Cleveland, Ohio paper that covered 1878 cyclone now in museum’s collection

By Linda Emley

Postcards-TORNADO_OF_1878I got a package in the mail last week and it contained something
that is unlike anything that has ever been in Ray County before. There are many wonderful old things in our county, but I am 100 percent sure my new-found treasure is the only one like it in Ray County. It may even be the only one like it in the whole world. When it was made in 1878, it was one of many but the others have long since been thrown out with the trash. I have an original
copy of The Cleveland Leader newspaper from Monday morning, June 3, 1878.I bought this newspaper on eBay from a newspaper collector in Pennsylvania and paid $19.98 for it.It has eight pages of stories and ads that are very interesting. There is a section called “Telegraphic News,” that tells about the assassination
attempt onEmperor William. “Berlin June 2. While the Emperor was taking a drive this afternoon, some shots, apparently proceeding
from a house in Avenue Unter Den Linden, were fired at him. The Emperor was wounded in one arm and on one cheek by buckshot and small shot.” The Emperor survived this attack and died at the age of 90, 10 years later in 1888. Another interesting article was titled, “The Far West. Summer Campaign Among the Indians
– U.P. Train Robbers Arrested. Cheyenne, WY. June 2 – General Bradley’s command, consisting
of five companies, and headquarters of the Third Cavalry and four companies left Fort Laramie yesterday morning for the Little Missouri
River, where they will establish a summer camp and scout the country of the Black Hills.”Also of interest to a community that once dealt with its own armed robbery was this: “The four men who robbed the Union Pacific train a few days ago were captured today by Sheriff Rankin near where the Medicine Box empties into the Platte. Their names are John Thomas, Wm. Henry, D.H. Hill and W. A. Gibson.”There are many other interesting articles in this newspaper, but I bought it because it told about “The Missouri Cyclone.”The front page of the Ohio newspaper told the story of the cyclone that hit Richmond. “Further Particulars – Fourteen Deaths So Far – About Forty Wounded. St. Louis, June 2. The Times has additional specials from Richmond, Missouri, which say that the cyclone of yesterday was the color of steam, and at times the funnel-shaped whirling cloud would break or open in places and emit what appeared like black smoke, then gather together again and with increased force, continue on its march of destruction. At first it approached slowly, not faster perhaps than a man could walk, then moved faster, leveling
everything in its path with the ground, producing almost complete devastation. The sound it produced was infernal, resembling the roar of a great cataract. “The debris of the city has been found 14 miles away. A perfect panic prevailed for a time, but order and comparative calm were restored for a while,, and the killed and wounded provided for. The unharmed houses of citizens were thrown open at once for the reception of homeless sufferers, and every attention possible paid them.“Amidst the wails of women and children, and the groans of the dying, strong men shed tears on witnessing the general destruction and the death and maiming of relatives and friends. The mayor of the city has called for aid for those whose homes and property have been destroyed, and telegrams have already been received tendering assistance.“The funeral of several victims took place this afternoon, and the Masons of Lexington were present to assist in the interment of the remains of Capt. William Jacobs, found this morning buried in the ruins. Judge Donaldson, who was reported wounded last night, is dead, making 15 deaths so far. The death of several others is momentarily expected. At least 40 persons
are seriously or mortally wounded. Many strangers are here rendering all assistance possible.
News from the country in the track of the storm northward are that growing crops were badly injured, trees prostrated, stock killed and bridges blown down, but no houses were reported
destroyed or lives lost.”The Richmond Cyclone also made the front page in several other cities across America, including New York and Chicago. I think it’s really nice that we now have one of these original
newspapers from 1878 to add to our collectionof local history at the Ray County Museum

Have a story for Linda or an historic newspaper
for the museum’s collection? You can write her at or see her in person at the museum during business hours, Wednesday to Saturday.

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