Wednesday, May 22, 2013


The Oklahoma tornado brings up memories of the April 11, 1965, Palm Sunday tornado here. The tornado came through Fort Loramie at 10 pm. The storm which roared into Shelby County from the west cut a swath a half mile wide along Ft. Loramie-Swanders and Meranda Roads. Three people were killed including Mrs. Bernadine Barhorst and an elderly couple in the Anna area. Twenty five houses were destroyed and 40 barns destroyed or heavily damaged. A train was derailed near Anna.

Wilma Brunswick who lived in Cynthian Township wrote about the tornado. This is part of her story. More of her memories can be found in our book, Fort Loramie, Main St. and Beyond.

"The atmosphere had a greenish tint. Around 10 pm it rolled in from the Darke-Shelby County line to Shelby-Logan County line, a length of 20 miles.

The Martin Bender family was moving from the John Bender farm. It took down trees and the barn but the brick house was intact. The neighbors were on their knees around the beer keg praying.

Then it hit Cast Stone Products and did damage. It skipped across and wrecked Tom Moeller's body shop. It skirted the south end of Loramie. Dick and Dolores Wehrman along Ft. Loramie-Swanders Rd. could look up into the funnel and said it was full of flying debris.

Then it crossed over Ft. Loramie-Swanders Rd and hit the Phil Ernst farm on the north side of the road and took everything. Then it came across the road and struck the buildings on the Bill Holthaus farm. It hit and missed farms as it passed from one side of Meranda Road to the next. It hit the Fred Barhorst farm on Kuther Road after it had demolished Cuba School. Then to Bob Platfoot's buildings, twisting the house. Then it started down Meranda Road with a vengeance. The Bill Wenger farm with beautiful well-kept buildings - nothing left.

It pulled electric light poles and laid them down on the ground. Some had straw spears driven into them like you would a nail. There was a farm atop a hill at Shelby-Logan line. There wasn't even a board left. Before it hit Cuba School it roared down Hardin-Wapak Road, took Flaute's barn, wrecked Lentz's buildings, and then hit Barney Ahrns'. One of the girls had a stick driven through her chest and out of her back.

Albert and I were upstairs in our bedroom watching tv. The tv went off came back on and went off and stayed off. No lights. I looked out of the east window and it looked like you opened a coal burning stove. It rained so hard it rained the grass out of the ground. Albert went out on the north porch and he could hear chain saws everywhere."

There are many websites on the internet to explore.