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    Tornado Outbreak of May, 1809

         On May 28, 1809, southwestern and southern Ohio were hit by a series of tornadoes.  The tornadoes struck over an area approximately 50-60 miles wide and 200 miles long.  Numerous buildings, including many houses were either unroofed or demolished.  Trees were torn from the ground, and a number of cattle were killed beneath all the trees and other debris.  At least twenty houses were destroyed in Cincinnati, Hamilton County, including the academy.

    Southwestern Ohio Tornado of 1812

         June 27, 1812 saw a violent tornado pass southeastward through Darke, Montgomery and Greene counties. Two people were killed and several others wounded by this powerful storm. Numerous animals, including horses, cattle, hogs, and large numbers of squirrels and birds were found dead after the tornado's passage. Tree leaves and branches, flax, and sheaves of grain rained down from the sky over a distance of a few miles on either side of this storm. The tree branches had been carried so high into the sky that their leaves were frozen and many had icicles hanging from them when they were found. So powerful was this storm that huge trees were carried several yards through the air, corn and wheat were ripped from the ground, and even the surface of the ground had been scoured away. One man reported the sound of this storm like "continued thunder", and the storm's width ranged between one-fourth and one-half mile. There were chestnut, cypress, pine, and laurel branches found along the storm's path, and none of these trees were known to grow within 100 miles of  the storm's track in Ohio.

    Ross County, Ohio Tornado of 1814

         Western Ross County, Ohio was hit by a violent tornado about sunset on May 20, 1814.  Although no one was killed or injured by this storm, it either uprooted or snapped off nearly every tree in its path and carried tree branches more than two miles.  The width of this tornado was 11/4 miles, but the damage path extended outward for a distance of two miles at its greatest.  Some houses lost their roofs, and others were leveled down to their foundations.

    Stark County Tornado of 1816

         During the morning of June 16, 1816, a small tornado touched down in the southwest part of Canton Township, Stark County, Ohio.  One house had its roof and top of the chimney blown off.  A barn at the same place was also unroofed, as were a few small outbuildings.  Rails from a rail fence were strewn in various directions, but no one was injured.  

    Holmes County Ohio's Earliest Recorded Tornado

         A hot, sultry afternoon in the month of June, 1819 saw the first tornado of record in Holmes County, Ohio. Three boys were caught in the path of the storm which traveled through Mechanic Township. One boy took shelter under a rock ledge which protected him from the tornado, although he nearly suffocated as the storm passed overhead. The two other boys, who were hoeing corn, saw the whirling funnel approaching from the southwest and ran to the north, thus escaping the eastward-moving storm. In the tornado's path lay a squatter's cabin. The funnel picked up the roof of this cabin and carried it for a distance of almost 12 miles, dropping it near what is now Sugarcreek in Tuscarawas County. Apparently, the twister had traversed at least one or two other counties to the west, as a cherry branch with ripe cherries on it was found among the debris along the tornado's track. Many trees were uprooted by this storm, including a number of huge oak trees. Seven years after this storm, one man's cattle became so entangled in the maze of tree branches thrown together by the tornado that an axe had to be used to free the cattle.

    Unusual Tornado in Morgan County, Ohio

         A Deacon Beach witnessed quite an unusual tornado during the evening of June 19, 1823 in Morgan County, Ohio.  After an 8:00 p.m. thundershower, a very dark cloud remained overhead, and there was not a breath of air stirring for about an hour while there was an unusually great heat.  Then, about 9:30, a loud roar was heard, and a bright cloud which was like a "glowing oven" in color could be seen lower than the dark cloud overhead.  This bright cloud, which was funnel shaped according to another witness by the name of Judge Griswold, sped toward Mr. Beach and lit up the scene brighter than a full moon would do.  The glowing tornado took the roof and chamber floor from Mr. Beach?s log home along with a number of other articles.  No lightning flashes, thunder, rain or hail accompanied the tornado's passage - only a continuous lour roar.  However, the light from the glowing tornado funnel last for more than 15 minutes, and the Deacon was able to read his Bible by the tornado's light for 10 minutes after the storm's passage.  The other witness, Judge Griswold noted that a stream of fire appeared to issue from the funnel.


    Violent OhioTornadoes of May, 1825

         A rather widespread tornado outbreak occurred in Ohio on May 18, 1825.  The most violent of the tornadoes first touched down in eastern Delaware County and moved northeastward into Licking County, hitting the village of Burlington (now Homer) and literally wiping it off the map.  This funnel was between two-thirds of a mile and a mile in width at its widest.  Two men who were plowing first became aware of the tornado when they saw trees flying in the air.  As the funnel bore down upon them, one of the men was carried a short distance until he grabbed hold of a bush.  He held onto this bush until it was ripped from the ground, but he eventually managed to hang onto another bush until the storm passed.  His companion took refuge beside a large tree which the tornado had felled, and he stayed there out of harm's way as the funnel passed by.  However, so many trees had fallen over the spot where he lay that he could not get out until his friend chopped through the tree limbs with an axe.

