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Tornado of 1925

Tornado of 1925

D Dunbar (View posts)
Posted: 7 Sep 2006 12:21AM GMT
Classification: Query
I have a hand-written account from my grandfather who was 10 at the time the tornado of 1925 hit West Frankfort. If anyone is interested, please let me know and I'll post his memoir here.

Re: Tornado of 1925

Posted: 12 Sep 2006 5:31PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 14 Sep 2006 5:15AM GMT
You betcha I want to hear his account of the 1925 tornado! My parents, ages 5 & 6 were also in FCI at that time. Waiting to hear more of the tale.
G.

Re: Tornado of 1925

Sharlene (View posts)
Posted: 12 Sep 2006 6:28PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Galloway Williams Robinson Parkerson Reed Tate
Me too! Almost a whole family of relatives were wiped out in this tornado: Frank GALLOWAY lost his wife, a son, a daughter, a son-in-law, and a grandson. GALLOWAY himself lived until Saturday morning when he succombed to injuries.

Sharlene

Re: Tornado of 1925

D Dunbar (View posts)
Posted: 12 Sep 2006 8:18PM GMT
Classification: Query
This is an account of the 1925 tornado that ripped through Franklin Co., (West Frankfort) IL. This account is exactly as it was found in my grandfather’s (Harry G. Little) notes regarding his childhood. He, along with his parents and many siblings, lived on N. Gardner in West Frankfort in the early 1920’s.

“I was only ten years old when the tornado came through West Frankfort. We had just come into the school from recess at nearly 3:00 in the afternoon. The sky became dark as night. Our teacher looked out the windows and immediately told all the boys and girls to go to the opposite side of the room and lay down. In just a few moments all the glass blew out of the windows. The storm blew over and the principal let the school out and it was still raining cats and dogs. My brother and I went a running and the power lines were down. Electrical flash all over the place. It was a wonder that some were not electrocuted. The principal thought the building was going to collapse.

We only lived two blocks from the school. When we got home we could see from our house that the lower part of the town was blowed away in just a few minutes. Men were bringing the wounded and dying up the Gardner Hill on doors and they said Palmer Addition was blowed away and lots of people were out there dead and hurt.”

Note: The school referred to is Edwards School which was located on Main St. Mr. Bolen was principal at the time of the tornado (from other notes not related to the tornado).

Re: Tornado of 1925

Posted: 13 Sep 2006 12:00AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 14 Sep 2006 5:15AM GMT
Surnames: Willmore, Dial
Thank you so much for this. I love reading first hand accounts of such things. How poignant from a child's point of view.

My dad was 5 and my mom 6 at that time. Mom, Vergia Dial, lived just down the hill from Logan School up in the Heights. She was too young to be in school. Grandad, Ed Dial, was always sickly. He didn't go to the mines that day and was lying on the day bed. Mom said he jumped up when he heard the wind and started yelling at the kids to grab something, anything, and hold up tight to the windows. Mom said that she could only find a big piece of pasteboard and held that up. She thought the window would blow out because it felt like she was being sucked out and blown back in, sort of like living in a lung. The house was "breathing." The windows never did blow out.

The three older kids were in Logan School up on that big, tall hill. Grandad was certain they were dead. He ran up the hill and started yelling, like everyone else, and looking for his kids. Finally they came to him and they walked back down the hill. I'm sure he wanted to make sure his kids were safe before he returned to help.

Dad, Tom Willmore, lived out in the Deering/Caldwell area. The storm went through and the men in # 18 mine had to walk out the manway because all the electricity was off. When they got to the top, they saw that an awfully lot of their homes were gone. They ran off to find their families.

My grandparents, Will Willmores, had a two-story, white house that is still there today. The storm didn't hit them. They immediately opened it up to be a hospital for the next several days. Lots of people were brought in and were lying all over the place.

Grandma was a very particular housekeeper. My dad, age 5, knew that. He got teased the rest of his life about getting very upset that day that people were tracking in dirt. He would pull on their clothing and say in an angry voice, "My mom doesn't allow dirt tracked in. She will be very mad at you. You need to go outside." Everyone just laughed and went on. He didn't understand.

Oddly enough, my parents and I eventually moved to Hamilton Co into a farm home that had been blown away during that same tornado and later rebuilt. There was an old lady living in it when it blew away. I think her name might have been Mrs Lampley. She had a habit of aways getting bathed and dressed in a nice dress when she saw a storm brewing. She didn't want anyone to find her dirty and in a dress with holes in it like she wore around the house to work in. She was killed in that tornado. They found her a quarter of a mile away in a mud-filed ditch. She had her best dress on.

Re: Tornado of 1925

William Levanti (View posts)
Posted: 30 Sep 2006 1:26PM GMT
Classification: Query
Hello,
Are your great grandparent's Harry & Mable (BARNHILL) LITTLE?
Yes, in West Frankfort, IL., the area between Gardner Hill, north to and including the Orient #2 Mine site, was flattened by the 1925 Tornado.
Bill

Re: Tornado of 1925

G. Diane Willmore (View posts)
Posted: 30 Sep 2006 5:43PM GMT
Classification: Query
No, don't know the people you mentioned. My local g grandparents were William Ezra Willmore and Martha Jane Cavins. The others were more in the Benton area.

Does anyone have a good, printable, one-page, street map of West Frankfort, IL online? I would like to see exactly where this 1925 tornado went though W.F. I have become very interested in hearing stories and info on this massive storm. If CNN had been there, I'm sure they would have called it, "the storm of Biblical proportions."

Also, I would be very interested in following it's path across Franklin and Hamilton counties. I can't find anyone with in depth info on that, especially through Hamilton Co.

I'll have to find Gardner Hill but I know Orient # 2 is on the NW side. It was my understanding that the old Logan School was damaged or destroyed too. That's quite a ways from the mines. Then it went on out by No # 18 too at Deering/Caldwell I think. I've heard the miners had to walk out the manway because of no power. Then when they reached top, they saw that all their homes were destroyed. Any input on these stories?

Re: Tornado of 1925

William Levanti (View posts)
Posted: 30 Sep 2006 6:39PM GMT
Classification: Query
Sorry, G. Diane.

I thought I was answering D. DUNBAR.
These "Boards" are smarter than I am.
I'd best not use them.

Bill

Re: Tornado of 1925

Donna Fischer (View posts)
Posted: 1 Oct 2006 8:33PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Moore, Maddox, Webb, Hatchett
My mother lived in Benton, IL at the time with her family. After this she had a terrible fear of tornadoes all of her life.
I know that the HISTORY Channel has a special on this tornado. I watched it and some survivors and their descendants were interviewed. I also wnet to the library and retrieved newspaper articles on the tornado which are on microfilm. You might be able to order the program thru The HISTORY CHANNEL.

Donna

Re: Tornado of 1925

G Diane (View posts)
Posted: 2 Oct 2006 1:04AM GMT
Classification: Query
I have that video from The History Channel and it is WONDERFUL! Thank you so much. I'm glad you have seen that. Thanks too for telling me about the microfilm at the library. I might could do an inter-library loan or something. I'm not in that area anymore. Appreciate your help.
G.
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