Shocking lightning stories from around county: From the Matagorda County History & Genealogy page

Coulterville Clatter 
    On Thursday, February 4th, about 2 o’clock, just after dinner was over and the family was gathered around a heating stove, lightning struck the house of Mr. Johnie Rugeley and their escape from instant death, at least some members of the family, seems to be nothing less than miraculous.  
   They were around the stove, Mr. and Mrs. Rugeley and baby and Walter Millican.  
   The lightning struck the upper part of the stove, following it down into the stove, tore several joints of the pipe all to pieces, overturned the stove, then followed along where the floor and ceiling met for a ways and tore a piece of weather boarding off from the sill, up for ten feet or more.  
   Shattering the weather boarding into splinters and throwing the splinters for some distance.  
   Broke several windows all to pieces and shattered every lamp shade in the house.  
   There was no fire in the stove but a lot of ashes and Mr. Rugeley thinks the ashes saved their lives, as they turned the current of the lightning outwards, and they were all in front of the stove and not more than four feet distant.  
   The jar was awful, everybody was stunned and it was several minutes before they could hear or realize what had happened.  
   The current of lightning melted holes in the stove pipe, did not hurt the sill of the house but split up a live oak block.  
   He says he can’t understand how the current of electricity got out of the back of the stove as it did, without breaking the stove, which it did not injure.
Bay City Breeze, Feb. 11, 1897 

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