         The people of the village, itself, heard a "loud, rolling wind" and saw the "dark, black cloud" approaching.  Trees were being flung in every direction, so the people ran for their homes, most of which were made of logs.  As the tornado roared through, even the lowest logs of all forty homes were swept away, but, somehow, only three people were killed.

        One family lived in a brick home, but that also was totally demolished, and the coat of the man who lived in that house was found 40 miles away in Coshocton County.  A young girl was taken from her home, carried over one-eighth of a mile and gently set down unhurt.  Large trees were torn from the ground by their roots and carried through the air.  One of these trees was four feet in diameter.  It was ripped from the ground by its roots and taken for a 200 yard ride through the air.  Some pieces of furniture and other rather light objects were carried for twenty or thirty miles by the powerful storm.  So complete was the destruction that farms of 200 to 300 acres had not one tree left standing, and practically every animal in the path of the storm was killed.

         Horses, cattle and oxen were sent sailing through the air for distances of up to 200 yards.  An iron chain was taken from the ground and hurled through the air for half a mile until it landed in a tree.  In another instance, a big ox was picked up, taken 440 yards through the air and then buried under a tangle of fallen trees.  A number of hours chopping with an axe were required to get to the ox which somehow excaped serious injury.  One creek, running full of water before the tornado's passage had only a trickle of water in it after the funnel passed over it.  Roads and fields which had been soggy from recent heavy rains were left "almost dusty" after the twister traveled over them.  Trees, logs and debris of all kinds were swept high into the sky by the violent funnel, making the sky appear to be full of large birds.  As the tornado traveled over the land, the ground was said to tremble.

         A second violent tornado hit Shelby and Logan counties.  This tornado was about one-fourth mile wide at its maximum, and this one also destroyed a brick home.  The upper floor and joists of this home had been spiked together, but no trace of them was to be found.  Tree stumps were torn from the ground by this storm, and it cleared its path so well that the track of the tornado "had the appearance of a state road".  Nearly all water was taken out of ponds over which this tornado passed, and geese were thrown against trees and killed by the powerful winds.

         Zoar, Tuscarawas County, was hit by a strong storm May 18, also.  Every roof in Zoar was damaged or destroyed.  As this tornado moved on toward and into Stark County, it grew more violent.  Destruction from this twister reached a mile in width.  Most of the trees in its path were blown down, as were a number of buildings.

         Two other tornadoes 30 miles apart hit Stark County.  All buildings in the paths of these storms were either damaged or destroyed, and most of the trees in the storms' paths were also destroyed.  Columbiana and Holmes counties were also hit by tornadoes.  In Paintville, Holmes County, between 8 and 10 buildings were either demolished or damaged.

    Ohio & Pennsylvania Tornadoes of March, 1830

         At least two tornadoes hit Ohio on March 22, 1830 and another struck in Pennsylvania.  The more severe of the two Ohio tornadoes began about six miles southwest of Urbana in Champaign County and moved northeast through Urbana.  Houses and other buildings either destroyed or damaged in Urbana totaled 31.  Articles of clothing and furniture from the destroyed houses in Urbana were scattered for miles along the tornado's track.  One man's family Bible was found 15 miles away.  The other Ohio tornado tore through eastern Tuscarawas County and caused damage in the Old Town, Goshen and Warren Township areas not far from New Philadelphia.  This storm destroyed one house and barn and two more houses and barns.

         In Pennsylvania, a violent tornado plowed through the village of Elizabeth-town (now known as Elizabeth) in Allegheny County around 7:00 p.m.  Numerous houses and other buildings, including a mill, were either demolished or damaged by the tornado which was about one-fourth mile wide.  Along the Monongahela River, "two flat boats were lifted from their moorings, and carried some distance, and torn to pieces...."  Large parts of these boats were not found.  About one mile east of town, the tornado leveled a grist and sawmill together with a house and barn.

    Tornado of April 11, 1833

         Unusually warm weather for the season prevailed across Ohio much of the week prior to April 11, a Thursday, 1833.  On that date, strong southerly winds swept over Ohio, but evening found conditions becoming somewhat sultry.  Then, late in the afternoon, a tornado touched down at Cincinnati in Hamilton County and damaged several buildings there.

         The twister moved in a northeasterly direction, causing considerable destruction west of Dayton, Montgomery County.  From that point, it hit Springfield in Clark County.  As it approached, it appeared as an inverted pyramid which continually changed shape, becoming larger and then smaller, and it became somewhat luminous as it neared the city.  A roar like that of thunder in the distance accompanied the tornado.

         This storm was at its most violent stage in Greene and Clark counties.  A number of houses and other buildings were destroyed with a few families buried beneath the debris and rubble of their homes.  At least three people were killed and several others seriously injured.  The tornado picked up a wagon with its driver and team of horses and hurled them a short distance.  One farmer lost seven horses as well as a cow which was carried from a field into the road where it met its death.

