A significant evere weather outbreak occurred in the viewing area & over a good chunk of Indiana on March 4, 1880.
Following an unusually warm 1879-80 strong traditional El Nino winter (January 1880 is still the warmest on record), the intensity & violence of this outbreak was quite early for the time of year. It made sense in that the spring warmth usually experienced in early April was occurring in early March.
A tornado, likely an EF2, is said to have struck the “northwest side” of Lafayette area. Coming from the southwest, it struck at 9 p.m. & was “600 yards wide”. Splinters of wood were found a “great distance” from the twister as the tornado began on the northwest side of Chauncey, continued northwestward, doing heavy damage to barns & homes, heavily damaging a bridge over Wildcat Creek, then two ice houses, 56’ high 107’ long & 70’ wide (with 2500 tons of ice), were “blown to splinters” with debri blown over a mile. Many stables & farm builders were completely destroyed. It is likely that some of the White Oaks still standing at Springdale Cemetery were quite damaged in this tornado.
A tornado hit Indianapolis at approximately 10:30 p.m. with substantial damage, while “considerable damage” was reported in Lafayette from very strong winds & heavy rainfall from the storm passage around 10 p.m.
A tornado near Alto, in Howard County killed one & injured 9 when the twister destroyed a house shortly after 10 p.m.
Other damage occurred in Warren, Fountain & Clinton counties with numerous downed trees with outbuildings damaged, even destroyed.
Likely tornado damage occurred at Seafield, near Wolcott with structures completely destroyed.
In fact, Cyclone, in Clinton County, was named after a tornado that raced through the county (with damage) in this outbreak.
On this same night, a major tornado “caused immense damage” (2 fatalities, numerous injuries) in part of Toledo, Ohio at 11:15 p.m., while tornadoes likely hit Spencer, Indiana at 10 p.m. & Liberty, Indiana “in the early morning hours” of the 5th. A “great loss of property” from damaging winds was reported at Madison, Indiana (just north of Louisville) at 5 a.m.
Widespread wind damage occurred 40 miles southwest of Bloomington, Indiana near Odon. It was written that wind leveled many old buildings & blew down fences & orchards.
Tornado damage was also reported northwest of Bloomington/southwest of Indianapolis in a path over Owen County.
Liberty, Indiana (Union County) saw tornado damage & damage was reported along the Ohio River at Madison.
This appears to have been a racing squall line with a bulge in the line in the Warren to Howard County areas with an embedded tornado likely at the top of the line kink, which may have produced damage at Lafayette & then the bigger damage at Alto. The storms hit at the same time at Spencer & Lafayette & if you drawn a line they line up nearly due north & south, meanwhile the Howard County storm hit shortly after 10 p.m. with Indianapolis getting hit with a tornado at 10:30 p.m.
Damage reports extended as far south as southeastern Alabama with apparent tornado damage.
This was followed by severe t'storms with lots of hail late in March & then a nearby major tornado outbreak April 18-20 from Wisconsin & Iowa to Illinois to Arkansas. At least 22 tornadoes have been documented, including 4 F4's. One F4 in Missouri had a nearly 100-mile continuous track & reached up to nearly 1 mile wide. Another tornado in Missouri tracked 64 miles & killed 99 people alone.
Yet another historic outbreak occurred April 24. A massive F5 tornado obliterated everything in its path, leaving stump stubs, remnants of foundations. Bodies & cattle were carried 0.5 mile away in the violent tornado southwest of Springfield, Illinois.
As for the March 4 outbreak in our area, I have not uncovered any pictures of the event. Although there are images from Missouri of the April 24, 1880 outbreak, none have surfaced of our own outbreak. I will keep digging!
Note deepening & strengthening storm that pivoted through the area on the night of March 4 to very early March 5.
We actually hit our on the high of March 4-5 with 69 at West Lafayette.
Severe weather reports for March 4-5, 1880:
Hypothetical modern-day Storm Prediction Center Convective Outlook with the outbreak reports.
