100 years ago: Residents discover ‘freak occurrences’ in wake of tornado

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for April 17, 1911:

“Today scores of men are swarming over the tottering buildings in the 600 block on Massachusetts, replacing windows, re-roofing exposed interiors, and gingerly razing brick walls already crumbling. The debris is being removed with surprising rapidity, and order will be restored within a week or ten days.”

“Dozens of freak occurrences are reported from all sections of town. At the residence of J. T. Curbey, 608 Ky. street, a razor is embedded in the siding. It was carried from the home of some neighbor, opened, and the blade firmly planted in the pine boards. A window sash on one of the upper floors of the southeast corner of the Fraternal Aid building was lifted bodily from its frame and carried in a circle around the building. It was dropped through the double doors on the north front of the building. In C. P. Starkweather’s yard at 700 Ind. street, one of the magnificent trees was uprooted, leaving a great yawning hole in the lawn. The home itself was uninjured, not even a window pane being cracked. On Rhode Island street a house had a big tree laying lengthwise on its kitchen roof. The tree was carried from a neighbor’s yard and although it must weigh half a ton, it was deposited on the roof so lightly that the timbers do not even sag. Out towards Bismarck Grove, a mile of telephone line was destroyed. A wash tub, carried from no one knows where, was neatly turned upside down on top of a standing telephone pole. A little distance further along, a heavy pole was uprooted, blown over into an adjoining field, and embedded upside down in the ploughed field.”