         As the storm continued on its way, it caused much destruction to houses, barns, animals, crops, forests, fences and orchards.  Around Springfield, the tornado twisted large stumps out of the ground by their roots and threw them a considerable distance away.  It scooped up earth in places between one and three inches deep over areas between ten and fifty feet square and scattered the ground in all directions.  One tree, four feet in diameter at the lower end, was uprooted and hurled fifty feet onto other trees, and a pond near Springfield had all its water sucked out.

    Summit County Tornado of 1837

         Approximately 3:00 a.m. on October 20, 1837 a tornado touched down right in the center of Stow (Summit County), Ohio.  The twister varied from about 55 to 440 yards in width, and it unroofed a number of houses and barns, although one house was entirely destroyed.  Trees in its path were either blown down or snapped off, and fences were torn apart and scattered.

    February Tornado of 1842 in Ohio

         A tornado traveled a 24 mile-long northeasterly course through eastern Cuyahoga and Lake counties on February 4, 1842.  It passed near Mayfield, Cuyahoga County, went near the center of Kirtland, passed over parts of Mentor and Concord, and then went over southeastern Painesville.  The top of the tornado was a "dull yellow" color, but the bottom half of it was black, and the twister was accompanied by an almost "deafening" roar.  A barn, in which were three tons of hay, four horses and three men, was lifted a few inches from its foundation and carried to the northwest.  When the barn began moving, the men escaped.  It was not moved far until the bottom dropped out of it, but a number of its timbers were carried quite a distance.  Parts of the barn, such as boards and shingles, were scattered over a number of acres.  One man's hat was taken four miles.  All the grass near the barn was beaten flat to the ground and turned toward the north.  A log house was demolished.  Some hens were taken away by the storm and were not found, and a goose had most of its feathers plucked and its legs and wings broken.

    September Tornadoes of 1845

         On September 2, 1845, a powerful tornado approximately half a mile wide passed near Hamilton in Butler County.  A number of houses and barns were demolished, and numerous trees were downed.  The occupants of one brick house were covered in the ruins of the house when the tornado passed over.  Another powerful tornado roared through the eastern part of Ross County the same evening.  This storm also demolished numerous houses and barns, and it threw down some very large trees.  Horses and cattle were killed, but there were no human deaths.  Tornadoes also hit Harrison and Knox counties.

    Stark County Tornado of July 25, 1849

         During the evening of July 25, 1849, a tornado touched down west of Canton, Stark County, Ohio and moved northeast.  Numerous fences were demolished and damage was done to several farms.  The storm hit one house, throwing a woman out and covering her with bricks from the chimney.  She was badly hurt but was not killed.

         As the twister moved on, it made a path almost 220 yards wide across one farm, causing considerable damage.  On another farmstead, a new house was entirely destroyed along with a barn, but the old house just 6 or 7 feet from the new one was left untouched.  A man and his wife were still living in the old house.

         On another farm, a barn and orchard, with the exception of one tree, were destroyed.  So powerful was this storm that it carried 7 or 8 trees a distance of almost 9 miles and dropped them on two different farms.  One tree sailed over a house and landed on an outdoor oven, flattening it.  Another one of the trees was reported to be nearly 9 inches in diameter.

         From here, the tornado unroofed two more houses and a stable.  Then, it lifted a two story frame house into the air, carried it over a fence and left it standing in the road intact except for half the roof which was carried nearly a mile.  Two more houses were then unroofed and a wagon shed destroyed.  Another house was wrecked clear down to the foundation.  The tornado continued its northeastward march, hitting and destroying a house and barn near Marlboro, also in Stark County.

    Clark County Tornado of 1850

         A powerful tornado swept over part of Harmony Township in Clark County, Ohio on the night of February 28, 1850.     Several houses were destroyed by the violent storm, others were unroofed and damage was put at between $3000 and $4000.  There were several injuries, and the life of one person was in doubt, as she was hit on the head by a brick.


    Tuscarawas County Tornado May 2, 1852

         During the night of May 2, 1852, a tornado roared across three townships in Tuscarawas County, Ohio.  Houses and barns lost their roofs, and large trees were pulled out of the ground by their roots.  At one house, a sleeping couple had a rude awakening when the upper story of the house was torn off and a log from the house fell across the bed in which the couple was sleeping.  Fortunately, neither person was seriously injured.  In the vicinity of Urichsville, a few acres of forest were totally leveled with not one tree left standing.