Some newspaper accounts in the viewing area:
Last night was a regular high flyer and the wind blew a perfect hurricane. As a result, all things movable were blown hither and thither without a thought of effects. The storm seemed to have raged throughout the larger part of the State, and trees and telegraph poles were thrown down unmercillessly. The wires along the divisions of the Panhandle railroad reaching this city, were all blown down, so that no orders could be sent out, and trainmen consequently had to run on schedule time as near as possible and trust to the fates to preserve them from danger. At a point one mile east of North Grove, the passenger train due here at 3 o'clock a.m. struck a tree which had blown across the track, but luckly no damage of note was done, and the train passed on after a short delay. At Seafield, on the State Line division, the roof of a warehouse was blown off and in its fall, tore down the wire. This morning, the Western Union office folks found that they had connection with only one or two places, but later in the day, the necessary repairs were made and all is lovely again. Owing to the damage to the wires, the report which is sent to the signal office here at one a.m. daily could not be transmitted, and for the first time for several years no weather predictions were printed here. Taken altogether, the night was a disagreeable one, and it is lucky that no more serious happenings resulted than really did.
Logansport Pharos Logansport, Indiana March 5, 1880 Page 1
Last evening one of the heaviest and most destructive wind storms known in this vicinity for years passed through the northwestern part of the city, blowing down barns and houses, uprooting trees, sweeping way fences and doing an amount of damage that will take weeks to fully calculate and repair.
The hurricane came from the he southwest, and consisted of a clear but narrow belt of wind, probably not more than 600 yards wide at any part. At about 9 p.m., with scarcely more of a premonition than clouded skies, the storm swept through the upper part of Chauncey. Luckily there were but few houses in its course, but not one of these escaped undamaged. A barn belonging to Mr. McKeen, standing near the toll gate, on the Battle Ground road, caught the full fury of the gale and was literally lifted from the ground an whirled in a score of fragments nearly a quarter of a mile away. Many of the splinters were found this morning at even a greater distance. A number of trees were also uprooted, and many fences blown to the ground. Crossing the river, the storm struck the northern suburbs of the city. The Wild Cat gravel road bridge stood directly in its course, and was blown squarely off the piers and landed, a broken mass of timber, into the creek. Just as the storm struck the bridge, a buggy containing Elias Suek and George Hartwick, two farmers living in the vicinity of Dayton, was about midway across. Hartwick heard the crash of the timbers and jumped out, but was too late to escape, and both went down into the creek with the ruins. It was a miracle that the men were not killed, but after a desperate struggle, they managed to clamber out. Suek's foot was badly mashed, and he will be laid up for some time. Hartwick was the most seriously injured, and sustained several deep cuts about the head. We understand that his condition is critical. The damage to the bridge is very great. The cost of replacing the structure would amount to at least $3,000, and in addition to this, the farmers of Perry and Washington township are cut off from coming into the city. This is unfortunate at the present time, as much corn which would otherwise find marked in this city must go elsewhere. The worst victim at the Wide Water is George Burroughs. His two immense icehouses, standing on the bank of the the canal, were literally blown to splinters. The terrific force of the wind can be estimated from the the fact that the buildings were ranked amoung the most solidly constucted of their kind in the State. They were built facing east and west, and under one roof, separately they were 56 feet high, 107 feet long and 70 feet wide. They were constucted of heavy timbers throughout, doubly walled and built in such a way that they were thought to be absolutely secure. The north house was empty but the south one contained 2,500 tons of ice, from which the daily delivery was being made. The outer edge of the cyclone evidently struck the buildings, as a single ragged corner still stands uninjured. All else is leveled and pieces distributed over the best part of miles of country. Mr. Burroughs informs us that the damage will be at least $2,000. He will rebuild late in the season.
