1925 Tornado in Hamilton County

The 1925 Tornado left a devasting impact on Hamilton County on the afternoon of March 18, 1925.  Structures in the path were heavily damaged or destroyed including four one-room school houses:  Braden in Flannigan Township, Olga, Center Twigg, and Parkers Prairie in Twigg Township, and Farris in Crook Township.  This was the 3rd time that Parkers Prairie School had been destroyed.  In his book, A Timber Town, Charles Hatton reveals that it had been demolished by twisters in the spring of 1912 and again couple of years later.  He reports that it was rebuilt each time.

41 people lost their lives.  Many more were injured.  Fatalities by township were Flannigan - 11, Twigg - 8, Mayberry - 1, Crook - 18, and Unknown - 3.

My grandfather, Wilson, was 11 years old when the tornado roared through Mayberry Township 1.5 miles north of his home.  His family watched it from their yard.  My great grandfather, Harry Mayberry, and his neighbors searched for survivors in the aftermath.

Flora Buttry Mayberry, my grandmother, was 5 years old when the tornado passed north of their house near Walpole in Twigg Township.  Her father Tom was working in the field and his wife Sallie was very worried for his safety.  He found shelter in a nearby barn.

Tri-state Tornado Path through Hamilton County

1925 Tornado Path

A group of experts analyzed the 1925 Tornado and created a map of the tornado path. Their conclusions are contained in a paper known as The 1925 Tri-State Tornado Damage Path and Associated Storm System.   One of their findings is that the width of the storm was appromxiately a mile wide.

Casualty List

The Tornado casualty list displays the names of those that lost their lives.

 1925 Tornado
Findagrave Virtual Cemetery

Queries were performed on the findagrave.com web page for deaths that occurred in 1925 for Hamilton County.  These were cross-checked with list of names from the Tri-State Tornado Interactive Damage Map and Bob Johns book on the tornado path through southern Illinois.  Each grave site was visited to photograph the monuments and record the GPS location of the burial sites.  Records were added or edited on findagrave.com to reflect updated information.

Injury Map

The Tornado Injury Map displays the townships and markers for each person or family killed and school damaged in Hamilton County.

Click or touch a Township Name to see a summary.
Click the marker for name of the individuals that passed.

Most of the injury locations were found on the Tri-State Tornado Interactive Damage Map. The Bob Johns book detailed the damage to Hamilton County One-room Schools and had additional names that were not listed on the interactive damage map.


Flora Mayberry letter.

Conversation with Dorothy (Mayberry) McMahon.

A Timber Town, Charles E. Hatton, Hatton House, Danville, IL. 61832

The 1925 Tri-State Tornado Damage Path and Associated Storm System
Johns, Robert, Burgess, Donald, Doswell III, Charles, Gilmore, Matthew, Hart, John, AND Piltz, Steven.
E-Journal of Severe Storms Meteorology [Online], 8 16 Apr 2013

The 1925 Tri-State Tornado's Devastation In Franklin County, Hamilton County, And White County, Illinois
April 5, 2012 by Bob Johns
Publisher: AuthorHouse (April 5, 2012)

Tri-State Tornado Interactive Damage Map