could be Buffalo's crossing the platte

 Research Papers

Today is:


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 was raging.

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 roads

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 direction.

Mrs. Davis

       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 home.

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 late afternoon.
       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 wasn’t but about 20 minutes later they saw the glow in the sky from the burning amusement park building.


       Heavy 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 of news

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

Accident – 1915

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

Cardiac standstill

End of Broadcast

From the Hub, March 20, 1922

      Lincoln 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 be paid.


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Revised: 05/03/2018