Newspaper Accounty of the Great Blizzard of 1888

Contributed by Shauna Williams


January 18, 1888
The Daily Northwestern, Oshkosh Wisconsin

Henry C. Fifield, one of the victims of the recent Dakota blizzard, was a resident of of Racine. He was frozen to death six miles from Aberdeen. Fifield was a carpenter by trade and left Racine for Dakota eight years ago. He was a married man with three children and was about forty years old.

January 18, 1888
The New Era, Humeston Iowa

....The death list, so far reported, is as follows: In Dakota-Emil Gilbertson at Hitchcock; a Sioux Falls man, two sons of William Driver at Raymond; two Mitchell youths; Emma Lamar, Carrie Auman, William C. Gathwaite, Cora Curtis at Delamere; Mr. Davis and son, W.B. Headly at Barkston; Rowland Chambers, T.E. Gelkerson and James Newman's son at Huron; Frank and William Nerison at Virgil; Munger, near Mitchell; an unknown man, near Aberdeen; a teacher and two of her pupils at Wyandemere;  a 12 year old son of John Walsh, near Fulda; Mrs. Devine, Adam Gerner and J.W. Joslee at Iroquois; George Allen, Jr., and Joseph Anderson at Mitchell; four farmers, two Bridgewater men, Emil Gilman, Lewis Merriman and son at Hitchcock; Miss Jacobson, --- Ginde, G. Grundstrom, three unknown men, two children of Joseph Hutchinson, three Tyndall people, two Wakonda girls, Jacob Krutz, an unknown teacher, J. Paine at Bowdie; Peter Parune at Roscoe; a White Lake man, four school children, James Smith and two sons of Minot.....

January 20, 1888
The Massillon Independent, Massillon Ohio

The Northwest Blizzard More Disastrous Than Reported
It is Now Ascertained That Hundreds of People Perished in the Recent Storms, While the Loss of Stock Cannot Be Estimated-Partial List of the Victims.
    Yankton, Dak., Jan. 19-The list of dead who have perished in the storm continues to increase in numbers. Your correspondent has carefully investigated all reports which have been received thus far, and has only confined his work to Dakota and counties lying within twenty five miles of Yankton.
    Mrs. Wilson, of Running Water, teacher in a school five miles from Lindell, has been found in the prairie with nine of her school children, all dead. One was the child of Matthew Weisser, three of Christian Kias and three of George Gishert.
    A.J. Winters of LaCross, J.O. Robinson of Yankton, Joseph Kocorek, farmer, Nelson Hallibarton, farmer, Mrs. Frank Bambo, farmer's wife, were all frozen.
    In Hutchinson county, W.B. Healy, of Parston, and two boys, were frozen to death.
    P.H. Sweet and wife and five children, near Olivetta, were out in the storm for fifteen hours and were so badly frozen that some will die.
    Four deaths are reported from Douglas county. 
    Lizzie Dyer, of Turner county, was lost in the storm, returning from school and her body found Friday.
    Near Freeman, in Hutchinson county, five school children were found frozen to death. Three belonged to John Kauffman, one to John Albrecht and one to Peter Grather.
    The wife of John Gunns was found on the prairie frozen to death. Several parties are missing.
    Wesley Kocoreken, an aged Bohemian farmer, living about ten miles northwest of Tabor, was found on Friday morning in Creek Valley frozen to death. His team had not been found yet.
    A man who came by the Cooley ranch in Bonhamme county yesterday says that in Cooley's heavy timber he counted 200 head of frozen cattle, besides a large number of hogs. On a section known by the Nohemians as Weiborney's Land, north of Tabor, through which a small creek runs, 140 head of cattle frozen stiff were counted. Farmers say that dead cattle and hogs in large numbers may be seen on every side of the road between Yankton and Bonhomme. The loss on stock seems to be greatest through that section.
    The body of Frantz Weisener, who was found frozen to death near Utica, was brought to this city this morning to await the arrival of relatives from St. Helena, Neb. The corpse was frozen stiff and when struck gave forth a metallic sound. Divided into counties, the fatalities so far are Hutchinson, seven, Yankton, three, Bonhomme, eight, Clayton, four, Turner seven. All persons missing at this date since the storm may be classed among the victims of the blizzard. This will largely increase the death roll.    

January 20, 1888
Newark Daily Advocate, Newark Ohio

    Pierre, Dak., January 20-Trains have been ordered to await the abatement of the storm. The signal officer at Fort Sully reports another blizzard from the North and predicts a terror. The thermometer is now 15° below and still falling.
    Yankton, Dak., Jan 20-The third victim in Yankton county of the blizzard died this morning in the person of J. Millbyer, who was frozen at Lesterville. At Flandran, Dak., Mr. and Mrs. Owens were found frozen near Wentworth. The woman was dead but the man may recover. The corpse of a child partly devoured by wolves was also found Harold Baker, who left Yankton to return to his ranche in Nebraska, has not been heard from. Two men are missing at Willow City, Dak. Several lives were lost and there has been great damage to stock in the neighborhood of Sauter agency, Nebraska.

