Blizzard of ’83 Kept Pioneers Indoors 3 Days
Next to the prairie fires came the blizzards; they came so fast and without warning. The winter of 1883 stood out in the memory of all the pioneers; three days they were shut in their homes. They ran out of fuel, faces and hands were frozen in trying to get to the fuel piles near the house. When the storm was over, many had lost the few cattle they had. Barns and haystacks were under the drifts, and long poles were needed to locate them. Then to dig down and get hay, feed, and water to the hungry stock. Peter Nelson and two daughters (Svea Township) were frozen to death in January 1884, the storm caught them while they were getting hay for fuel from a stack a half mile from home; they had settled there the year before. In 1896 snow began falling in October and lasted all winter, with storm following storm until all buildings were under snow or nearly so. That year, with the winter of ’87-88, stand out in the memory of the pioneers as the worst they experienced.