could be Buffalo's crossing the platte

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NETV recently aired a documentary about tornados in Omaha & eastern Nebraska 100 years ago on Easter Sunday, March 23, 1913

While there was extensive Kearney Hub coverage of those storms, there were no storms here in central Nebraska.

We had our own tornados 100 years apart on May 29, 2008  and June 4, 1908.

Where were you on May 29, 2008?

Two Buffalo Tales Articles


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."

Nov/Dec 2007 - Winded: Kearney's Cyclone of 1908
                        By Heather Stauffer

        [a summary of Hub news articles about the June 4, 1908 tornado in Kearney]

A stormy afternoon in central Nebraska June 4, 1908

Cyclones all around Kearney along with heavy rain & hail
        These storms were usually called cyclones rather than tornados

In Kearney
First storm of this kind to hit Kearney.
Traveled southeast to northwest, coming across Platte about a mile east of Central.

        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.

        G. S. Frank farm, former Schramm celery farm south of north channel – Hobart Swan took a picture. Showed portions of walls still standing and a portion of contents undisturbed.

        Elwood Jenkins residence – quarter mile west of Cash. New house, barn, chicken house destroyed, chickens killed. Mrs. Jenkins & 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.

        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.

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 and wife went outside and hung on to trees. [Not recommended] 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.

Worst damage to first families hit; they lost all personal property.

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

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

Some Colorful Descriptions

Conductor Belnap 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.

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

Reported on July 4th - “Jay Parker has his new barn nearly done and he needs it as the cyclone swiped the old one.”

And Also

June 19, 1908 - Average price for land in Buffalo County in 1908 was about $50.
Little land could be bought for less than $40 but unimproved land sold by the UP was averaging $23.78.


[Land sold in estate land auction about six months ago went for over $2,000 per acre]

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