A stable belonging to John Schwartz, who lives near the ice houses, was also blown down. Three horses were in it at the time, but there was only a slight wound on the heard of one of the animals, they were fortunately uninjured. At the home of Mr. Burroughs a fine orchard was nearly destroyed, and at William Hasty's several valuable trees were torn from the ground by the roots. Several stables and outhouses belonging to Henry Quigley, were blown to the ground, and a stable on the property of Rudolph Burns was blown to pieces.
At Gaasch's garden, the extensive sheds and bowling alley were lifted off their foundations and reduced to kindling wood. The other damage is impossible to accurately ascertain, but the most serious has already been detailed.
Lafayette Courier Lafayette, Indiana March 5, 1880 Page 1
The wind had a regular mad cap frolic at Burrows Station last night. Among other exploits it lifted the roof off of the new, two-story brick school house, blew in the gable ends of the Union church, completely wrecking the building, and leveling to the ground a large stable. The citizens of that burg were considerably surprised this morning upon beholding the rain caused by the storm. Logansport it seems was fortunate in escaping the violence of the gale.
Last night's storm seems to have been generally over the State. At Indianapolis one of the churches was blown down and considerable damage was done.
Logansport Pharos Logansport, Indiana March 5, 1880 Page 1
Some other accounts in Indiana:
A tornado struck Indianapolis at 10:30 p.m. with a course of southwest to northeast. "Funnel-shaped" twister exhibited "Loud roaring noise: cloud pursued a zig-zag course.
Loss of property $100,000. 1
Professional Papers of the Signal Service, Volume 1 by United States Army Signal Corps Character of Six Hundred Tornadoes Pages 16-17
1 Transcribed by me.
The Northeastern Part of the City Swept by a Tornado.
Serious Damage Bone to Homes, Churches and Yards.
Central Avenue Methodist Church Partly Demolished.
Tho Finest Residences in the North Bid More or Lois Injured.
Loss of Property Probably $75,000;
No Accidents to Life or Limb.
In 1860 the southern part of the city was visited by a hurricane which did a great deal of damage, and severely hurt Gardener Goldsmith, the nurseryman, who still goes on a crutch, from the effects of a broken leg then sustained. The storm swept through a good portion of the state, reaching Indianapolis about five o'clock in the evening. Early in 1869 there was another blow in the southern section, which demolished the old Fan-Handle depot, dismantled the Bay house and badly injured Rev. Horace Ballon, a Universalist minister officiating here. Since then two wind storms of consequence have been recorded. At about 11 o'clock last night, however, there came a tornado which will mark an epoch for the "eldest inhabitant" to refer to for years to come. There bad been considerable wind and rain during the evening and night but the latter had ceased, though stars were shining, and there was every indication of clear weather, when, suddenly, after three or four minutes of preliminary rumbling, there came a cyclone, cutting like a cleaver, accompanied by a sharp "swish" betokening its destructive force. The occupants of the houses damaged of course were awakened to the fact of the disaster, while many scores and hundreds in or near its track were startled from their beds by the ominous sound and the violent concussion. It is the testimony of those who heard it that the cyclone in its full force did not last more than a half minute, but before and after there was very strong wind, with little gusts of rain, which of itself would have done an inconsiderable damage.
The track of the tornado was from the west eastward. From the western limit to
about Park avenue its course was slightly to the north, but at this point it seems to
have deflected southward, leaving the city in the vicinity of Clifford avenue. The territory
visited by the destructive wind was not south of First or St. Mary street, and not much north of Second street and Home avenue. The evidence shews that the wind traveled
in undulations. At certain points it was very close to the ground, then rose and
ripped off chimneys and tall objects, and again descended, doing great damage to law
buildings. One peculiar feature is, that while traveling eastward a very considerable portion of the damage is to the eastern walls of houses, showing that the wind eddied, and
worked with backward and revolving force. This morning the track of the hurricane
was visited by thousands of people. The streets were lined with sight seers. Though
extent of the less is not easily determined; but the damage will aggregate not
far from $75,000, exclusive of the havoc worked on the shade and fruit trees, which
is very heavy, and of a kind not readily repaired. Against a loss of this kind there is
no insurance, but while the damage to property is so serious, it is gratifying to be able to
announce that, as far as reported, there are do accidents of importance to persons, although in a number of- instances the escapes were narrow and apparently miraculous.
