could be Buffalo's crossing the platte

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Easter Sunday, March 23, 1913 - Tornados in Omaha & eastern Nebraska –
Extensive Hub coverage. No storms here.


Two Tornados hit Kearney 100 years apart

Buffalo Tales – May/June 2011

100 Years of Twisters:
A Photo Journal of the 1908 and 2008 Tornados

Compiled by Katherine Wielechowski

Funnel clouds were spotted between four and six pm on the evening of June 4, 1908….

Funnel clouds were spotted around five pm on the evening of May 29, 2008 approaching Kearney with what would be the most destructive storm in recent memory. It produced many tornadoes that caused extensive damage to homes and businesses in and around Kearney.

Buffalo Tales – Nov/Dec 2007

Winded: Kearney's Cyclone of 1908

By Heather Stauffer

[a summary of news articles about the June 6, 1908 tornado in Kearney]

From the Kearney Hub

In Kearney

June 5, 1908 – Devastating Storms Visit Kearney and Vicinity

Traveled southeast to northwest, coming across Platte about a mile east of Central Avenue.

Nine houses struck, 4 destroyed, 5 damaged

About a dozen barns partially or completely destroyed

Storm started about 4 p.m. June 4th.  Six funnel clouds seen, heavy rain, hail

Water drawn into the air when twister crossed the Platte. People in south Kearney watched it.

Places hit as storm moved from southeast to northwest:

        Elwood Jenkens residence – new house, barn, chicken house destroyed, chickens killed. Mrs. Jenkens & children,2 & 4 mos. Were in the house which was lifted and carried some distance. All were injured, but survived.

        George Niles – Took family to a hole around the well. House was lifted off foundation and twisted. Parts of farm wagon later found 3-4 blocks away. Also destroyed the barn

        J. H Nichols – Destroyed barn and damaged house

        Barney Overheiser – Destroyed barn and damaged house. Horse found unhurt a block away

        John Wagner – Mrs. Wagner in house which turned over several times before landing in field west of the yard. She crawled out and the wind blew the house completely away. She was injured, partially paralyzed on one side.

Storm Crossed Central south of the courthouse

Raised over a group of houses at 13th & 2nd ave, taking off chimneys, blowing out windows, and taking out several small barns

        Mr. Parr – Lifted house off foundation and moved it 4 feet north, little damage [but how do you move it back?]

        D. C. Bond across the street – Small brick house. He eand wife went outside and hung on to trees. House and barn destroyed. House roof landed near Kenwood school 500 feet north

        A. P. Salgren – 2 story brick house partially torn own. Pictures on undamaged walls & ornaments on piano undisturbed. Family had just gone next door to A. T. Anderson home. Barns and chicken houses of both residences were damaged.

        E. J. Woolworth – barn damaged. House lifted off brick foundation which fell into the cellar before house was set back down on what was left of the foundation.

        Sen. Norris Brown – Some windows blown out, roof damaged, trees uprooted.

        Mrs. William Hecht – Lost shingles                        

Storm lifted at 8th Ave. & 7th St.

Worst damage to first three families who lost all personal property.


Especially bad for Jenkens where everything was new. Money for bee supplies which he had not had time to put in bank yet could not be found.


First storm of this kind to hit Kearney.

Around Kearney:

Glenwood – Another twister came out of the clouds about 5 p.m. traveling northeast.

        It touched ground a short distance from the state Industrial School and continued north and east to Glenwood Park where it lifted.

        There was damage to the Roby elevator near Glenwood.


        Later another cloud of wind moving from east barely missed the Blue Mill on the Wood River east of Glenwood and moved west through L. S. Deets place and then moved off northwest going through trees on the Wood River, and then turned directly north.

        About a half hour later a storm dropped down a mile east and 11 ½ miles north of Glenwood Park moving west over one farm place to hit the ground by the next one,

George Poole’s, destroying the house & barn but not the small outbuildings.

        Three small children in the house were uninjured (one slightly bruised). The parents and a son were outside unhitching a team of horses.

Amherst & towns up that direction – heavy rain & hail

Two of the three main storms moved east to west instead of the usual west to east.


Storms accompanied with hail and heavy rain totaling about 3 inches. The hail caused little damage other than some broken windows. They were, however, the largest ever known in the area being 8”-12” in diameter.

Cyclone Committee organized immediately

June 6, 1908 – Later Storm News

        G. S. Frank farm - first hit, former Schramm celery farm south of north channel, quarter mile east of Jenkens. Hobart Swan took a picture. Showed portions of walls still standing and a portion of contents undisturbed.

        W. H. Cash farm south of Kearney – totally destroyed, all buildings, all animals except small dog that crawled in well hole with Mrs. Cash, 2 daughters & grandson. Pump pipe above them was twisted off Mr. Cash was in town.

        Newark – new $4,000 W. H Householder almost completed farm house destroyed
Conductor Belnap Talks – Conductor on the Kearney to Aurora passenger line described the cyclones coming in droves or flocks. Saw three at Newark and three more coming into Kearney.

Rest of county – heavy rain & hail.

        Pleasanton – Heavy rain for about 12 hours caused South Loup to flood. New iron bridge was high enough and long enough it was not damaged and road stayed open. Another twister hit east of town causing damage on 3 farms, no livestock killed or personal injuries. Railroad track on the Pleasanton branch line washed out in four places [but was repaired and reopened]

Three washouts on the other branch

        Dannebrog – Cyclone killed two people.

        Fairfield – Clay county, had 30 homes damaged. Congregational & Christian churches were destroyed, Baptist church and high school badly damaged. Livestock killed, crops damaged

        Geneva – two killed and 2 others died of injuries.
Farming community 5 miles from Franklin – 20 homes “torn to pieces,” one farmer killed several other persons injured

        Inavale & Chester – damage

        Lexington damage from high wind & downpour

        Near Boelus in Howard County – farmer & wife killed, home & farm buildings destroyed

June 18, 1908 – The belt where the cyclone went was being rapidly rebuilt.

June 23, 1908 – Where is the Country Club?
        Seeking to organize but a meeting scheduled for last Thursday was not held because of the cyclone.

        Action was needed quickly because the canal would soon be turned on and the lake would begin to fill. If any work was to be done on the shore for boating and swimming facilities it needed to be done soon.

June 29, 1908 –

        Garfield Township - “Many light buildings were tossed about promiscuously Monday evening during the heavy storm in this vicinity.”

        Glenwood Park – F. G. Keens was having a house built on a farm he was renting out there since the June 4 cyclone destroyed the other one.

July 4, 1908 – “Jay Parker has his new barn nearly done and he needs it as the cyclone swiped the old one.”

July 9, 1908 – Cyclone committee was to meet on July13 to close their work and all bills were requested to be presented by then.


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