm

After the terrible storm had spent itself early Monday in the morning in its work of death and destruction no one could bring himself to believe that the mass of black clouds which formed in the west in the afternoon of the same day would develop into a tornado many times worse than the first one. But the sight of devastation which followed in its wake is ample evidence that such was the case. The fore-warning of the storm was the funnel shaped cloud that hung over that section of the country, plainly visible for many miles and attracted the attention of a great many people who were warned in time to take a look at the grand, but fearful spectacle of a long baloon shaped cloud with its tail extended earthward working like a propeller, the whole motley mass dipping earthward at intervals, then seemingly satisfied for a spell with the devastation it had wrought, it would rise majectically in the air, only to swoop down upon the earth again, gradually working to the northeast until it finally disappeared from the vision.

It was a grand and wonderful sight, one never to be forgotten by those who were privelaged to see it, one of the rare atmospheric conditions not so often seen in the Middle West.

The Panic

The first news which reached Williamsport of the fury of the storm was a telegram sent from Sloan to Sheriff O.L. Stewart to rush medical and ambulance to Hedrick immediately. The Sheriff with a corp of assistants was on the scene in about a half hour. All night Monday night the workers remained at the task of caring for the wounded, gathering up the dead, rescueing farm animals and saving such property as was possible.

The Crowds

With the spread of the news the gathering of the crowd on Tuesday complicated the problem rather than relieved it. It has been estimated by conservative witnesses that there ten thousand people who visited the section of country on Tuesday which had been devastated by Monday's tornado. There were miles and miles of automobiles despite the fact that at many points the roads were almost impassible, due to the downpoor of rain during the storm. The exigency of the situation demanded the calling of the militia from Attica. In co-operation with the horse thief detective association of Hedrick, the crowd was handled and much immediate relief and assistance was rendered.

Despite all this, however some cases of vandalism came to light and some escaped unnoticed. Early Wednesday morning a party in a large handsome automobile was caught by Sheriff Stewart with some large brass chandeliers and other valuable fixtures from the church whcih had been demolished by the storm. At the order of the sheriff they left their loot and departed from the scene. The attempt to carry off silver ware and other articles of souvenirs by visitors was frequently intercepted by those standing on guard. Sheriff Stewart was ably assisted Earl Pugh, Clyde Bowlus, Cliff Stump, Newt Pollen, Wm. Ruark, and others. The local detective association soon perfected their organization and did valiant service. But as the situation became more critical Sheriff Stewart got into communication with Governor McCray and it was decided to send a part of the state militia to Warren county Wednesday morning to take charge of the situation.

The post office was re-established Wednesday morning in a box car on the side track. Telephone communication was established at Sloan, about a mile from Hedrick, Tuesday night and on Wednesday morning a telephone was re-established in Hedrick. Sheriff Stewart issued provisions Wednesday morning from Red Cross headquarters from a truck load of provisions which had been sent over from Rossville, Illinois. The Red Cross organization under the direction of Mrs. Eva Moore, who is in charge of this work in Warren county, has headquarters at Hedrick and is doing good service. Clothing and provisions were being gathered up in Williamsport, West Lebanon and other places in the county for the needy ones.

Under the direction of Ora Thomason a fund of $162.25 was raised for the Marsee family, as Mrs. Marsee who was killed in the storm was in his employ for some time recently. The body of Mrs. Marsee wa shipped to Somerset, Ky., Tuesday for burial.

A fund is being raised under the direction of Will Evans for the benefit of the distressed. Every one is responding with utmost liberality.

After wrecking all the buildings but three at Hedrick, the storm passed on east and struck Sloan. It then reached farming district, where many were injured or killed. At the home of William High, Mrs. Gladys High was killed and Mr. High injured. The barn and outbuildings were also wrecked.

The storm continued in a northeasterly direction with unabated fury and demolished a number of valuable farm properties in its wake. The farm residence of Alva Heck was one of the best in the county. The house was modern throughout. It was completely demolished.

At the Ford brothers' farm, every building on the place was destroyed, George Ford was seriously injured and it is believed his thigh was fractured. Three women, including a sister of Mr. Ford, Mrs. Dean, the housekeeper, and a Mrs. Reid were seriously hurt.

