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Lincoln County Kansas
DISASTERS

Lincoln County has experienced its share of natural disasters – drought, grasshoppers, tornados, fires, floods, even earthquakes. The determination of the county’s residents in the face of these trials – especially in the early days of settlement – is what makes these events most remarkable.

This page is a work in progress. If you have newspaper articles or other information on Lincoln County disasters you would like to share with other researchers, please contact Tracee Hamilton.

Below is a list of articles and stories about Lincoln County's natural disasters:

PRAIRIE FIRE OF 1879
"Terrible Calamity," Saline Valley Register, March 19, 1879

PRAIRIE FIRE OF 1879
"Old Timer Tells of Fire," Lincoln Sentinel-Republican, Sept. 7, 1933

ENGINE BREAKS THROUGH BRIDGE
"An Engine Plunges Through the Bridge," Lincoln Banner, July 30, 1884

BINNS' HOTEL FIRE OF 1885
From the Lincoln Banner, April 15, 1885

PRAIRIE FIRES OF 1890
"Two Prairie Fires in One Day Surrounded Lincoln 50 Years Ago," Lincoln Sentinel-Republican, March 28, 1940

LINCOLN FIRE OF 1892
A fire on Lincoln's main street burns out businesses; article includes a history of fires in Lincoln

LINCOLN FIRE OF 1895
A fire on Lincoln's main street burns out a block of businesses

LINCOLN FIRE OF 1896
A fire on Lincoln's main street burns out several businesses

HAIL STORM OF 1896
A hail storm wreaks havoc in the southwest part of the county; the story details the damage suffered by area farmers

ANOTHER HAIL STORM OF 1896
A hail storm hits Highland, Golden Belt, Valley and Franklin townships; the story details the damage suffered by area farmers

COURTHOUSE FIRE OF 1898
Fire destroys the county courthouse; despite the initial fears expressed in the article, few if any records were lost

TORNADO OF 1899
A tornado cuts a swath south and east of Lincoln; no major injuries reported

SCHOOL FIRE OF 1903
Struck by lightning, the school building was saved by hard work

FLOOD OF 1903
Good Samaritan loses his life in a flood near Lincoln

FIRE OF 1905
Several businesses on main street were destroyed

TRAGIC FIRE IN SYLVAN GROVE
Two children lose their lives as a horrified town looks on helplessly

TORNADO OF 1908 TAKES ONE LIFE
Dorothea Groth was killed by a twister south of Lincoln.

FLOOD AT BARNARD, KANSAS
"High Water," Barnard Bee, June 11, 1908

FIRE DESTROYS CALENE MERCANTILE
Store at Sylvan is destroyed, Feb. 15, 1912

SNOWSTORM OF 1912
"Another Big Snow," Lincoln Sentinel, Feb. 29, 1912

FIRE OF 1925
One person killed in "Big Fire at Sylvan," Lincoln Sentinel, June 11, 1925

HUB CLOTHING STORE BURNS
The Hub Clothing Store was lost to fire, Lincoln Sentinel, Jan. 29, 1925

REES MILL BURNS
The Rees Mill, a landmark in Lincoln for more than 60 years, burned on New Year's Day 1942

LUMBER YARD BURNS
The Burgner-Bowman-Matthews lumber yard, which had been established in the mid-1880s as the Chicago Lumber Company, burned to the ground in 1949.

FLOOD OF 1951
The Salina River flooded after heavy rains, perhaps the worst incident of its kind in the county's history.

TORNADO OF 1952
"Tornado Strikes Thursday South and West of Lincoln," Lincoln Sentinel-Republican, Aug. 14, 1952 (this storm destroyed the original Emmanuel Church building south of Vesper)

SHADY BEND MILL BURNS IN 1963
"Shady Bend Mill And Elevator Completely Destroyed By Fire," Lincoln Sentinel-Republican, June 13, 1963

CITY HALL FIRE OF 1981
"City Hall extensively damaged by fire Friday night," Lincoln Sentinel-Republican, Sept. 17, 1981


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Bill and Diana Sowers, Lincoln County Coordinators
Tracee Hamilton, Lincoln County Coordinator