November 4, 1896
A fierce and disastrous cyclone passed over the southern and southeastern part of Union Parish last Thursday. It appears to have taken its starting point in the vicinity of Sibley, between Downsville and Choudrant. From there it sped in a north-easterly direction, unroofing and tearing down buildings, uprooting trees, and scattering fending. In the neighborhood of Moseley’s Bluff a tree was blown across Mrs. J. Henry’s residence, slightly injuring her. A negro on Mr. Norris’ place, near Sibley, was killed.
In the eastern part of the parish the path of the storm was about three miles east of Ouachita City, and in that section it also caused great damage.
The Ouachita City correspondent of the Monroe News gives the following account of the storm’s wrath and fury.
The wind first struck the house of Sandy Henderson, colored, completely demolishing all buildings, but the inmates were fortunate to escape without any injury.
It next struck Louis Reed’s place, literally tearing the house, fencing and everything in splinters, breaking his arm and tearing his scalp so as to hang over his face. His daughter was killed and her body was nearly destroyed by fire. There were three or four other persons in the house at the same time, but they were not injured.
The next place was the Wager Bros., where it destroyed several buildings, and it is reported to have blown down their gin house, also killing a number of hogs and injuring on of their horses so badly that it will die. From there it is not known what damage was done.
The wind traveled further on with wonderful force towards Alabama Landing. Its path is strewn with the largest sized trees twisted off and blown up by the roots. It is feared considerable damage was done as it was headed for a thickly settled country.
Mr. J. S. Tolley had a fortunate escape as he was in nearly the thickest of the storm and was nearly penned up with trees falling around him, but he escaped injury.