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Hail Storm
of
1896


Lincoln Beacon, May 7, 1896

"Sunday Night's Storm"

Last Sunday evening about 6:30 o’clock a general storm of very varying severity swept over this county coming up from the south and southwest. After it reached a given point the wind at that point was sometimes from the south, sometimes from the southeast, or southwest, while the results were quite as various.

In Golden Belt, Valley, a part of Vesper township, and in Indiana, Elkhorn, Franklin and Beaver townships and the southern part of Marion there was rainfall that ranged all the way from heavy to tremendous downpour of an hour’s duration.

On Spring Creek and upper Bullfoot there was a large amount of hail fell, but the damage was very slight compared with the volume of hail. It generally fell almost perpendicularly, which accounts for the damage done being no greater.

Spring Creek, Mule Creek and Bullfoot, lying in Golden Belt, Vesper, Indiana and the western part of Elkhorn townships, ran bank full within two hours after the rain began.

Daniel Vonada, on upper Bullfoot, sustained considerable damage done to his wheat. James Farquharson’s wheat was also badly injured, in the same neighborhood.

Eyewitnesses declare that the sudden rush of water on Spring Creek brought down a large quantity of hail, which accumulated in an eddy just above the bridge at Jacob Grubb’s place. The water receded quickly, leaving a drift of hail which was four feet deep at 9 o’clock Monday morning. If this hail had come with a gale behind it the entire neighborhood would have been devastated beyond any power of recuperating this year.

On Bullfoot eight miles southwest of Lincoln, the lower story of W.E. Marsh’s house was flooded four feet deep. It takes a perpendicular raise of 20 feet to reach the doorsill, so the entire rise was 24 feet straight. Bullfoot has done this twice for Mr. Marsh since his house was built. The house has a two-story elevation on a creek side, the cellar being a "bank cellar," on a level with the first story. From the upland side the house appears as a one-story structure. The family removed nearly everything upstairs, out of the reach of the water, but the inconvenience of cleaning up after the water fell was great, of course.

George Veitengruber, living four miles southwest of Lincoln, had a large field of wheat flooded, pat of it being under three feet of water. A portion of his place had hail lying four inches deep on a general average. All his fruit is almost completely destroyed,

On upper Bullfoot, in Vesper township, the creek rose 12 feet. Wheat was damaged some by hail, but not much of it was hurt seriously, according to Clerk Rahmeier. In that vicinity there was considerable corn washed out.

W.H. Haywood of Valley had 500 peach trees loaded with fruit and there was very little left when the storm had passed over. That constitutes his principal damage.

J.R. Wolford of south Indiana had a late planting of four bushels of kaffir seed washed out. His wheat was somewhat damaged.

Mrs. Reinhardt of Valley township, lost 20 hogs and a lot of chickens by hail, and the hail caused a great deal of suffering among the stock.

One of the Dresselhauses, living on upper Bullfoot, on Monday morning found a cow down, with hail drifted about her until she was unable to get up. Mr. Dresselhaus had to shovel her out. A part of Mr. Dresselhaus’ fence was washed away by the flood and an embankment of hail was left in its place of which enough remained on Wednesday to turn stock.

Conrad Dunki the nurseryman, had hogs and chickens swept away.

The senior editor of The Beacon saw a nine-foot embankment of hail and trash Wednesday noon – what remained of a drift 18 feet high, on the farm of Jacob Weidman, the famous Bullfoot nurseryman. A waterspout (probably) brought a great flood of water tearing down Bullfoot, and at a certain place the current set in against a natural embankment of earth, forming an eddy out of which the water had to back. When the water had receded Monday morning there stood a mass of impacted hail stones (with some debris) 18 feet high and 40 by 25 feet on the ground. Wednesday noon half that mass of ice remained – a pile nine feet high, with only trash enough mixed through it to be noticeable.

M. Moss of Franklin, estimated that if all went well he would have 300 bushels of peaches. Nearly every peach was knocked off and pounded into the ground, and a good prospect for an apple crop vanished in the same way.

In Franklin township G.E. and Ira Smith, brothers, had nearly all their fruit beaten off the trees. They estimate that about 10 percent of the fruit on the trees before the storm remains.

Only a little rain fell in the northern part of Marion township.

M.A. Jackson, three miles west of Lincoln, had his wheat badly damaged by hail, but it is thought that it will recuperate in a great degree.

T.F. Brann’s place joins M.A. Jackson’s. His garden was almost ruined, apple and peach trees badly skinned and the fruit knocked off.

J.A. Melrose, on Lost Creek, had all his fruit badly damaged.

August Lundstrom lives on Yauger, half a mile northeast of town. The principal damage which he sustained was from corn washing out from an excess of rain.

In Battle Creek township scarcely any rain fell – at some points none at all.

Along a narrow strip down Prosser and Rattlesnake creeks in Scott township, the hail seems to have fallen before a heavy wind, as a large amount of window glass was broken out, besides great damage being done to fruit and crops. C.E. Burkepile and others were severe losers.


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