It started out cloudy, calm and balmy.† Not everyone had radios
and reception wasnít too good.
††††††††† I lived in
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 hour was still beautiful and calm but huge flakes were
starting to fall.† We spent the 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 and at 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
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
††††††††† 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