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,
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
First storm of this kind to hit Kearney.
Traveled southeast to northwest, coming across Platte about a mile east of
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
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.
June 19, 1908 - Average price for land in Buffalo County in 1908 was about
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