History: Clark County, Wis. 1925 Cyclone

Contact: mailto:Bob@wiclarkcountyhistory.org


Surnames: Arndt, Bark, Demand, Fisher, Goetsch, Leitzke, Lewis, Mauritz, Meyer, Mittlesteadt, Olson, Radatzke, Sorenson, Thistle, Weideman, Weise


----Source: The Curtiss Advance (Curtiss Clark Co., Wisconsin), Wednesday, September 2, 1925


High Wind Accompanied by Heavy Downpour - Power Lines Down - Damage is Heavy

The people of Abbotsford and surrounding country realized in some degree that a cyclone might be like Saturday afternoon when a twister hit the village, blowing down sheds and numerous small buildings, breading windows, disrupting wire service and showed a partiality of silos taking nine of them just in the vicinity of Abbotsford, not mentioning the numerous structures blown over and damage on farms near Green Grove, Atwood, Owen and adjacent villages. Orchards were stripped of fruit and many trees ruined.

The storm seems to have been the most severe over near Green Grove and Atwood, playing havoc in the villages and the farms. Two barns were demolished, twenty or more silos blown over, machine sheds destroyed and four threshing outfits badly damaged in the community.

Rev. Goetsch, Lutheran pastor at Green Grove was injured when the car in which he was riding was overturned.

Martin Sorenson of Owen had two ribs broken and a shoulder dislocated when he was blown from a load of furniture on the road near Atwood.

It is reported that at Green Grove, the windows of the Lutheran Church were broken, the glass damaging the organ, a porch was torn from one home, and many small buildings wrecked.

The storm swept a narrow path about ten miles long, twisting and wrecking everything in its path. The cheese factory of Elwin Fisher was blown from its foundation. A county road worker was tossed, team grader and all, into the ditch by the force of the wind, but he escaped with slight bruises. Many trees and telephone posts in the path of the storm were blown over.

Much of the region hit by the Saturday twister was in the path of the tornado of September 22, 1924, which took 50 loves and swept across six counties in Northern Wisconsin. At that time more than 55 families were left homeless.

The storm clouds gathered about 3:L30 in the afternoon after a day of oppressive heat. The wind arose with such suddenness and force that not a few persons were caught on the highways.

A Ford touring car, owned by Gene Thistle, and parked at the end of the street near the Hardware Store was jammed back against a Dodge touring car and practically stripped of its top. A congoleum rug on display out in the front of the Hardware Store was badly torn and ruined. At Olson’s store, a strip of roofing was torn off, but through ingenuity and foresight, they were able to save goods from any damage.

The garage at the Leitzke’s home on the west side of town was a mess of wreckage. Among the farmer near here whose silos were baldy damaged or blow over were George O???er (cannot read, bad copy), Harry Demand, Herb. Weideman, Julius Meyer, Harry Bark, Fred Weideman, Sam Lewis, Henry Radatzke and Frank Weise.

Automobiles were carried thirty and forty feet by the wind. A Lutheran minister from Menomonee, driving on Highway 16 were carried to the ditch near the Demand farm on he outskirts of Abbotsford. The car was tipped on its side, the windshield broken and the occupants found it necessary to break a window in the side of the car in order to extricate themselves. They were uninjured except for a few minor cuts and bruises and after righting the car with the help of Mr. Demand, and his team. They continued on their way to Stetsonville, where the minister was to speak at the Mission Festival Sunday.

The steeple of the St. Bernard’s Catholic Church was completely blown off. The bell, clanged as the steeple scarped down the side of the roof, landing South of the Church very close to the parsonage. The roof was quite badly damaged and the balcony and from the entry just below were left open to the downpour of rain that accompanied the wind. The bell was damaged somewhat, but not beyond repair. No injury was done to anyone when it fell though. People had been entering and leaving the church through the entire afternoon.

At the Louis Mauritz home a great deal of damage was done. The house was twisted on its foundation, about ten window panes were blow in, rain entering the house and ruining the wall paper, rugs and much of the furniture.

At Gust. Arndt’s, Eli Mittlestead’s and other homes, window panes were blown in and like damage done, though not of quite such fearful character.

We might go on indefinitely listing minor and other more serious damages caused by “old man wind” in our village, but suffice it to say that Abbotsford people are feeling very thankful that it was of no more serious nature. A downpour of rain, which was badly needed accompanied the wind, the rain continuing on through the night, bringing an end to the long dry spell, which has been with us for so long a time.


Robert Lipprandt.


History: Cyclone & Tornado Facts (1903)

Contact: Janet


----Source: Northern Wisconsin advertiser, June 11, 1903




Cyclone a Big Aerial Whirlpool While a Tornado is but a Small One— Pass Over the State Frequently as the Weather Map in the Post office Shows.


