On May 18, 1898, a tornado ripped across central Wisconsin, killing 17 and injuring 100. The tornado formed in Eau Claire County and moved northeast across Clark, Marathon, Lincoln, and Langlade counties. Twelve people were killed in Marathon County alone, where the storm may have reached F5/EF5 strength. Many miles of farms and forestland were leveled by the twister.
The tornado was one of five violent twisters that hit the middle and upper Mississippi Valley during a two-day outbreak on May 17-18, 1898. At least 55 people were killed across the region.