The following is a detailed report of the damage:
A Tour of the Streets.
The first effects of the tornado inside the city limits are to be seen on Blake street. Some two or three small buildings are unroofed and chimneys blown down. A few shade trees are uprooted, but beyond this only slight damage is noticeable at this point. Following the course of the storm, the reporter came next to...
At this point, between Pratt and First, streets, is located the stables of the Indiana
avenue street car line, and here the storm got in some most effective work. Several tenement houses were unroofed, trees twisted up, and fencing blown away. The street car stables are badly wrecked. Nearly the entire roof was lifted up and blown away, while the north brick wall is leveled to the ground. A part of the tin roof is to be seen a hundred yards distant in the tops of the large maple trees in Blake's woods. A number of these beautiful forest trees are also uprooted and twisted about in almost every conceivable shape.
The storm struck the boat houses on the East bank of the canal, on St. Clair street, and completely wrecked them. A couple of boats were lifted from their moorings at the waters edge, and carried several feet. then swept away. The heavy iron roofing on the south side of the Citizen's gas works, the mats falling on the I.L. Railroad tracks. An engine was sent for, and soon cleared the debris away, so that trains were not interrupted. The machinery in the gas works was left uninjured, and the manufacture of gas will be right on. At the corner of First street, the work of destruction is terrific. At this point is located the extensive lumber yard of C. C. Foster.
Everything is torn up and scattered about in the most promiscuous manner imaginable. The two-story barn was torn to pieces, and the timbers blown in every direction. On the opposite side of the street a piece of the twelve-inch timber was driven clear through the side of a frame cottage. Horse and mules that were hasp are missing, while a buggy that sat in the street in front is entirely demolished. The office building, where Mr. Dillingham, the book-keeper of the firm sleeps, was lifted up and moved 8 or 10 feet, while a large iron safe that which weighs early a ton, was moved clear across the room, a distance of some feet. Sheds, fences, trees and out-buildings are blown away. On the north side of First Street, from Missouri to Mississippi, every house was more or less wrecked. Mrs. Woodson residence was almost totally demolished. John Lafevre, at No. 174 West First street, was in bed in the front room of his house, when a huge rafter was driven through the side of the building immediately over him. He did not wait for his alarm clock to wake him up. Dr. Cole's residence, on the northeast corner of Mississippi and First, was but slightly damaged, but his barn
Considerable damage is noticeable here. A huge mass of timber of all kinds is deposited in the streets, making it almost impassable, while telegraph poles, fences and trees are scattered in every direction. On the northeast corner of First and Mississippi, is the residence of A.W. Herman. The house is a large two-story frame, and the entire roof is blown away, chimneys are gone, and a large bole on the south side, blackened with mud and water, makes it look as though a cannon ball had struck it. Between First and Second streets on Mississippi several chimneys are down, fences blown away and trees uprooted.
TENNESSEE AND ILLINOIS STREETS
The ravages of the tornado at this point consisted principally in uprooting large shade trees, carrying away fences and mowing down chimneys. The little walnut grove on the north side of First, between Illinois and Tennessee was much damaged, a number of the largest trees being twisted up by the roots. Going over to Second street, between Illinois and Tennessee streets, the most serious damages are noticeable, especially on the south side of the streets. Besides the usual number of uprooted trees and telegraph poles, fences blown away, roofs and chimneys off, etc., nearly every house on the street is seriously impaired. The residence of Harry Holloway is perhaps the worst wrecked of any in this part of the city. Mrs. Floyd lived next to Mr. Holloway, and her residence is badly wrecked, as was also the house occupied by Mr. Johnson, in the same vicinity. The roofs are blown off these buildings, and the walls are badly cracked. The walls of Mr. Holloway's residence have fallen in so that it is not lit for occupancy. The house on the corner of Second and Illinois streets, the residence of C. M. Miller, had the roof blown away and the chimneys tumbled in. The residence of W. S. Hubbard, just north of Second street, his grounds extending to the corner south, was seriously injured. The top of the tower was blown off, a portion of it carried away and the handsome porch demolished. The trees in his yard suffered very severely. Mr. Hubbard's damage is not much below $1,000. The residence of F. Goepper, on the southeast corner of Second and Meridian, suffered the loss of one chimney. At the residence of John H. Holliday, 601 North Meridian, the heavy transom over the front door was blown into the hall, smashing the chandelier in its enforced trip. Two trees in front of the house were twisted and broken, and blown against the house. The house of Gen. H. Chapman was injured somewhat, but his principal loss is from the damage to the trees in his yard.
