McLEANSBORO, Ill.—The library that served as a temporary Red Cross hospital for those injured in the March 18, 1925 Tri-State Tornado hosted a very busy book signing for Death Rides the Sky on Thursday, February 9, 2012.
The event was graciously organized by Charlene Vaughan, whose family, the Allardins, were survivors of the storm at their Hamilton County home. Charlene had heard about the tornado all her life, and as a member of the library board, put together the signing at the historic library…and it was a VERY well-attended event.
The library had only been built four years prior to the massive storm….but those operating it were eager to provide the spacious building for the injured survivors to be brought and assessed before they were taken by train or other method to hospitals outside the area, such as St. Louis.
Then everyone was treated to something very unique and intriguing. Hamilton County resident Judge Barry Vaughan (one of Charlene’s sons) brought in a framed copy of the local paper, the edition being one of the days following the horrific storm.
The paper was kept by the judge’s wife’s family, the Higginsons, and was mounted many years later. It hangs in his office in the Hamilton County courthouse.
The story of the deaths of the Hollisters, Forrister and Hicks are featured in the book.
The day in McLeansboro was awesome, the library beautiful, the attendees great, and we do hope everyone is enjoying their books!!