April 26, 2017
This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
Tuesday, June 4th of 1913 at about 1 A.M., the residents of Junction City were awakened by what sounded like the artillery at Fort Riley bombarding the city with shot and shell. It was, however, one of the heavies hailstorms ever witnessed by the residents. Not much hail fell, but the size was enormous and the damage had not yet been estimated by the time the “Junction City Sentinel” newspaper went to press on the following Thursday. It was thought that 50 percent of the peaches were on the ground. Gardens were also badly damaged and the strawberries were ruined. The skylights in downtown businesses were all broken and the tin roofs had holes punched in them that made them impossible to repair. Many stories were circulated about the size of the hailstones, but it was a fact that many of them measured from 6 to 8 inches in circumference. At Mike Frey’s restaurant some of the boys picked out six of the largest ones, which tipped the scales at three quarters of a pound. The hail seemed to be at the heaviest within Junction City. No damage was reported at Fort Riley. A heavy rain accompanied the hail, but it was not general over the county and very little benefit was provided to the growing crops.