Historical society dinner to feature presentation on record tornadoes


A series of tornadoes that wrought destruction in northeastern Kansas more than a century ago will be the topic tomorrow evening at the Riley County Historical Society Dinner.

Bruce Jones, chief meteorologist for KSNT-TV, will talk about the May 17, 1896, tornadoes in his program, “A Tornado of Hellish Fury.”

The 1896 tornadoes damaged the Kansas towns of Seneca, Oneida and Sabetha and was described as one of the most violent of the 19th century, according to www.tornadoproject.com.

The meeting will be at the Trinity Presbyterian Church, 1110 College Ave., with a dinner scheduled for 6:30 p.m. and the program at 7:15 p.m.

Virginia Quiring, Riley County Historical Museum assistant, said today is the last day to reserve a seat for the dinner, although people can attend the program if they are not able to make a reservation for the dinner.

“It’s an informational and social time for members of the historical society,” she said.

The menu includes smothered chicken breasts with mushroom sauce and couscous pilaf. The meal costs $11. The program is free.

Quiring said the historical society chose the program featuring Jones because he has not been to a meeting before, and the topic of tornadoes is interesting, especially now, because one could occur during this time of year.

She said the society has quarterly meetings, and past programs have included information about the founding of the K-State chapter of Phi Beta Sigma and the history of the founding of Riley County.

“It is so that it is related to the history of Riley County,” Quiring said. “And we always have a professional or someone knowledgeable about the topic.”