It started out cloudy, calm and balmy.Not everyone had radios

and reception wasnít too good.

††††††††† I lived in Oakley, Kansas and drove to school each morning

from there.On this particular morning before I left Oakley huge

flakes were wafting down lazily and were getting thicker so I phoned

Merritt Yale, a school board member and he in turn rang Richard Brown

another school board member, a trick that could be done in those days

if you were on the same line.I told them about the huge flakes but it

wasnít snowing in Grinnell so I went to school, not really dressed for

what was to come.

††††††††† By recess time it was misting heavily from the east and George

Kaiser, one of the eighth grade boys, asked if I wanted my car moved to

the west side of the schoolhouse out of the mist so he moved it for me.

††††††††† The noon hour was still beautiful and calm but huge flakes were

starting to fall.We spent the noon hour spotting huge snow flakes and

tracking them as they fell and trying to catch them before they fell

on the ground.Great sport.

††††††††† We assembled at 1:00 P.M. and at 1:15 P.M. a strong wind blew

in from the north so I decided the storm was upon us so I decided to send

the children home.The Adam Geist family lived a half mile southeast of

the schoolhouse so I saw the three boys Alvin, Aquiline, and Adrien were†††

properly dressed, with the wind to their backs I sent them home with

instructions to stay to-gether and not tarry.Barbara and Onan rode horses

so werenít long in getting home.Richard Brown came after his three

children, Marie, Chester, and Robert.Rufus Holaday came after the Roy

Holaday children Raymond, Viola, Dennis, Edmund, Billy, and Albert.

††††††††† Frank and Jake Kaiser came after their sister Barbara and

brothers George and Eddie.Since the county had worked to roads in all

directions from the schoolhouse I asked Frank to drive my car to my in-laws

the Albert Sitesí.Everything went O.K. until we got three quarters of a mile

east of Sitesí when the car stopped due to a wet distributor.Frank walked to

Sitesí to tell them I was in the car east of them, they werenít at home so he

left a note for them and walked on home a mile west of Sitesí.

††††††††† After the Sitesí got home my brother-in-law, Carl Sites, started up

after me in the car but ran into the ditch so he walked up after me.After

he got his breath and warmed up a little we walked to the farm against a raging

blizzard which was in full progress at that time.

††††††††† After the blizzard had spent itself in three days and two nights and left

roads blocked and some drifts as high as buildings we were glad to see the sun

and to look out on a world unknown.

†††††††† The Schroeder children, Verna, Norma, Maurice, and Virgil, didnít

come to school this day because their sister Elsie was going to high

school in Grinnell and rode to and from school with the Harris children.

The Harrisí had a radio so knew the storm was forecast so didnít go to

school.

††††††††† Since most of the farmers werenít prepared for the onslaught

most everyone lost many cattle because they drifted with the storm

into unknown places smothering in the snow drifts and freezing in

the fence rows and creek beds.

††††††††† This remains a chilling incident in the lives of all who endured

and survived the storm.

 

†††††††† Back to Home