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1952 Buck Grove Tornado


Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 11/11/2010 at 10:22:25

Marshman Assists In Rescue Work Following Tornado At Buck Grove

A scene of utter desolation greeted deputy sheriff Harold Marshman and highway patrolmen Harry Lown and John Gorman when the three arrived at Buck Grove about 7:00 o'clock Monday evening just 30 minutes after a tornado had leveled the little farming community in the northern part of Grundy County.

The body of 7-year-old Ruth Miller had already been recovered from a nearby field when the officers arrived, but they assisted in placing Ruth's sister, Virginia, 9, and brother David, 6, in an ambulance for removal to a Waterloo hospital. Both of the latter were injured seriously. The three children had just run from their home and were attempting to reach the schoolhouse, when the tornado struck. Their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Art Miller, and two other children were in Waterloo at the time.

Marshman stated that the only buildings left standing in Buck Grove were the DX station, the creamery and one house just east of the creamery. Everything else in the community including the Miller home and the schoolhouse which the Miller children were trying to reach, was leveled.

The school was being used as a voting place, and election officials missed injury by a matter of seconds when they fled from the building just before the tornado hit. No one stopped long enough to pick up the ballot box and no trace remained in the wreckage of the votes cast in Monday's election.

The twister spread a path of destruction three miles long and about half a mile wide. All the buildings on several nearby farms were swept away, power lines were down, leaving the community without communication, and a long row of trees along Beaver Creek, a half mile east of Buck Grove, was stripped of every leaf.

No panic prevailed at the scene, Marshman stated, adding that the residents appeared too stunned to realize the extent of the havoc. Roads leading into the community were already jammed with about a thousand cars, however, by the time the local officers arrived, and they spent several hours there Monday night directing traffic and assisting citizens who were left homeless by the storm.

--Hardin County Index (Eldora, Iowa), 6 June 1952


Grundy Documents maintained by Tammy D. Mount.
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