NORTH PENNSYLVANIA STREET
The residence of James Dickson, corner of Second, was considerably injured. Windows were blown out, chimneys thrown down, and the roof damaged -lightly. The next residence, Judge Tarkington's, was damaged to the extent of about $1,000. T he chimneys fell upon the roof and broke it through, windows were, taken out, and the soot and dust damaged the furniture and the inside of the house very much.. The yards and outbuildings of J. N. Switzer and J. A. Moore were scenes of considerable destruction. The residence of Mr. McKenna was hurt by the windows and tin roof being demolished. Justice Hoache's loss is slight, the only damage being to his shrubbery. The Gil Nield house, had its chimneys blown down and roof crushed in by the heavy weights blown against it. The fences of both Dr. and Albert Fletcher were blown down.
On Delaware street the damage was more general though none of it very heavy. The residence of J. A. Dosser was slightly injured, and some of his outhouses carried off. The chimney from an adjoining building fell into the portico on the residence of C. F. Rafert. C. P. Jacobs lost his chimneys, windows, and the cupola from his barn.
The residence of J. M. Butler was considerably damaged by the loss of chimneys, windows and a broken roof. I. A. Hanson's barn was considerably damaged and his chimneys carried off. The cupola from J. T. Dye's barn was found in a distant lot completely demolished, and the stable of J. T. Fraley was somewhat injured. The residence of W. P. Fishback was greatly injured, the roof was carried off and wood shed demolished. The houses of J. P. Shipp, Rev. Mr. Reed and Mrs. Pearson lost their chimneys, roofs and windows. The roof was taken off the residence of Marcy, the jeweler, and the rear end of the house crushed. Mrs. Davis lost her chimneys, porch and fences.
The injury on Alabama Street begins at No. 555, where the trees and fences are strewn in every direction. The residence of ex-Governor Baker was considerably injured by the loss of windows and chimneys. C. W. Fairbanks, residence was demolished with the roof, towers, windows and chimneys- being destroyed. The injury to David Munson, corner of Second street, is several thousand dollars. His fine barn was blown down and the roof from it fell upon his residence and smashed the roof and rear part in. The house is also damaged inside, and lost its chimneys and windows. The residence of Mrs. Livingston Dunlap was injured the most of any on this street, the whole back end of it being broken in, the roof taken off, walls sprung, plastering loosened, and windows and chimneys blown away. Miss Laura Ream...........was fortunately absent, or there might have been a serious accident to record. Her room was completely demolished. The brick walls were thrown inward and crushed her furniture terribly. Part of her wardrobe was earned to a considerable distance, but it was returned this morning. By a circumstance, Miss Ream went to Cincinnati last night. The residence of T. A. Morris was injured considerably, the walls being jarred, windows, chimneys and doors demolished and a house blown down. The loss to his yard was also great. Much of his shrubbery was destroyed by the winds and the parts of neighboring houses. Large portions of the roof from the residence of Mr. Hubbard were found in this yard, having been carried three squares.
