The population of this village consists chiefly of miners in the employ of the Cable.
A shaft and slope are operated here under the supervision of Robert Lee. The aggregate capacity of the two mines being about 80,000 tons annually, about 400 men are constantly employed, besides eight mining machines, each performing the labor of about six men. The coal is transported over the Mercer County railroad to Rock Island, and thence to surrounding towns.
On the afternoon of June 5, 1844, a mass of angry clouds were seen gathering west of Swedona, which, owing to their peculiar appearance, attracted considerable attention. About five o'clock in the evening they began to move rapidly eastward, and in a few moments the storm burst with terrific fury upon the village and surrounding country. The air seemed full of electricity, the crackling of which sounded like the discharge of musketry.
Huge trees were torn off, a great many barns and dwellings were badly damaged, and a number of people killed, among whom were Mr. Trego and son a few miles northwest of Swedona, This storm was probably the severest ever known in this locality, but the country being very sparsely settled the fatality was not so great as attends some of those whirling monsters of later days.
An eye witness states that for some time after the storm had subsided, streaks of phosphorescent light were seen creeping over the ground, and the air had a peculiar smell resembling sulphur. The storm moved eastward strewing death and desolation in its path, and was last heard of in Henry and Bureau counties.
History of Mercer and Henderson Counties
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