A terrible cyclone recently swept through Chase County in the vicinity of Strong City. Many houses were blown down and a great amount of property destroyed. The residence of Milton Brown was wrecked. Mr. Brown was killed, his wife fatally and his son, daughter, and babe severely injured. The Abilene Weekly Reflector, Abilene, Kansas. June 6, 1889. Page 6. © Transcribed by Darren McMannis for the Kansas Council of Genealogical Societies, Inc.
The Late Cyclone
Emporia, KS May 30 – The cyclone which visited Chase County Tuesday, twenty-three miles west of this city, was terribly destructive of property and one life was lost with almost a certainty of another, and about a dozen were more or less injured. Latest reports from the scene state that not a house nor fence of any kind has been left standing for nearly four miles in the track of the cyclone and only bare trunks or stumps of trees. The point of most damage was near the Santa Fe railroad track, about two miles west of a small town named Clements, on the farm of Milton Brown, whose house was razed to the foundation and he himself almost instantly killed. His wife was fatally injured and his oldest son, Edward, had his leg broken. His daughter, Sarah, was badly hurt internally and one of her legs was broken, and his little baby’s head bruised almost out of shape. A portion of the house roof fell on and crushed Mr. Brown’s head almost flat and he lived but a few minutes. The residence of Spencer Pickard was totally destroyed to the foundation. S.D. Haston lost all his bee hives, barns, outhouses, and had his residence badly damaged. The residence of B.M. Chappell was lifted and blown fifteen feet off its foundation and dropped on the ground a total wreck. Job Johnson lost his windmill, orchard, residence, outhouses, barns, etc., and himself and daughter were injured, the latter so badly as to be unable to be about. William Dawson was also hurt in the wreck of Johnson’s house. At least fifteen or twenty other farmers lost residences or crops or both, and there is no estimating the monetary loss to those visited by the wild winds. Some wonderful escapes from death are chronicled, among them that of the family of Milt Hunt who took refuge in their cellar and escaped without a scratch to any of them, although the house was blown to fragments from over their heads. Another family named Hoff escaped by flying to the cellar of Mr. Brown, who himself was killed. Many peculiarities of the storm were noted. Among them was the snapping off of a huge elm tree by the wind, while not ten feet away was a very small soft maple with seemingly not a leaf missing. At one place the fence posts for a long distance were stripped of their wire, it having seemingly been blown away, and in other places the posts themselves were gone and the wire lay around loose. The storm took with slight deviations an almost due east course and barely passed the town of Clements by possibly half a mile. Had it struck the town the loss of life and property would have been fearful to contemplate. Mr. Brown, who was killed, was formerly from Rush County, Ohio, and has relatives here. He also has relatives named Stevenson, who reside at Burlington, Kan. He was a well-to-do farmer nearly fifty years ago, and served during the war in the Ninety-First Ohio Infantry, and was mustered out of a company in that regiment. The Barton County Democrat, Great Bend, Kansas. June 6, 1889. Page 1. © Transcribed by Darren McMannis for The Kansas Council of Genealogical Societies, Inc.