    Ohio's January Tornado of 1854

         On January 20, 1854, a strong cold front was pushing toward Ohio.  The temperature was 70 degrees at noon in Cincinnati, and in the 60's farther north.  Not only was the air quite warm over Ohio and Indiana, but it was full of moisture also.  In Knox County where the tornado originated, light rain had been falling all day, and there had been a rather cold wind.  However, shortly before the storm, the air grew very warm and quite.  Then, about 3:00 p.m., the tornado touched down about 8 miles west-southwest of Mount Vernon.  One man opened the door of his double log cabin, and his wife and two children were taken backwards into the fireplace but suffered only slight burns.  Another house had the roof taken off high into the air.  The roof was never found.  A brick church was destroyed, a schoolhouse with 39 children in it was damaged with no one being seriously hurt, another church was unroofed and part of the building blown in, and then a half-mile-long section of woods had a one-fourth mile-wide swath taken out of it.  Most of the trees in this swath were blown to the ground, and those still standing were twisted and stripped of limbs.  Another house and barn were destroyed by the twister, and one cow was killed when picked up and blown to the ground again several yards away.  Three more houses were destroyed, and many more trees were felled along the tornado's track.  The black tornado funnel lifted before coming to Holmes County but touched down again in the Sugarcreek, Tuscarawas County area where considerable damage was done.  It also touched down in Carroll County, and tornado damage occurred later that day near Cannonsburg, Pennsylvania.

    Wayne County Tornado of May, 1856

         A tornado accompanied by severe downburst winds traveled a 7 or 8 mile-long path through Milton Township in north central Wayne County on May 12, 1856.  Nearly every big tree in a swath between 165 and 330 feet in width was thrown to the ground.  The straight line thunderstorm winds accompanying the tornado at times blew down trees and fences in an 8 to 9 mile-wide path.

    July, 1860 Trumbull County, Ohio Tornado

         A tornado, which was about one-fourth mile wide, struck Braceville, Trumbull County, on July 21, 1860 completely destroying the railroad station building.  Not only were the wooden timbers of the building scattered quite a distance, but the stone foundation was also picked up and strewn about.  Another house opposite the station building and a store were wrecked.  One person was killed when hit by a flying fence rail.  One half mile northeast another house was demolished and one person seriously injured - she was not expected to recover.  Another mile farther along three more people were injured as the tornado unroofed a house.  The railroad tracks were covered with fallen trees for some distance, delaying the trains.  Total path length of this twister was only two miles.

    Butler County Tornado August 21, 1866

         During the morning of August 21, 1866, a strong tornado hit the town of Monroe, Butler County.  After the tornado passed through the town, only about 6 houses were left standing.  Everything else was destroyed, including the Methodist Church.  At least two people were killed and two others were reported missing.  A cow was taken for a ride and left in the top of an apple tree.

    Seneca County Tornado May 9, 1875

         During the afternoon of May 9, 1875, a tornado hit Green Springs, Ohio which lies on the border of Sandusky and Seneca counties.  Three houses were demolished, two children were killed, and every chimney in the village was thrown down.  As the tornado moved north, it destroyed a few houses and barns between Green springs and Clyde, and in Clyde one house was partly unroofed while other residences and stores suffered damage of varying degree.  However, between Clyde and Bellevue , following the Lake Shore Railroad line, nearly every building in the twister s path was damaged to some extent.

         In the Village of Fort Seneca, one church was destroyed, houses and barns were moved off their foundations and numerous fences were destroyed.  The nearly mile-wide tornado destroyed or damaged 36 buildings in Fort Seneca, and the damage was estimated between $20,000 and $25,000.  The storm was said to have lasted only three minutes, but in that brief time one woman was blown across a road and then thrown to the ground, resulting in severe injuries.  A $12,000 bridge across the Sandusky River was thrown down, as well.

    Allen County Tornado July 4, 1875

         About 4:30 p.m. on July 4, 1875, a tornado touched down in the center of Monterey Township, Jackson County, Ohio.  Path length was about 7 or 8 miles with a width of approximately 220 yards.  Six houses were entirely destroyed and another unroofed and badly damaged.  Two barns were destroyed, as were a number of outbuildings.  A large orchard was also demolished with the trees being twisted off near the ground by the tornado which carried many of the trees for a distance of one-half mile.

         Falling timbers of one barn killed two colts, but at another location two horses were picked up and carried 110 yards before being put down unhurt.  Forests in the tornado's path were leveled as were crops.  Bushes, shingles and tree limbs were carried for distances of 20 miles or more.  In fact, the air about 100 or 200 feet above the City of Lima, about 20 miles from the tornado?s path, was seen to be whirling full of debris which then rained down on that area.  Fortunately, no one was killed and a very few injured.  Damage to property, not counting crops and timber, was put between $10,000 and $15,000.

