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Charleston and Mattoon Tornado of 26 May 1917

Nature's Fury and the Human Spirit :: The Charleston and Mattoon Tornado 26 May 1917 (2017) from Tempestas et Caelum Films on Vimeo.


Nature's Fury and the Human Spirit

Produced by Cameron Douglas Craig and William Lovekamp
for the 100th Anniversary

Izora Story :: In Her Words

I will try to tell as best I can what we experienced, some of the things we saw, and what we did following the tornado of May 26th.

The morning was cloudy, as the weather had been for several days previous. About eleven o’clock, there was a little rain but by twelve the sun was shining but there was a peculiar haze all around. I timed myself in going home that day just to see how long it would take me, and I was just ten minutes in going a little over half a mile. Sister was home as it was Saturday and she and mother had a good dinner and I was so hungry I at more than I usually do. It seemed we all did. Little did we think that would be the last meal we would eat in that house for over three months. But one never knows what is before them. I returned to the office, second floor of the Court House, where I was during the tornado. My father, mother and sister remained at home, where they were during the tornado. My sister thought she would bake a cake for mother as her birthday [was] on May 30, would be the next day after her school closed and she was afraid she would not have time then. She made a fine chocolate cake and never had better luck. She also made a small one and showed it to father, who has been almost helpless since his sickness the last of February, and told him we would have that for supper. She put the large cake on a small table in the dining room and the small cake in the safe.

Eastern Illinois University and Tempestas et Caelum Productions present
A Cameron Douglas Craig and William Lovekamp Film

If you have questions or stories to share, please contact Cameron Douglas Craig via email at cdcraig@eiu.edu.

TEACHERS: Lesson plans are currently being developed and will be available by the end of the summer.  Contact Cameron Craig for more information about the classroom experience or for a special presentation.

Copyright 2017 by Cameron Douglas Craig, William Lovekamp and Heaven Leigh Richey