ON CENTRAL AVENUE
When Central avenue was reached the cyclone came down to the ground and made sad havoc in the vicinity of Butler avenue. West of the Central avenue church, were three frame dwellings, owned by Joseph Long, The one on the corner being occupied by him, the other two by R. Ferguson and W. H Mansfield. Ferguson's house, fronting on Butler avenue, in the rear of Long's, was the most injured, being lifted bodily off its foundations and left standing four or five feet out of line. The roof and chimneys were torn off. The experience of the family was of the most thrilling character, but as by a miracle, they all escaped with nothing more serious than a severe fright, and a few bruises. One of the chimneys tumbled through into the bedroom of Miss Amy Ferguson, and covered her with debris, as she lay in bed. Carl Ferguson was also partially buried under a lead of lath and plaster. His library was badly damaged by the plaster and water which fell upon it. Some of the family heard the shock coming, but before they could reach the doors, it was over. Everything breakable in the house was destroyed. Several boards were driven into the house, as though shot out of a gun. There the chimneys of Mr. Long's residence were blown away and dismantled, and the house occupied by Mr. Mansfield, adjoining it on the south, and fronting on Central avenue No. 71. Also, was not so badly damaged, although pretty thoroughly shaken up. All the outbuildings and fences on this property were totally destroyed, and in flying to pieces, damaged to a greater or less extent the stables across the alley. It is the picture of desolation and rain. Mr. Long's will amount to three thousand dollars. Next door to Mansfield's is the house of Alfheus Tyner, No.7. agricultural implement dealer, owned by M. M. Landis. Here the front part of the building is utterly destroyed, the roof being driven into the bedrooms in the second story, the floor of which again penetrates the parlor and sitting room. Mr. Tyner came home just in time to get his family into the back part of the house, and thus saved them. They had returned but a few moments before from Mansfield's, where a surprise party had gathered on the occasion of the anniversary of their wedding. Here, too, the fences and outbuildings are wasted. A large tree in front of T. J. Trusler's residence was torn out by the roots and hurled across the fence.
CENTRAL AVENUE CHURCH
The damage to Central avenue Methodist church is considerable, and, under the circumstances, something of a calamity. The congregation bad just expended several hundred dollars upon refitting and refurnishing their church building, and had everything comfortable and attractive. The south half of the building, frosting on Butler street, was completely demolished, the roof entirely blown off, portions of it being carried into the adjoining yard. The walls were wrenched and torn into pieces, the pews in that portion of the house badly broken, the stoves thrown down, and the new carpet considerably damaged. The north half of the church was not hurt much, and the pulpit and organ are untouched. The damage is probably about six or eight hundred dollars. At 7 o'clock this morning a large number of the congregation were on the ground with the pastor, Dr. Andrus, and the elder, Dr. Lynch. Under their direction the work of removing the debris was at once commenced. A meeting of the official board was organized on the 5th. Smith and J. R. Budd appointed a committee to secure estimates for rebuilding, to be reported to a meeting to be held to-morrow morning at 730, at which time the contract will be let, the purpose being to have the building ready for occupancy by one week from Sunday. In the meantime, by the courtesy of the trustees of Corinthian lodge, I.O. F., services on Sunday next will be held at their ball, above Goe's grocery, corner of Central avenue and St. Mary's street. The Chautauqua literary and scientific circle, which was to have been held in the church tomorrow (Saturday) night, will be held at the residence of Louis Schmidlap, No. 162 Bellefontaine street.
A few shingles and the chimneys on the roof of Rev. F. C. Holliday's house, corner of Butler, went off in space. The late residence of John D. Morris, north of Butler; suffered the loss of outbuildings, fences, chimneys and shingles from the roof, some of which sailed calmly through the bedroom window of John B. Conner on the north, awakening him and his wife. His stable also disappeared. South of Butler avenue the damage was confined to trees and fences, which suffered considerably.
