A Sudden Change of Temperature

winter-storm

From Jesse Green’s memoirs:

I will give an account of the most sudden, and greatest change in temperature, in my recollection, which occured in the early winter of 1837 & ’38.  I left home about noon when it was drizzling rain sufficient to wet my clothing, and when I reached a point a little below Starved Rock, it commenced turning cold so fast that I ran my horse as fast as he could go to Utica, and by the time I reached the hospitable home of Simon Crosiar, it had frozen the ground hard enough to bear up my horse, and my clothing as stiff as it would freeze from being wet.  I had to be helped from my horse, and saddle and all together my clothing being frozen to the saddle, and I do not think I could have gone a quarter of a mile farther.

The next day returning home it was a terrible cold day, my left side against the wind was nearly frozen by the time I reached Ottawa, where I went into a store to warm myself, and all I could do to prevent it, fell asleep in a short time, I heard a number say that during that blizzard, they saw chickens frozen in their tracks.

Jesse was a year off in his memory of the event, as the “sudden change” happened on December 20, 1836, but he well remembered the after effects, as did many others. The meteorological background of the sweeping cold front, and a number of stories of Illinoisans caught as Jesse was, can be found here.

Almost a Tornado

TwisterRural Happenings

Dayton, June 19, 1879. – Our town and the surrounding country was visited last Saturday by a terrible strong wind and rain storm, almost a tornado. Old residents say it was the hardest storm that has visited our place for many years. Trees by the score were blown down, fences demolished, and a general confusion ensued, The new residence of Mr. Welke, almost completed, was moved six or eight feet off the foundation. Mr. W. happened to be on top of the building at the beginning of the storm, and judging his position to be too perilous, got inside when without a word of warning his building commenced sailing off. It is needless to state that our teutonic friend was somewhat frightened. About one half of our centennial flag pole was broken off and blown down into the street. Three or four large cherry trees and as many apple trees, on the Stadden property, were broken down. But the most destructive feat of the storm was the almost entire destruction of a crab apple grove on Mr. Jos. Barnes’ place southwest of town on the lane leading to Ottawa. Here large trees were broken and hurled with great force across the pasture, over the fence to the other side of the road. Mr. Barnes had a great deal of fence blown down and eight or ten nice large trees on his place broken off. Mr. Eisenhuth’s barn south of town was completely demolished, not a stick left standing. Nearly all of the roof of Mr. Stadden’s barn east of town was blown off. In fact from all accounts our place seems to have been in the centre of the tornado.1


  1. Free Trader, June 21, 1879, p. 8, cols. 1-2

Graphic By:Cartoon tornado from 365PSD.com

Floods – Tornadoes – There’s Nothing New Under the Sun

Disaster-Whirlwind-Tornado

Dayton, June 19, 1879. – Our town and the surrounding country was visited last Saturday by a terrible strong wind and rain storm, almost a tornado. Old residents say it was the hardest storm that has visited our place for many years. Trees by the score were blown down, fences demolished, and a general confusion ensued, The new residence of Mr. Wilkie, almost completed, was moved six or eight feet off the foundation. Mr. W. happened to be on top of the building at the beginning of the storm, and judging his position to be too perilous, got inside when without a word of warning his building commenced sailing off. It is needless to state that our teutonic friend was somewhat frightened. About one half of our centennial flag pole was broken off and blown down into the street. Three or four large cherry trees and as many apple trees, on the Stadden property, were broken down. But the most destructive feat of the storm was the almost entire destruction of a crab apple grove on Mr. Jos. Barnes’ place southwest of town on the lane leading to Ottawa. Here large trees were broken and hurled with great force across the pasture, over the fence to the other side of the road. Mr. Barnes had a great deal of fence blown down and eight or ten nice large trees on his place broken off. Mr. Eisenhuth’s barn south of town was completely demolished, not a stick left standing. Nearly all of the roof of Mr. Stadden’s barn east of town was blown off. In fact from all accounts our place seems to have been in the centre of the tornado.1


1. The [Ottawa, Illinois] Free Trader, June 21, 1879, p. 8, cols. 1-2