    Van Wert Tornado August, 1875

         At approximately 2:00 p.m. on August 13, 1875, a tornado touched down in York Township, Van Wert County. Its first damage was to a barn, which the twister unroofed. Some other property on the same farm was destroyed. The tornado proceeded on an easterly course through four other farms, and it reached its peak intensity on the fourth farm where a two-story log home had its top story ripped off vand chimney destroyed. A large log barn was completely demolished, as well.. From here, the twister passed through some forest, making such a tangle of the trees that a person could not pass through the area on foot. Next, another barn was unroofed, and an unfinished house was so totally destroyed that one could hardly tell a house ever stood there. Crops along the path of the storm were destroyed, also, and an orchard was left in ruins. Another barn was partly unroofed and fences totally swept away.

         More barns were unroofed as the tornado continued its eastward progress. A couple more houses also lost parts of their roofs, a sawmill was hit and lumber ready to be sold was strewn about and broken. At one farm crops which had already been harvested were picked up and thrown into a woods, while another farmer had his harvested wheat picked up and deposited in a creek Much good quality timber was destroyed.

         Then, the storm took a turn to the northeast and almost totally destroyed another orcahard.After crossing a road, the tornado bore down on a house, partly unroofting it. Another barn was hit and totally demolished with some of the timbers from being carried about one-fourth mile.

    Tuscarawas County Tornado of 1876

         New Philadelphia and Dover in Tuscarawas County, Ohio were hit by a tornado on March 16, 1876.  The twister moved from southwest to northeast, taking the roof and front gable end off one brick house, unroofing a barn and downing trees, chimneys and fences in New Philadelphia.  At Dover, the fire-brick plant had its iron roof severely damaged, while one hotel had its roof entirely blown off, resulting in $500 damage.  One room in that plant was destroyed, and part of one wall of the C. & P. Depot was taken out by the storm.

    Ohio Tornadoes of July, 1877

         At least three tornadoes touched down in the Buckeye State on July 5, 1877.  One struck in Liberty Township, Butler County, then lifted and touched down again approximately one and one-half miles to the southeast.  Trees were either uprooted or had their trunks twisted off, shocked grain and standing corn were destroyed, some orchards and fences were whisked away, and a few houses and barns were demolished.

         A second violent tornado went on a 12-mile-long and one-mile-wide rampage through Morrow County.  Still a third twister whirled through part of Butler County near Jacksonburg, causing damage to crops, trees and buildings.  When this storm went through a forest, "thousands of small balls were seen about 100 feet from the ground, giving out a pale flame."

    Toledo Tornado of March 4, 1880

         Shortly before midnight on the fourth of March, 1880, a powerful thunderstorm with an embedded tornado swept across Toledo, Lucas County.  Numerous buildings had their roofs blown off, and wires and trees were downed.  A chimney 75 feet tall on the Buckeye Brewery fell into the engine room, killing two people.

    May Tornado In Huron and Erie Counties

         On May 22, 1880, a north-northeastward moving tornado roared across Florence and Vermilion Townships in Huron and Erie counties, carving out an 8 to 10 mile long and 250 to 500 foot wide path.  According to eyewitness accounts, oak trees three to five feet in diameter were snapped off, barns and some homes were demolished and some animals were picked up and carried as far as one-half mile.  Chickens were found alive but without their feathers.  Large branches and pieces of timber could be seen whirling around in the funnel.  Damage was put at $25,000.

    Columbiana County Tornado of May, 1883

         At about 5:00 p.m. on May 14, 1883, a tornado accompanied by large hail hit Fredericktown in Columbiana County.  As the funnel-shaped tornado moved northeast, it unroofed a number of buildings, demolished others, swept away fences, tore trees out of the ground, and even plowed up the ground in places.  Hailstones up to 11 inches in circumference were picked off the streets.  The weight of the hailstones ranged from 8 to 10 ounces.


    Jefferson County Tornado of June 18, 1883

         During the afternoon of  June 18, 1883, a tornado crossed the northern edge of Steubenville in Jefferson County and unroofed or in some way damaged 12 houses.  It moved east-southeast and crossed the Ohio River into West Virginia and then Pennsylvania.  More than 100 sheep were killed on one farm.


    March, 1884 Tornado Outbreak

         March 24-25, 1884 witnessed a widespread tornado outbreak from the Great Lakes region into the deep South.  At least 8 states were hit by tornadoes at that time, and Ohio was one of these states.  A tornado said to be shaped like an hour glass ripped its way through Warren, Montgomery and Greene counties in southwestern Ohio on March 25 beginning at about 4:00 p.m.  It averaged 50 yards in width and traveled a 25-mile-long north-northeast path from north of Lebanon to about 6 miles northwest of Xenia.  Along its path, 30 buildings were destroyed, two people were killed and 15 others were injured.

         Another tornado that day traveled 13 miles, touching down in Franklin County, Indiana, moving directly through Scipio, where its average width was 200 yards,  and then into Butler County, Ohio, ending near Seven Mile.  Practically the entire town of Scipio, Indiana was leveled with one person being killed and another so badly injured that he may later have died.  In Ohio, several farms were destroyed, and two more people were killed.  Total injuries were put at 10.

