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Almost Saved, But Lost: The January 1873 Blizzard


Almost Saved, But Lost: The January 1873 Blizzard in Kandiyohi County, Minnesota. By Carolyn Mankell Sowinski


For three days in January, 1873, a severe snowstorm struck the Dakota Territory, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota. People awoke on January 7 to an unusually warm winter’s day with temperatures above freezing. Farmers and their families took advantage of the warmer temperatures, not knowing a severe storm was approaching. They brought grain to the mills, cut firewood in nearby forests, tended to their cattle, helped neighbors thresh grain, visited family or tended to other duties. The storm started in Kandiyohi County at 2:00 pm on Tuesday, January 7 and took the lives of hundreds of people in several states, including seventy in Minnesota. Bodies were recovered and many of those trapped were rescued on Friday, January 10. Twelve people died in Kandiyohi County. Some victims were residents of the county. Others were traveling and died in the county when overcome by the dangerous storm. This book takes a detailed look at the victims of this snowstorm: who they were; where they lived; their journeys and deaths in the storm; and the families who mourned. All victims were immigrants and early pioneers to Minnesota: brothers Claus and Jorgen Strand, brothers Charles, John and Stephen O’Neil, Thomas Holden, Lars Nelson, Ole K. Skau, Margaret (Lockrem) Soland, Helge Stengrimson, William Crump, and Helena (Thorson) Johnson. The book also includes the story of Ole Larsen Gronseth who died in a February 1872 blizzard but has been incorrectly included in lists of victims of the 1873 blizzard.

Additional information

Weight .44 lbs
Dimensions 9 × 6 × .5 in