The April storm of 1871
Gibbon Homestead Colony
Friday, April 7, 1871, at 2 P. M., the colonists arrived at Gibbon
switch and the cars we came in--some passenger cars, some box cars--were
placed on the siding and left for our use. It was a warm, spring-like day,
sun shining brightly and a gentle breeze blowing. An ideal day, and an ideal
time of the day to reach our destination.
Previous Sunday, April 2nd, a prairie fire had swept over the entire country
leaving it black, bleak, desolate and uninviting. No rain or snow had fallen
since the previous August, and not a green tree, shrub or sprig of grass was
to be seen.
Sunday, April 9, 1871 - About 2 P. M. it began to "spit" snow, the
wind shifting into the north. By nightfall a furious storm of wind and snow
Monday, April 10, 1871 - morning came, the snow was piled as high as
the tops of the cars in which the colonists were staying.
The Founding of Kearney
April 11, 1871, D. N. Smith, agent for the town-site department of
the Burlington Railway, in company with Moses Syndenham and Rev. Ashbury
Collins visited Buffalo County and located the junction point of the two
The April storm of 1873
Commencing about 4 o'clock on Sunday, April 14, this storm raged in
all its fury until the going down of the sun on Wednesday
Rev. Charles Marvin
Missionary of the Presbyterian Church.
Holding a religious service in a
schoolhouse quite ten miles from his home. It was a warm, sunny, spring day
with a southerly wind. Just at the close of the service, the wind shifted
into the north, there came great clouds of dust, obscuring the sun, quickly
followed by rain and hail and snow. On foot and alone he finally reached
home in safety due to the fact that he traveled in a southeasterly
The first actual settlement in the township
was made in the spring of 1873 by John Davis, E. W. Carpenter, Joseph White,
and Samuel Higgins.
On Sunday morning, April 13th, Mr.
Davis started for Grand Island on foot. The storm overtook him before he
arrived at his destination.
He left his wife in their dugout with the
understanding that she would go to the home of E. W. Carpenter for the
night, a mile or more to the south. The storm came so suddenly (at 4 o'clock
Sunday afternoon) that it seems she did not dare to leave home. It appears
that she undressed and went to bed, and that in the night the ridge pole
broke with the heavy load of dirt (the dugout had a dirt roof). The rafters
protected her so that she might have remained in the bed. The door was
barred, and it appeared she forced her way through the window. She left with
but little clothing and without her shoes.
When the storm ceased (at sundown) on
Tuesday, neighbors went to the Davis home, and not finding her, began a
search, and found her body on a ridge about sixty rods southeast of her
Kearney, March 7, 1912
Snow flurries were frequent over the past week. Considerable snow on
Thursday and Friday and then wind on Saturday.
Kearney, March 18, 1922
Storm began as rain which turned to snow in
Blizzard prevented fire trucks from
reaching the Amusement Park, which burned.
Fire alarm sounded at 10 p.m. 15 cars mired
down or were stuck in snow drifts on Seedling Mile. Fire trucks got within 2
blocks but were stopped by downed power and telephone lines.
Cause of fire a) incendiary, b) tramps
seeking shelter in the building, c) short caused by electric wires brought
down by the storm, d) lightening a nearby family saw a blinding flash of
lightening about 10 p.m. and thought their barn had been struck. It wasnt
but about 20 minutes later they saw the glow in the sky from the burning
amusement park building.
wet snow caused miles of telephone poles to break and lines to go down.
April 7, 1928
Motorists from both east and west reported
difficulty getting through because of the snow.
A Collection of incidental pieces
Causes of Death from Kearney Cemetery records
Congestion of the brain 1 year old child
Attack of heart failure 1916 .
Old Age age 79 in 1923
Old age age 76 in 1890
Old age age 81 in 1924
Gun shot wound to head male, age 79, 1973
Gun shot no indication if it was accidental, self inflicted, or murder.
Further research proved third choice to be the reason
Homicide female, age 45 in 1929
Killed Accidentally 1919, age 6
Cloroform 1908, woman age 28
Dropsey of brain 1897
Suicide by hanging woman, age 33
Suicide by train woman, age 49
Softening of Brain age 80 in 1900
Inflamation spasms age 1 month in 1889
Injury 50 ft. fall age 13 in 1903
Flu & Childbirth age 33 in 1923
End of Broadcast
From the Hub, March 20, 1922
Highway Graveling from Elm Creek to Kearney was to begin. Sand pits south
of Elm Creek and Odessa would be used. Hauling paid 25 ¢ per yard mile would