Pleasanton's 130-year-old Fairmount church obliterated by tornado

PLEASANTON, Kan - A 130-year-old church and the civil-war era cemetery beside it bore the brunt of a tornado that ripped through Pleasanton, Kan., Sunday afternoon.

The Fairmount church, built in 1884, was reduced to splintered wood by the storm, which first developed in Hume, Mo., then hopscotched into Kansas, uprooting trees along the way.

Behind the church, the headstones of several graves were toppled by the storm. Late into the evening, teary-eyed relatives of the departed arrived to check on grave sites.

Linn County historian Ola May Earnest lives near the church and couldn't even make it to her basement the storm arrived so quickly.

She said the church was renovated several years ago, and as of Sunday she was not certain, but was hopeful, it would be rebuilt.

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