From Park avenue and Butler the storm veered slightly to the south and the next "stand" it made was on Christian avenue, between College avenue and Ash street. The barn of A. G. Fosdyke, 173 Christian avenue, was twisted from this place, and left a worthless thing. The row of poplars in front of Meridian church, and the residence of Thomas L. Sullivan, were prostrated to the ground. A piece of the brick wall of Walton's grocery, corner of Ash street, tumbled over into the street, making a wreck of the awning. W. C. Phipps's house, on the opposite corner, was badly distorted and exposed to the wind and rain by the removal of a part of the roof and several doors and windows. All the way north of that square on the north side to Bellefontaine street, chimneys were swept off of the houses, and several of the owners lost track of their outhouses and fences. J.Webb, G. W. Stubbs and Marshal Mannine were the principal sufferers. The chief damage in this neighborhood was to the residence of Rev. L. G. Hay, northeast corner of Bellefontaine street. It appears to have met the full force of the blow, and is badly shattered in consequence. The roof is lifted clear of its resting place on the walls, and in or two places cracks were made in the walls. Nearly every room of the house felt the effect of the shock, walls being thrown over, the plastering forced from the ceiling, and doors and windows broken and thrown out of plumb. Great damage was done to the carpets and furniture by the mixture of plaster and water, the rain forcing itself in at every aperture. Mr. Hay was not at home, being on a business trip to Terre Haute, and be elder son, Lawrence, suffering from a high fever. Notwithstanding the strain upon his nerves by the startling crash, he is reported no worse this morning. Louise Bugbee, the granddaughter, had a narrow escape from instant death. A large mass of plaster and cornice fell upon the pillow at the side of her head, so close as to fasten down some of her Hair. Mr. Hay's loss must be nearly if not quite $2,000. A portion of the roof from Hays' house is it thought, struck the front wall of the brick edifice on the next lot occupied by Jefferson Caylor, hardware dealer, as it was forced into the parlor, to the utter demolition of the furniture. On the other side of the street some damage was done to wooden fences, shrubbery and trees. A. J. Halford and wife, who reside at No. 273, were awakened by a large section of the roof from some place unknown, endeavoring to force an entrance through their bed room window, in which it partially succeeded. The house lost a few shutters and a chimney or two. At the corner of Peru street stands the Second church of the German Evangelical association, from which the steeple was blown, alighting in the yard adjoining on the street. Most fortunately, it missed the house by about a foot. Ruining the fences it did no damage. On its way to this point, the wind leveled fences and outbuildings in the back of the house on the north side of Christian avenue, without distinction of ownership. The large stable of Cobb K. Branhani's, in their coal yard, corner of Peru railroad, was partially dismantled. Here, the storm again took a turn to the southeast, and passed out along Clifford avenue in its route. A small frame dwelling, so the inmates of which evidently were not at home, was lifted from its foundations and sheared off to the north a few feet. The large brick chimney at Adams saw mill, opposite the Massachusetts avenue depot, was blown down from a point about twenty-five feet from the bottom. The Bee Line lumber yard, in this immediate vicinity, impartially distributed many thousand feet of lumber over the territory east of it. J. T. Huffs grocery, at the point of
was the scene of one of the most remarkable incidents of the storm. The wind lifted out the south half of the second story front, exposing the interior of that home, and a portion of the wall fell upon a bed occupied by a man named Hudson and his wife, crushing it badly, but miraculously, without injuring them seriously. This building belongs to the Massachusetts Mutual Life insurance company, and is damaged to the amount of about $1,000. Sickle's grocery, a frame building east of Huffs, is a total wreck. Although still standing, it is twisted and distorted out of all semblance to the shape in which it originally stood. North of it, on Brookside, a dwelling house stands with a board driven through the side. It also lost its chimneys and fences. Beyond Brookside on Clifford avenue the wind performed some queer capers. The south end of James Petty's house is blown entirely out, and the rest badly wrenched. While the yard and streets are strewn with furniture and kitchen utensils. A stove stands as upright as it did on the floor and under shelter. Here, and across Dorman street, which runs south from Clifford avenue, the fences and outhouses are wiped out. On the north side of the avenue several small tenements have suffered from a hand-full of shingles ripped off the roofs as sharply as by a knife. Nos. 116 and 120, owned by Rev. O. S. Dean, of Milford, Mass, are damaged badly, the east wall of the former being lifted out of the structure and dropped against the other. The stables belonging to Messrs. Grim k Coffin were blown down, but farther east no traces of desolation are apparent.