         A third tornado struck farther east in Mahoning County around 10:00 p.m.  This tornado traveled about 10 miles near the town of Poland.  One house was unroofed, four barns were demolished, several smaller buildings were destroyed, and trees were uprooted and "torn in pieces".  Four people were injured, and a considerable number of cattle were killed.



     Weather Map for 7:00 a.m. April 27, 1884



    The "Jamestown Cyclone"

         The tornado which soon became known as the "Jamestown Cyclone" touched down on the west bank of the Miami River about 8 miles south of Dayton near Miamisburg in Montgomery County, Ohio at about 4:30 in the afternoon of April 27, 1884.  Two storms, one coming from the northwest and the other from the south, came together just before the funnel-shaped tornado dipped earthward.  Average width of the tornado path was about 300 yards.  Barns, sheds, stables, and trees were leveled by the powerful storm.  One fence about one-fourth mile long along the road was picked up in its entirety and hurled into the road.  Two tobacco sheds measuring 128x80 feet and 72x33 feet along with a large barn were totally destroyed, resulting in $10,000 damage.  More tobacco sheds and a newly constructed two-story house on another farm were demolished before the tornado crossed the Miami River.  When the twister crossed the river, water was sucked up to a height of 50 feet.

         As the storm moved into Greene County, it damaged or destroyed 15 homes at Bellbrook approximately 2 miles southwest of Xenia.  Then it hit the Soldiers' and Sailors' Orphans' Home at Xenia.  In less than a minute, many buildings there were unroofed with the roof of the hospital being carried nearly unbroken for 500 feet and then hurled to the ground.  Slates from that roof were driven into trees so firmly that they could not be pulled out by hand.  Thankfully, there were only two slight injuries at this place, and the damage was repaired at a cost of $7,500.

         Greatest damage of all, however, was done at Jamestown, also in Greene County.  There, the tornado first swept across the fairgrounds of the Union Agricultural Society destroying every building with the exception of a few little stalls and even razing fence posts to the ground.  In the town itself, approximately two-thirds of the town was damaged or destroyed.  That came to 186 homes.  Approximately 600 people were left homeless.  Five people were killed.  Four churches were nearly destroyed, and the new two-story public school was also demolished as was the newly built town hall.    Loss of property in Jamestown came to $200,000.  Some of the items in Jamestown's stores were sucked out of the buildings and deposited at Jeffersonville seven miles away in Fayette County.  A Mr. Helrigle had a used buggy lot (like the used car lots of today), and the sign on the lot read: "Go to Helrigle for Bargains".  The tornado removed many of the sign's letters leaving the sign saying, "Go to Hel."

         This tornado, like many others, did some curious things.  One farmer had put a single-bar plow against a gate post.  When the tornado roared by, it twisted the gate post out of the ground and destroyed it, but the plow was left standing exactly where it had been placed.  The east bank of Silvercreek at Jamestown was left full of nails sticking into it after the storm's passage.  One barn was taken up into the air by the twister and carried over the town.  The framework of this barn was then dropped one mile from where it had been originally.  Two sheep were carried 200 yards into a field with any injury, but their wool was singed as though by fire.  Straws were stuck in unbelievable places.  A bull was taken for a 200 yard ride in the air, and he bellowed in fright all the time he was in the air.

    Western Ohio Tornado In July, 1884

         On July 24, 1884, a tornado skipped through parts of Mercer and Auglaize counties, Ohio.  It moved northeastward from close to Coldwater to southeast of Buckland, destroying a number of barns and injuring three people in a house near Buckland.

    Lancaster Tornado of May, 1884

              What was described as a "young cyclone" went through Lancaster (Fairfield  County) at noon May 19, 1884.  Trees were thrown down, awnings torn off and pplate glass windows  were  smashed.  A large amphitheater at the fairgrounds was ddestroyed, and one farmer's barn was blown down.  This, however, may have bbeen only straight line wind damage.

    October Tornado In Western Ohio

         A tornado approximately 50 yards wide hit southern Hancock County on October 11, 1884, mowing down barns, fences, corn shocks and trees south of Jenera.  This was a fast-moving twister, swirling eastward at 60 mph.



     Weather Map for 7:00 a.m. September 8, 1885 



    Tornado Outbreak of September 8, 1885

         A low pressure area with its attendant cold front was located over eastern Iowa at 7:00 a.m. of September 8, 1885 and temperatures across Ohio were in the 60's.  As southerly winds continued to advect warm, humid into Ohio, conditions became ripe for severe thunderstorms.  During the early evening hours, at least eight Ohio counties were struck by tornadoes.

         One tornado traveled a skipping path from three miles east of Circleville in Pickaway County to south of Clearport in Fairfield County.  A second, more violent twister swept a 25- mile-long path from northwest of Tipp City in Miami County to north of Springfield in Clarke County.  Actually, two tornadoes were involved, destroying a school, houses and barns.  One death and 8 injuries were caused by these twisters.

