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The site of the former village of Ellison, looking east from the cemetery. Inset: Few graves of the tornado victims are still visible in Ellison Cemetery. From top are the headstones of Mary Ann McWilliams, 22; Harriet McWilliams, 16, who died two days later; and Elizabeth Thompson, 29.

Gone with the Wind: Death and Destruction in Ellison

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A LaHarpe resident who visited the destruction of Ellison a week after the storm provided this diagram of the tornado’s path to the New York Herald of June 17, 1858. The funnel cloud zigged and zagged through the village, knocking down houses almost as if it had eyes.

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Editor and historian for Monmouth College. Avid researcher of western Illinois history for 40 years. FB and Twitter. jrankin@monmouthcollege.edu

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