February 1, 1888
The Daily Northwestern, Oshkosh Wisconsin

The Real Number of Deaths by the Blizzard Not Published
    Sharon, Pa., Feb. 1-Dr. Kughler arrived yesterday with the body of his son Charles, who was frozen to death during the recent blizzard in Dakota. The young man had settled on a ranch five miles west of Wessington Springs, Jerauld county, Dakota, and was doing well at the time of his death, January 12. The doctor reports a terrible state of affairs existing in the territory within the track of the recent blizzard. The total number of deaths will exceed one thousand, although the papers of that section try to suppress the facts. He has seen a list of some five hundred who have perished, and for miles inland, beyond the reach of railroads and telegraph, there are people about whom nothing is yet known, and whose end will probably always be a mystery.

January 14, 1888
Newark Daily Advocate, Newark Ohio

The most destructive blizzard of the season has swept over Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

January 16, 1888
Newark Daily Advocate, Newark Ohio

Over Fifty Deaths Reported From Various Points
Many Children Perish in the Storm While on Their Way Home From School-Two Men Frozen to Death Without a Few Feet of Their Barn-List of Fatalities.
    Minneapolis, Minn., Jan. 16-Reports from various Dakota towns show that a large number of deaths from freezing occurred during the unprecedented blizzard, which prevailed the latter part of last week.
    Rail and wagon roads are badly blocked and it will be days before the list will be completed. The dead thus far brought into Yankton number nine, while seven more were brought in who have their limbs badly frozen, and amputation rendered necessary. Other deaths are reported and searching parties will go out as soon as practicable.
    At Stolaf, Miss Brady, a school teacher and pupil lost their lives.
    The body of an unknown man was found a mile from Sioux Falls, standing erect in the snow. bodies of four men have been taken to Sioux Falls.
    Nine people, living around Huron, are known to be dead. Four farmers who left an hour before the storm broke, are missing and there is no doubt that they perished.
    Two school children at Carom died and their teacher was badly frozen.
    At Claremont four persons were lost, only one fatality is reported from Minots, but there are rumors of numerous others.
    At Parker, Miss Lizzie Dwyer and four of Peter Wierngan's children lost their lives.
    At Faulkton, Miss Emma Lamar, a school teacher, and Carrie Auman, a pupil, are dead.
    No loss of human life is reported from Pierre.
    At Avoca, Minn, Johnny Walsh, a young son of John Walsh, four miles southeast of here lost his way coming home from a neighbor's one mile distant, and was found frozen to death next day.
    Walter Munger, another victim of Thursday's storm, was found dead twelve miles northwest of Mitchell, Dak., Sunday.
    News has reached Watertown, Dak., of the death by freezing of Miss Sarah Doland, a school teacher on an out-lying district. The young lady left her boarding place Thursday morning and that was the last seen of her until her body was found Saturday laying in a snow drift only forty rods from the school house. The mercury reached 42 below zero Saturday night.
    Friday, Saturday and Sunday the mercury ranged from 20 to 40 below zero. It is now(?) getting colder.
    Huron, Dak., Jan. 16-News of the freezing to death of Mrs. Phillips and son, was received here Sunday afternoon. They live in the vicinity of Alpena, twelve miles southwest of here, and were returning home from town when the storm came up. A searching party found Joseph Wilson, Saturday afternoon at a house six miles from home. He was with the Nelson boys who perished.
Many People Frozen to Death in the Northwest
    St. Paul, Minn., January 16-The folloging(sic) storm casualties are reported: Near Raymond, Dakota, two sons of William Driver were frozen to death within a few feet of their barn. Charles Heath is missing, and J.H. Clapp has been discovered badly frozen, having been out all night wandering the prairie. James Smith and two sons, aged 15 and 7, started for a load of hay six miles north from Minot, Dakota, on the 11th and have not since been heard from. Emil Gilbertson, formerly of Chicago, was found frozen to death two and a half miles west of Hitchcock, Dakota. W.B. Headley was frozen to death near Barkston, Dakota. At Virgil, Dakota, Frank and Willie Lirison and Joe Wilson were lost in the blizzard. Willie and Frank are dead, but there is no trace of Wilson. A farmer named Allen was out with his son near Mitchell, Dakota, after cattle. The boy was frozen to death and the father will lost both arms. two children of Mr. Fitzgerald, at Inwood, Iowa, were caught in the blizzard  while going home from school and perished. Near Garrison, Nebraska, three children of John Denlinger, who attempted to go home from school during the storm, lost their way. When they found one was frozen to death. The other two may recover. George W. Post, of Paxton, Nebraska, lately Internal Revenue Collector, and another gentleman, went hunting before the storm Thursday, and have been heard of since. At Chester, Minnesota, six children of James Baker, while returning from school, succumbed to the cold wind, and when found were frozen to death.


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