Alva Review-Courier -

Random Thoughts: The Blizzard of 1886, part 4


The blizzard of 1886 began early in that fateful year. Temperatures fell precipitously beginning on Jan. 1 as snow fell and the wind howled. In the following days, things only got worse.

Hundreds of thousands of cattle and hogs died in the storm. So did several people. Railroad travel, so important to the economy of the Great Plains, came to a frozen stop.

On Jan. 20 two trains – including one from Massachusetts taking over 150 passengers to California on a sightseeing tour of the American West – were forced to stop in the small southwestern Kansas town of Kinsley. Rails buried under 12...

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