         Another violent tornado roared right through the center of Washington Court House in Fayette County.  Approximately 300 buildings, of which 200 were houses, were badly damaged or totally destroyed.  In the town square, 40 businesses were demolished, and four railroad depots were also wrecked along with three churches.  This powerful storm literally stripped the vegetation from one farm west of Washington Court House.  Corn there was flattened and ripped from the ground, and trees were full of pieces of straw and wood driven one-fourth inch into them.  Shingles from the town were carried a distance of 14 miles.  Damage was put at $312,000, and the storm killed 6 people while injuring 125 more.

         Still another tornado swept through parts of Wyandot and Crawford counties, destroying a brick church and house, as well as a barn.  A train was also blown from the tracks.  Finally, Portage County was hit by a tornado which prostrated hundreds of trees southeast of Hiram and also leveled a barn.


    May, 1886 Ohio Tornadoes

         On May 12, 1886, a tornado struck Meigs County, Ohio at approximately 10:30 p.m.  Its path was only about 8 miles long, but it was between one-fourth and one-half mile in width.  The twister passed near the town of Carpenter where it completely destroyed a large farm house, killing two people and injuring another.  A stone mantel piece which weighed about 200 pounds was carried 50 yards by the twister, and furnishings from the destroyed house were carried about three miles.  Two more people were injured when the tornado hit another house.

         Two days later, on May 14, three more tornadoes hit Ohio.  All three of these storms were violent ones with the first one the most violent of all.  This particular storm originated in Indiana where it leveled nine farm houses.  It then crossed into Ohio in Mercer County ending north of Celina.  Six people were killed by this powerful storm which destroyed everything in its path and scattered debris for miles.  In addition to the 6 deaths, 20 more people were injured.  A rafter which was 18 feet long was said to have been carried four miles by this storm.

         A second tornado touched down in Hardin County about 11:30 p.m. and plowed its way through Hancock and into Wyandot County.  This twister hit Dunkirk, Hardin County, killing several people in about one minute's time.  Damage from this storm in Hardin County alone was put at approximately $1,000,000.  At Cary, Wyandot County, between 5 and 6 more people were killed as the violent tornado rushed ahead at speeds of up to 80 mph.  The storms had swirled its way through 20 miles of forest before hitting Cary where 17 buildings were totally wrecked.  Numerous animals were killed, and the total number of human fatalities was put at 11 with 25 more injured.

         Finally, the third in this tornado family struck the earth in Seneca County.  Orchards were uprooted, a gravestone was thrown against a barn one-fourth mile away, and a straw hat was taken for a 6 mile ride.  This tornado cleaned away everything in its path for half a mile in width and several miles in length ten miles west of Tiffin.  No one was killed, but 5 people were injured by this tornado.


     Photo from the Christian Herald of May 19, 1887 and showing

      the wreckage of the Presbyterian Church at St. Clairsville after April 15 tornado.

    Ohio Tornadoes of April 15, 1887.

         Shortly after 3:00 p.m. on April 15, 1887, a tornado formed approximately 16 miles west of St. Clairsville in Belmont County, Ohio.  The larger upper portion of the storm moved almost straight east, while the smaller lower part whipped around and sometimes did not touch the ground, but at other times it did, sweeping away whatever lay in its path.  The tornado grew in strength as it neared St. Clairsville, reaching an estimated F4 intensity.

         It apparently reached its greatest intensity about one mile west of St. Clairsville.  There, two brick houses were reduced to rubble, while the orchards, barns and other outbuildings in the vicinity of these houses were totally destroyed, as well.  Practically every house in St. Clairsville sustained some damage, and fallen trees filled the streets.  The United Presbyterian Church in St. Clairsville was demolished as were about 149 other buildings for a total of 150 wrecked buildings.

         The most sturdy trees were either torn up by their roots or snapped off.  Some frame houses and barns were lifted up and carried in their entirety for some distance.  Horses and cattle were carried through the air, as well, and one scantling sailed through the air for a mile before putting a hole through two walls of a brick home.  Shingles became missiles which were driven through weatherboards of houses.  A three-story building lost two of its stories.  One man in a buggy, having been warned of the storm's approach, clung to a telephone pole which promptly snapped off just above his head.

         As the tornado continued on toward Martins Ferry in a northeasterly direction, it cleared the hilltops of buildings and timber and then hit a school, blowing it away but leaving the 30 students with only minor injuries piled on the remains of the floor or on the ground.  At Martins Ferry, the tornado, possibly accompanied by a downburst, wrecked the upper part of the city.  At Walnut Grove in Martins Ferry, fine walnut trees, some over three feet in diameter, were completely prostrated.  Numerous houses were either destroyed or damaged.

         When the storm hit the Ohio River, a vertical wall of water rose up twenty feet high and then fell back foaming.  This tornado did not cross over into West Virginia, but at a hilltop funeral winds from the parent storm were still strong enough to blow carriages against trees.  In their flight, the carriages snapped off tombstones.