The Ulrich G. Hunter Farm in Liberty township, which is about ten miles from Hedrick, was also completely destroyed. Here the tornado levied a toll of two deaths, one of Mrs. Thomas Marsee adn the other a 12-year-old child, Emma Kuntz. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Marsee and two children occupy the tenant house on the Hunter farm and it was when the tornado struck the Marsee house that Mrs. Marsee was killed. Mellie Kuntz, housekeeper for Ulrich Hunter, and her sister, Emma Kuntz took refuge in the cellar of the Hunter home at the approach of the storm and when the house was demolished Mellie escaped serious injury, but her sister, Emma, was carried about twelve rods into a field and instantly killed. Marsee and Hunter had both been in Williamsport on business and saw the storm from a distance as they were driven back home. As they neared the farm the two little Marsee children ran down the road and told the men of the death of Mrs. Marsee and Emma Kuntz.

Freakish Incidents

One man gives as his most startling vision of the cyclone, the seeing of a horse hgh in the air, that was seeming being carried along as easily as a feather floats in the wind. Another man relates that near the Hunter place he saw a large steer walking arounda pasture with a 2x4 plank driven clear through its body.

Just south of the Thad Crowe place several cattle were noticed that looked as though they had been rolled over and over in the mud, their hides being covered with a thick coat of moist earth.

One of the most miraculous escapes is being told of Ecil Haupt, who was driving a Ford roadster. He had two children in the car with him. He saw the cyclone coming and went in front of the tenant house on the Clark Dick farm, the children got out of the car and ran into the cyclone cellar that stood by the house. Mr. Haupt concluded to remain in the car and when the cyclone struck, it lifted the car turned it completely around and deposited it forty rods away in a field. The driver was torn from his seat and deposited on top of the barn, about 150 yards to the south. He was compelled to call for assistance in order to reach terra firma again. He said he had a good view of the cycline while on the barn. His shoulder blade was broken and legs and arms bruised.

Another peculiarity resulting from the cyclone, was noticed in the fields, where hundreds of small splinters and straws were sticking in the ground. They looked like some human hand had carefully placed them there.

One man living east of the Hunter farm had a good close-up view of the funnel shaped cloud. He said it was a thrilling sight and that the noise it made was something terrible.

The general breadth of the path of the cyclone was about 100 yards.

A bolt of dry good was found near the Hunter farm that had been carried from Hedrick by the cyclone a distance of eight miles.

50,000 People View Ruins of Hedrick Sunday

Probably more than 50,000 persons visited Hedrick and vicinity on Sunday, in an effort to see for themselves the damage done by the cyclone which one week ago literally swept this little village off the map.

Many of them got no nearer Hedrick than the crossroads one mile north of town or a like distance east, west and south, the traffic being so congested that progress was rendered next to impossible.

Machines were parked a mile or more out of town and the occupants walked to the ruined village, viewed the utter ruin wrought by the storm and then walked back again.

At every crossroad and at points along the roads a mile in either direction from Hedrick traffic officers under the direction of Sheriff O.L. Stewart, attempted to keep the lines of machines moving. In this they were fairly successful only when an impatient motorist got out of line and attempted to pass the other vehicles. In almost every case of this kind the line became so congested taht it was necessary to push the offending car into the ditch and let the line proceed.

As evening approached, many persons were turned north at the crossroads north of Hedrick and were told that it would be impossible for them to get through the village. Nearly all afternoon there were solid lines of automobiles extending one and one-half miles south of town, east from the village to Sloan, north to the crossroads and east and west from this point a considerable distance. The road directly west from town also was congested, while in nearly every barn lot and in many fields countless other machines were parked, the occupants having decided to walk the rest of the way.

Every road leading to Hedrick was crowded all day long Sunday but so far as could be learned there were no accidents to speak of. Almost the same congested condition existed at Pleasant View corner, northeast of Hedrick, and also at the Hunter farm farther on north of this point. Thousands of persons followed the course of the storm from near state line east of Bismark to the point where it lifted at the Hunter farm.


Date: 4/1/1990
Origin: Backward Glances
Author:
Record ID: 00000084
Type: Book
Source Archive: Williamsport-Washington Township Public Library
Date Entered: 8/10/2001
Collection:
Entered By: Amber M Knipe

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