Ozarks History

Information and comments about historical people and events of the Ozarks region and surrounding area.

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Location: Missouri

I'm a freelance writer specializing in the history of the Ozarks and surrounding region. I've written fifteen nonfiction books, two historical novels, and numerous articles. My latest books are Bushwhacker Belles, Wicked Women of Missouri, and Yanked Into Eternity: Lynchings and Hangings in Missouri.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Tri-State Tornado

I've written on this blog about the 2011 Joplin tornado and the 1880 Marshfield tornado, but I don't think I've ever written about the 1925 Tri-State tornado, other than perhaps just to mention it in passing.
The Tri-State tornado was first sighted in Shannon County, Missouri, about 12:40 p.m. on March 18, 1925, and the first fatality occurred about twenty minutes later north-northwest of Ellington. The storm virtually annihilated the town of Annapolis in Iron County, killing two people there. Two more people were killed at the small community of Leadanna, also in Iron County. The twister then crossed Bollinger County and entered Perry County, where it struck the town of Biehle, destroying many homes and killing four people. At least eleven people were killed in Missouri before the tornado continued its deadly path through Illinois and into Indiana.
The storm cut a swath 235 miles long and about 1,200 yards wide on average. Altogether it killed 695 people, making it by far the deadliest single tornado in U.S. history. Although not officially rated at the time, it is considered an EF5 tornado.
The Tri State tornado was part of a whole series of tornadoes that broke out on the same day, and the total number of deaths for all the storms that day was 747.

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