Maude Olive (BUSSELL) KUHN – Gave Birth During a Cyclone – 52 Ancestors (2015 #10)

Maude Olive (BUSSELL) KUHN was the wife of my great grand uncle Ord Wiley KUHN. She was born 8 August 1882 in Indiana, the older of two children born to William Perry BUSSELL and Martha Jane (McKINSEY) BUSSELL.

Maude married “Uncle Ord” on 13 September 1901 in Hancock County, Indiana. Uncle Ord was my maternal grandmother’s uncle, son of George and Sarah (JOHNSON) KUHN, and grandson of Coonrod and Barbara (RADABAUGH) COON and Thomas and Rachel (JOHNSON) JOHNSON.

On 25 June 1902 18 June 1902, Maude gave birth to a Julia Louise Kuhn, their baby girl, during a cyclone that morning a week before the cyclone in Wilkinson, Indiana. Their granddaughter said that she gave birth under the dining room table.*

L-R: Ord Wiley Kuhn, Julia Louise Kuhn, Maude Olive (Bussell) Kuhn. Photo courtesy of their granddaughter and used with permission.

L-R: Ord Wiley Kuhn, Julia Louise Kuhn, Maude Olive (Bussell) Kuhn, circa 1909-1911. Photo courtesy of their granddaughter and used with permission.

That cyclone was massive. It tore through and destroyed thousands of acres of crops and caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage. It was a remnant of what is now called “Hurricane Two” of the 1902 Atlantic hurricane season in the United States.

An example, from The Indianapolis journal. (Indianapolis [Ind.]), 26 June 1902. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82015679/1902-06-26/ed-1/seq-1/):

The storm destroyed crops and damaged woodlands, houses and fences all through the county for ten miles, and then dipped down with irresistible force at Maxwell. There a big grain elevator of New Brothers, of Greenfield, was blown down; loss from $4,000 to $6,000, with no insurance. The United States chair factory, which had just been erected, was leveled to the ground. Chairs were made for the first time this morning…. No insurance on either factory or men.

The Friends’ Church was razed to the ground, not a stick was left standing.

The storm seemed to separate at Maxwell, one branch going northeast along the Big Four Railroad, and the other southeast, striking Cleveland and Charlottesville. The hail was especially severe, destroying corn and wheat crops….

This was Maude’s first baby. Can you imagine? Giving birth is stressful enough. This tornado was savage. From page 2 of the same paper, as reported by a railroad employee:

“People in all of these towns were pretty badly scared by the storm, as they had a right to be. It was preceded by a blackness that was terrifying in itself, and the fierceness of the wind that followed was cyclonic in its fury.”

The storm occurred mid-morning.

But, as you can see in the photo above, the birth was successful, and Uncle Ord and Aunt Maude were blessed with a beautiful baby girl who they named Julia Louise, known familiarly as “Louise.”


* I goofed. Follow-up article is entitled Maude Olive (BUSSELL) KUHN – *Protecting a One Week Old Baby* During a Cyclone – 52 Ancestors (2015 #12).

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8 Responses to Maude Olive (BUSSELL) KUHN – Gave Birth During a Cyclone – 52 Ancestors (2015 #10)

  1. Pingback: CORRECTED: If you receive posts by email, see correction… | Diggin' Up Graves

  2. Beauty in the storm! can only imagine the stress….

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  3. This is an amazing story! What a grateful woman she must have been the next day while cradling her new baby in the calm after the storm. Thanks for sharing this story!

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  4. Great story. And aren’t they alike?

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  5. Dana Leeds, The Enthusiastic Genealogist says:

    WordPress confuses me so much. I often write a comment and then it asks me to “log in” and then I do and my comment has disappeared. I checked back today to see if it is then posted. I guess not! Very frustrating! I know it’s not your fault… just thought I’d point it out. And, I think the issue is sometimes on my computer & sometimes I’m on my iPad and when I go back & forth it logs me out.

    Anyway, fascinating story! I hope she had someone with her besides her new husband. 🙂

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  6. Pingback: Maude Olive (BUSSELL) KUHN – *Protecting a One Week Old Baby* During a Cyclone – 52 Ancestors (2015 #12) | Diggin' Up Graves

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