Thursday, October 2, 2014

Baby Thrown During 1899 Twister

May 31st, 1899. An electrical storm bursts upon the small town of Ashton, Kansas during the late evening hours. Thunder booms and lightning flashes across the sky. A young family probably tries to sleep but the mother and father are kept awake by the show. Then, they hear what sounds like a train coming towards them. They probably crouch together for safety and hold on tight to their baby boy. And then the tornado hits their house.

Image from Wikipedia
The house is torn apart by the twister. It is demolished. The husband is blown 450 feet away and is badly cut on the head. The mother is OK. But, where is baby Floyd? He's only 10 months old! After searching in the dark, they find that he's been thrown by the tornado, too. But, thankfully he isn't injured.

A Small Twister, Arkansas City Daily Traveler, Arkansas City, Kansas, 01 Jun 1899, page 5, column 2;
digital image accessed 01 Oct  2014)

What a terrifying night for a family! But, I'm sure they were thankful that they all survived the tornado even though they lost their house and possessions.

A Small Twister, Arkansas City Daily Traveler, Arkansas City, Kansas, 01 Jun 1899, page 5, column 2;
digital image accessed 01 Oct  2014)

This is what happened on May 31st, 1899 to my great, great grandfather's daughter and her family. D. V. Waggoner was married to Mary Ellen "Ella" Coppenbarger, a sister of my great grandmother, Myrtle Mae (Coppenbarger) Peters. Myrtle Mae and their parents, Josiah Randolph Coppenbarger & Elizabeth (Bennett) Coppenbarger were living nearby as were other family members. I wonder when they found out that a tornado had demolished Ella's home and thrown the little baby away from the safety of his mom and dad. What a terrifying event!

Once again, the only reason I found this story is because of a newspaper article I found at Newspapers can tell us so much about our ancestors and get us past the names, dates and places.

Do we share common ancestors? I'd love to talk! Please leave a comment or write me at

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