There was no indication from Elder Cullimore of where he was when this happened, but the cues in the story hint that it might have been in or near Henderson County. That would place the date between September 1896 and April 1897, and that his companion was Charles Collett. March and April is prime Tornado season for Tennessee with a small season in November,
After a hardy day of the usual tracting and gospel conversation, we started to think of a place to spend the night. We were refused several times, and it was now dark. We approached another house, and asked if we might have a bed for the night. After some persuasion, he finally consented to let us stay if we would not mention our religion.
They were very "cool" to us, but gave us our supper. He (I think his name was Dees) asked us a number of questions about Utah, the climate, resources, such as mining, sheep industry, etc. Then he brought up the subject of the pioneers, and finally he asked us a few questions about the Church. We spent a much more pleasant evening than I had anticipated. We retired about 10:00 p.m.
The house was quite large for only having one room. There were four beds in the one room. The man, his wife and their four daughters all slept in the one room. At bedtime the wife and her four daughters went outside while we got ready for bed; then they came in, turned out the lights and got ready for bed.
During the night a heavy gale came up, and the man got out of bed and look[ed] out. He was afraid of a cyclone, so he got his wife and daughters out of bed and prepared to enter the storm cellar. He came to our bed and told us what he thought about the storm and told us to get up. We did not get up. He came the second time, but I told him to take his family back to bed, that nothing would harm them. I promised him that his family would not be harmed, and that his property would not be destroyed. I told him we were God's servants and he would be blessed and protected for taking care of us. He didn't believe me and came the third time. This time he was quite angry at us for not getting up. I told him if we were going to be blown away I didn't know of a better way than to be blown away on a feather bed, so we still remained in bed.
During the night, the cyclone came and passed about 100 yards from the house. Not a shingle was blown off the house, or a thing touched in his yard. The storm passed through the timbers, leaving a clearing as though it had been mowed down. All that were left were the small hickory, too small and tough to break.
The next morning he was like another man toward us. He told us of a man who had some years ago preached the Mormon doctrine and caused quite a contention in their midst. While he did not believe the preacher (Robert Edge), his attitude was changed toward us; and he accepted our tracts and wanted to talk the gospel with us before we left.
5 weeks ago