The season for tornadoes is here, but don’t look for them, yet if you must know when to take to the cellar there are indications well worth noting. Both cyclones and tornadoes are circular movements in the air—atmospheric whirlpools. A cyclone is a very large whirlpool, a tornado is a very small one. Cyclones pass over Wisconsin every few days. They are nothing more than the “lows,” or centers of low barometric pressure that you see pictured on the weather map hung up in the post office and elsewhere. The diameter of these wind circles is measured in hundreds or thousands of miles. On so large a track the wind trots about quite calmly. But at sea, where these big circles are reduced to a diameter of fifty or a hundred miles, as in the West Indies, the speed made Is far more rapid. A West Indian cyclone Is never popular with yachtsmen.


Now, a tornado has a diameter at its smallest part of only 100 feet or thereabout and it cultivates a speed correspondingly terrific. If you want to understand the difference between tornadoes and cyclones, pull the plug out of a washbasin and watch the water waltz. On the outside the circular movement is very leisurely; in the middle, where the little vortex or maestrom Is forward, the schedule is as swift as sin.


As often happens, it’s easier to describe cyclones and tornadoes than to explain them. But all these circular movements In the atmosphere are due to opposing currents and opposing conditions. That Is, an air current moving in one direction meets a current going in another direction; cold air meets hot air; dry air encounters moist air. Then, in an attempt to attain the equilibrium which Is the absence of life, circular movements of the atmosphere set In, usually on a grand -scale.


And In the spring time, when the earth Is still cold and the air Is being heated up by the sun; when the dry, northerly air currents from the Pacific come down Into the center of the continent and meet the moist, hot currents from the Atlantic, then we have the necessary contradictions of movement, temperature and humidity. Big circular currents are started. These are true cyclones. In addition, for reasons we don’t understand, little eddies are thrown off from the big current. These eddies are the tornadoes, the so-called cyclones.


Every tornado forms a vertical funnel tapering towards the earth, and moving around and around opposite to the direction taken by the hands of a watch. The funnel is also a traveling vacuum. Being a vacuum, it violently attracts air from the outside. If the top of the funnel should be 6,ooo feet across, or example, the air there might he going no faster than seven miles an hour. But if, ns is probable, the lower end of the funnel, near the earth, was only 100 feet across, the movement might be Increased to the rate of 200 miles an hour. In fact. some observations taken by photography and geometry of a cyclone off the Massachusetts coast in 1896 showed that the rotary speed of the funnel at sea level was 850 miles an hour. This explains why, during a tornado, a garden spade has been driven six inches into a tree, and why straws are frequently shot like nails into oak planks.


Another movement in a upward direction follows, from the tendency of the hot air to rise towards the cooler currents. It Is the sudden condensation of the warm ah that causes the electric discharges so often reported. The same condensation creates the moisture that makes the funnel visible, so it looks like a whirling cloud.


Occasionally tornadoes move from south to north. As a rule they go from the southwest to the northeast. On Its southern side the funnel exerts a dangerous suction, but not on its northern side. So. unless the funnel is a considerable distance north of a spectator, he had better hurry away, with dignified speed, toward the north and west. If he hasn’t brought his cyclone cellar with him, he should seek the cellar of a frame house, not of a brick or a stone building. Otherwise he should get clear of houses and trees, lie flat down on his face, take a very long breath, and wait until the procession has moved by.


In the west we have about twenty-five tornadoes a year—they are not increasing in number as some people imagine. They seldom occur before May or after July 1. But if you cm counter one in April or August, don't stop to ask questions. In the course of a year we don’t have, on the average, more than three tornadoes that are highly destructive.


Almost everybody can tell a tornado on sight, and that's practically the only warning that it gives. Of course, it’s easy to explain the favorable conditions—a hot, muggy day with a great deal of moisture in the air. Yes, a day when the water pipes and water coolers are dripping wet. The sky seems to indicate a storm, though it may not be especially cloudy. On such days, in May or June, and between 2 o’clock p. m. end sundown, a cyclone might be possible almost anywhere in this latitude, Still tornadoes come at other seasons sometimes, and at other hours. And the fact that these conditions may prevail over a dozen counties, over two or three states, yet the tornado, if it should come, would travel a few miles only. It’s like dodging lightning because the weather conditions favor thunder storms. The funnel-shaped cloud—that’s the only infallible sign of a tornado. Not but what this ill-bred storm may be heard as well as seen. It has a loud, coarse voice not easily forgotten. The air rushing into the great vacuum causes a roaring noise like the merger of a hundred railway trains.


*Maestorm-- powerful often violent whirlpool sucking in objects within a given radius. 



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