         Fortunately, there were no deaths from the tornado, but damage was put at about $200,000 at St. Clairsville and $165,000 at martins Ferry.

         A second but much less violent tornado hit Columbiana County that same afternoon also after 3:00 p.m.  This tornado formed from a severe thunderstorm which first hit Summitville.  The tornado, termed a "waterspout", downed telegraph wires, uprooted numerous trees and wrecked fences.

         What may have been a third tornado also struck in Columbiana County around 4:00 p.m. in Madison Township - somewhat north of the previous storm.  Although there were no deaths in this storm, either, there were three injuries.  A thick cloud of dust accompanied this tornado along with a loud roaring sound.  The width of the track was about 385 to 440 yards.  Chickens and geese were killed and carried away by the twister.  Houses and barns were unroofed, and some barns were destroyed.  Considerable timber was also destroyed.

     The atmosphere over northern Ohio became quite sultry during the late afternoon and early evening of April 8, 1890 ahead of an approaching cold front.  At least three powerful tornadoes touched down in the northern part of the state that day.

         The first twister covered about a half-mile-wide track across part of Norwalk, Huron County.  It hit an umbrella factory, killing a young girl and injuring about 15 other women.  Twelve barns, several smaller buildings and some fences were also wrecked by the storm.

         About 6:00 p.m., a second tornado skipped through Summit and Portage counties.  This one traveled a six-mile-long and 110-yard-wide path across Sharon Township directly toward Akron, although it lifted before striking the city.  In ten minutes, thirteen farmers lost their crops, farm buildings and livestock as the tornado raced along.

         One person was killed by this tornado, also, and two others were believed fatally injured.  One man was blown against a stump one-fourth mile away and was found unconscious.  At least 15 people were injured by this storm, including one man hurt in the tornado s second touchdown southeast of Akron.  Downburst winds from the tornado s parent thunderstorm damaged 100 buildings on the south side of Akron, as well.

         The third and most violent of all the tornadoes in Ohio that day struck Huron County around 6:30 p.m.  The twister, which was accompanied by a loud roaring sound, moved through the town of Collins and just south of the town of Wakeman in Townsend and Wakeman townships.

         Some barns had only their foundations left after the storm s passage.  A schoolhouse was destroyed, as were a couple houses.  One woman was carried a few yards and dumped unharmed in a mud puddle.  Three people in one family held onto a tree for their lives and narrowly escaped death when a small board from a nearby house, acting as though it were a knife, cut the tree just above their heads.  A young child crawled under a stove which was later found many yards away, but the child was unhurt.  One man was hauling a wagonload of sawdust.  A wheel from his wagon was later found beside the road with only two spokes remaining in it, but the man was unharmed.

         Damage in Townsend Township alone from this tornado was estimated at $30,000.  At least 18 people were injured by the storm. 



    Tornadoes of April 8, 1890

         The atmosphere over northern Ohio became quite sultry during the late afternoon and early evening of April 8, 1890 ahead of an approaching cold front.  At least three powerful tornadoes touched down in the northern part of the state that day.

         The first twister covered about a half-mile-wide track across part of Norwalk, Huron County.  It hit an umbrella factory, killing a young girl and injuring about 15 other women.  Twelve barns, several smaller buildings and some fences were also wrecked by the storm.

         About 6:00 p.m., a second tornado skipped through Summit and Portage counties.  This one traveled a six-mile-long and 110-yard-wide path across Sharon Township directly toward Akron, although it lifted before striking the city.  In ten minutes, thirteen farmers lost their crops, farm buildings and livestock as the tornado raced along.

         One person was killed by this tornado, also, and two others were believed fatally injured.  One man was blown against a stump one-fourth mile away and was found unconscious.  At least 15 people were injured by this storm, including one man hurt in the tornado's second touchdown southeast of Akron.  Downburst winds from the tornado's parent thunderstorm damaged 100 buildings on the south side of Akron, as well.

         The third and most violent of all the tornadoes in Ohio that day struck Huron County around 6:30 p.m.  The twister, which was accompanied by a loud roaring sound, moved through the town of Collins and just south of the town of Wakeman in Townsend and Wakeman townships.

         Some barns had only their foundations left after the storm�s passage.  A schoolhouse was destroyed, as were a couple houses.  One woman was carried a few yards and dumped unharmed in a mud puddle.  Three people in one family held onto a tree for their lives and narrowly escaped death when a small board from a nearby house, acting as though it were a knife, cut the tree just above their heads.  A young child crawled under a stove which was later found many yards away, but the child was unhurt.  One man was hauling a wagonload of sawdust.  A wheel from his wagon was later found beside the road with only two spokes remaining in it, but the man was unharmed.

         Damage in Townsend Township alone from this tornado was estimated at $30,000.  At least 18 people were injured by the storm.