The Blizzards of 1912

We’re digging out from a heavy snowstorm in Indiana this week, and I’m so thankful that I can enjoy the comforts of home and enjoy the beauty of the snow outside. But I’m reminded of a letter in my collection from my great-grandfather, Jacob H. Long, to his brother, Sam Long. Written in March of 1912, it references a blizzard that apparently covered most of Kansas. In fact, it seems multiple storms that winter left the area struggling.

Quinter, Kan., Mar 24, 1912

Mr. & Ms. S.S. Long

Dunlap, Kan.

Dear brother & sister:  We got a telegram Thursday evening that Jemima’s sister Mary died that morning.  Jemima left the same evening on train three hours late.  We got a letter since she left said she had pneumonia just sick one week. 

            This is a nice day and the most of the snow that it snowed yesterday will melt.  We had a blizzard yesterday.  Four weeks ago last night our second winter began and snowed and blowed nearly every day, except a few days about a week ago.  We had no train for 8 days.  Vernie got home on last train on the 9th.  No train till 17th.  No coal, feed in town.  I let Henry & Joe have some of my hay thinking it would get nice every day.  I have only a couple days feed.  Thought the trains would run and bring in more.  Grandma Mohler was buried last Tuesday.  Mr. Mohler died a few months ago.  Mrs. Hiddleson’s mother died the 9th they took her to Chapman on the morning of the 18th.  On the evening of the 18th her father died so they kept here there till her father got there and both buried in same grave.  The letter from Iowa stated that one of Mary’s girls had the pneumonia very bad at same time Mary was sick but was getting better.

            We had snow banks 15 ft. high and am bothered now with the horses walking over the fences the snow has got hard.  I got in two loads of straw yesterday morning before the storm got so bad had not got any for four weeks was snowed in could not get the wagon out yesterday went over the banks as high as the fence. 

            I suppose this is the worst ever known in this country and feed so awful scarce and high.  Bert has had a bad spell with his back for several weeks, lumbago.

            Your bro,


To add to the picture, here are a couple of clippings from the Gove County Republican-Gazette, the local newspaper:

From the Gove County Republican-Gazette, February 29, 1912, p.1, via

This second little blurb references D.A. Crist, one of J.H. Long’s best friends and the minister of the local Brethren Church.

Gove County Republican-Gazette, February 29, 1912, p.5

I wish I had pictures. The one above is from our recent snowstorm in Indiana. Kansas Memory does have some pictures from other Kansas counties, but I could find nothing in my collection from Gove County or nearby. If you know of any photographs from Quinter at this time, please contact me. Meanwhile, enjoy the beautiful snow!

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