A large plate glass window in the Criterion restaurant, on South Illinois street, was blown out last night by the force of the wind. The last heard from the storm was at Cincinnati this morning, at half past two o'clock, where it was kicking its heels over the Cincinnati Southern railroad bridge. West of the city, in the vicinity of the insane hospital, the wind overturned fences, uprooted trees and did other damage of like character, but nothing more serious is reported. The large tree that shades the front of Rev. Myron W. Reed's residence, on North Delaware street, is graced with a huge section of the tin roof lifted from Shipp's house, just below. Telegraph and telephone wires are prostrated all along the line of the storm, and at some points for a considerable distance on either side. There will, of course, be some interruption of communication, that that will be soon remedied. The worst damage was that done to the trees and shrubbery. In many cases rows of trees nearly a square in length were uprooted, and consequently destroyed. To a city that depends so much upon its trees for whatever reason it may possess, as does Indianapolis, the loss of such a number is a serious blow. Signal Service Officer Loyd says that from observations received at this point the cyclone evidently started somewhere in the north west—perhaps in Montana—coming through Davenport and Keokuk, Iowa and Springfield, Illinois and thence to Indianapolis. At the time the storm passed this point, the wind was blowing at the rate of twenty-seven miles per hour, with a very strong barometric pressure. But heavy winds are not reported from any other points. From sunset till 10:24 the barometer fell 2-10 of an inch, a very remarkable depression.
The experience of W. P. Fishback and his family was somewhat amusing, as related by that gentleman. They were up when the storm struck the house, and thought it must have collided with an express train. In a few minutes they peered out and saw neighbor Fraley out in the yard closing at a tin roof lying there. He called for his man to come and find out, if possible, where it belonged. The Fishbacks watched these proceedings with interest, and commiserated poor Mr. Fraley, who was out in the rain. They retired for the night, but in about ten minutes, found themselves in the midst of a lively shower that came through the ceilings. The tin roof in Fraley's yard had been lifted from their own dwelling, and the hours till dawn were spent in hunting some dry corner that would remain dry. A further search showed that the back yard was as bare of outbuildings and fences as, though it had been swept. Mr. Fishback thinks he recognized the roof of one of them a square or two distant this morning, but not with sufficient certainty to claim the property.
Indianapolis News Indianapolis, Indiana March 5, 1880 Page 1 & 4
.......a destructive cyclone passed over a portion of Boston Township doing great damage to property. It completely demolished the residence of James C. McGreger, killing Mr. McGreger and severely injuring several of his children.
History of Gibson County, Indiana: With Illustrations Descriptive of Its Scenery and Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Mean and Pioneers 1884 Page 67
A destructive cyclone passed over the [Barton 1]township [Gibson County 1], demolishing homes and killing animals.
History of Gibson County, Indiana: Her People Industries and Institutions By Gilbert Reiley Stormont 1914 Page 357
1 From me.
- Local Weather History: The March 4, 1880 Severe Weather Outbreak
- Local Weather History: 1880: The Cool Autumn & Record-Breaking November
- Local Weather History: June 10, 1939 Significant Severe Weather Outbreak
- LOCAL WEATHER HISTORY: REANALYSIS OF JULY 13, 1883 OUTBREAK OF SEVERE WEATHER
- Local Weather History: Remembering a Severe Weather Outbreak in Late October 1866
- Local Weather History: The Weekly Top 10 List: Top 10 Worst September Severe Weather Episodes/Outbreaks
- March 1868 St. Patrick's Day Severe Weather Outbreak
- Local Weather History: August 24, 2007 Severe Weather
- Local Weather History: The Often Forgotten January 1884 Arctic Outbreak
- Local Weather History: The January 30-31, 2019 Arctic Outbreak