October 26, 1941
A tornado swept through Hamburg (Ashley County), killing seventeen people and leveling twenty-five homes. Hamburg had been laid out in October 1849, two months after Ashley County was formed from part of Drew County in the area earlier known as the Great Wilderness. With the town’s designation as the county seat, two of the first public buildings were the courthouse and the county jail, erected in 1850. The site was chosen at least in part because the legislation organizing the county required that the county seat be within five miles of the county’s geographic center.