Saturday, May 05, 2007

Snow Squalls on May Day (1909)

The Evening Post, Columbia City, Indiana ~ Saturday, May 1, 1909
Saturday was the first day of May, but it was far from being an ideal May day. The mercury dropped to the freezing point and snow squalls prevailed during the forenoon. Several old pioneers recollected just such a may day years ago, and are predicting that next week will turn off fair and nice. It is hoped that their predictions are better than Hicks'.

Fred Kepford, the fish dealer, says this is not the worst May that ever happened by any means. He recalls that in 1863, on the 16th day of May, he was plowing in Noble county and the ground was frozen so hard that it would throw the plow out of the furrow. He wore heavy clothing and mittens to keep warm.

Another cold may day that he recalls was in 1883. On the 22nd day of the month in that year he was plowing for old Patrick Fox, in Union township. It was snowing and blowing and he had to wear an overcoat and mittens. In 1863, Mr. Kepford says, the corn crop was a failure in this part of the state.

Curtis W. Jones, one of the earliest residents of Whitley county now living, remembers the worst May day that has ever been perpetrated on the people in this vicinity. It was in 1851 and the reason it is so firmly rooted in the memory of Mr. Jones is that the young people of the town had planned to have a May party at the old Indian spring, in the Coesse reservation.

The latter part of April was balmy and the preparations for the outing were all made, but tow or three days before the weather turned cold and when the day came there was at least two inches of snow on the ground and the wind was cold and blustery. The trip to the spring had to be given up and the young people held their festivities in the old brick court house. More than a hundred were present, but of these only three are now living. They are Mrs. Mary E. Sherwood, Mrs. Elizabeth Thorp and C. W. Jones. The day was Thursday and was very similar to this May day, except for the snow. The two days are the worst that Mr. Jones remembers, although there have been some which were not altogether pleasant.

[Note: Curtis W. Jones and Mrs. Mary E. Sherwood are siblings of my 3rd Great Grandmother, Catherine Jones Dunfee.]

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