NEBRHeritage-L ArchivesArchiver > NEBRHeritage > 2001-12 > 1008288152
From: Barbara Pike Hruza <>
Subject: [NEBRHeritage-L] LITTLE RED BOX OF NEBRASKA TRIVIA #16 ANSWER
Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2001 18:02:45 -0600
ACCORDING TO WEBSTER, TRIVIA IS A LITTLE KNOW, UNIMPORTANT FACT. HOW MANY
LITTLE KNOWN AND UNIMPORTANT FACTS DO YOU KNOW ABOUT ***GENUINE NEBRASKA***?
How many people in Nebraska died in the blizzard of 1888? Does anyone have
any more information on this blizzard? If it's the one I am thinking of,
Hamilton County was involved in it.
Hope this gets answer faster than the last. Although, took me awhile to
find something online to prove that one, too.
Close, Mike, but no cigar.
Nope. 400+ was in New York.
That's right, Mike, your'e wrong.
Some 235 persons lost their lives. This was the worst storm since 1864; the
Colorado River in Texas was frozen with ice a foot thick, for the first time
in the memory of man." Kathie
Could have very well been, Kathie, but we need to know about the Blizzard
of 1888. Seems like I read in some Nebraska history that it was also known
as the "school children's blizzard". Not 100% sure of that, though.
Although no official count taken......about 100.
Not quite enough, Bill. It may depend on what part of the state was counted.
THE BLIZZARD OF 1888
One of the most spectacular and harrowing events in the history of the Great
Plains was the Blizzard of January 12, 1888. Other storms had produced
colder temperatures and greater amounts of snow. It was the combination of
gale winds, blinding snow, and rapidly falling temperatures that made the
1888 blizzard so dangerous.
The storm's full fury lasted up to eighteen hours in many parts of Nebraska.
Because of the suddenness of its onset, the blizzard caught many children
away from in one-room schoolhouses. In an attempt to rescue her two sons,
Charles and Thomas, from school Mary Masek of Milligan trekked nearly two
miles to the schoolhouse. Finding the building empty, she started for home,
but she never reached her destination. She was found frozen to death huddled
near a cottonwood tree, only a short distance from a neighbor's farmhouse.
The Blizzard of 1888 created the scene for heroic acts. Mary Masek, like
many Nebraskans, fell victim to one of nature's most violent displays while
courageously attempting to save the lives of her children.
Milligan Community Club
Nebraska State Historical Society
Nebraska 4, northeast of Milligan
Mike, the number is not the same. LRBONT says 200, but you have the story
nailed, and the correct dates. So YOU are the strongest link!
This story is from Hamilton County, as told by Grace Wilson Moore
On the night of January 11, 1888, a wonderful snow fell on
nearly all of the State of
Nebraska. On January 12th, my sister Ella and I waded through
it to school one and
three-fourth miles. A younger brother and sister didn't go
We stopped at a neighbors and two of their girls went with
us. Their names were Anna and
Lizzie Shrove. It was a beautiful morning, the snow was so
pretty and white and so level.
The name of our school was Maple Grove District #14. It was
quite a large school house,
the best county school in the County. One large school room,
a hall and cloak room, had a
full basement for fuel. There were shutters on all the
windows; they were all closed at night
and opened in the morning. The school room had coal oil lamps
on the walls on both sides of
the room. They had reflectors and they lighted the room well.
There was a good well and a
hand pump. During the winter months we had from 40 to 45
pupils. Just one teacher taught
all grades from primary through the 10th grade; Bookkeeping,
Algebra, Civil Government
and some advanced work.
On this particular day after the big snow, from 10:15 to
10:45 A.M. we made a "Fox and
Geese" ring and at noon we played for an hour. This was a
game that was quite popular
when there was snow. The boys and girls all played together.
The school bell rang at 1 P.M. We always sang a Hymn first
thing after school was called.
Just about 1:45 P.M. the wind came up from the northwest,
blew the shutters shut and in
ten minutes time you couldn't see across the road. The
teacher said "If you think you can
make it you had better go now for it is getting worse".
Well, we started. We had three-fourth of a mile that we
followed the railroad tracks. The
track was just about a half-block from the school house.
Well, that was as far as we went.
We went back to the school house, some that went south made
We had classes till 4 o'clock then we played games. About
5:30 the father of three of the
children brought a pail full of sandwiches and cookies. We
had plenty of heat and plenty of
water so didn't mind it too much. It was a long evening and
the parents were frantic not
knowing what had happened to us. There were no telephones then.
About 10:30 P.M. my brother Jim and the Shrove girl's brother
Jerry came for us. The
storm had subsided quite a bit.
We got to the nearest house three-fourths of a mile away but
couldn't go any farther. Our
faces and legs were froze a little. Barton was the name of
the people. Mr. Barton was
County Superintendent of the schools. Mrs. Barton, the dear
old lady, bathed our frost
bites and fixed some warm food. We stayed till morning.
Brother Jim went home to let the
folks know that we were alright.
The storm had quit by morning and nice but cold. We went
home, walked on snowdrifts
eight to ten feet high. the roads weren't opened till late
spring. They laid barbed wire fence
down and made roads through corn fields to get to town.
Lots of school children were badly frozen and lots of
livestock lost. The storm came so
Written in 1965 -- I am in my 90th year but that day is as
vivid as if it was just last week.
Mother gave birth to her 15th child February 4, 1888.
Geography, History, People, Omaha, Lincoln, and Sports will be the
topics. When someone answers it, we'll go on to the next one. If no one
answers right, we'll still go on to the next one.
OKAY, HAVE A CHRISTMAS DINNER THIS EVENING, SO YOU CAN ALL REST YOUR BRAINS
AND GET READY FOR #17.
GOD REST YE MERRY GENTLEMEN .....AND GENTLEWOMEN. <SMILE>
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