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Clay County MOGenWeb

Clay County
Historical Tidbits

Deep Snow of 1830

October 29, 1830, the memorable "Deep Snow" commenced falling, covering the ground to a depth of 20 inches on the level, and drifting in many places 12 feet deep. A week or so afterwards, another snow fell of about the same depth, and actually covering the ground, without drifting, to a dept of 2 feet in most places.

January 3, 1831, another snow fell, which added to that already on the ground, made a depth of nearly 3 feet. The situation may be imagined. Travel was almost impossible. The few roads were blocked, and no one pretended to go abroad except on horseback.

In a short time there came a thaw, then a freeze, the latter forming a crust through which the deer would break, while wolves and dogs passed over in safety. Large numbers of deer and turkey perished, and could be caught with but little difficulty.

The snow lasted till the first of March following, when it went off with a warm rain, and there were great floods resultant. The season of 1831 was unfavorable for the settlers of this county. Corn was the chief staple then raised -- the principal dependence of the people -- and the corn crop of that year was a failure. Much of it was planted late, and the season turned out backward and cool and the summer was full of east winds.

At last, in August, there came a frost, "a killing frost" and nipped the corn so severely that it did not ripen. The grains were so imperfectly developed that but few of them would germinate and the next spring, seed corn was very scarce and very deer. Certain vegetables were also injured by the frost, and to many, the situation was actually distressing.

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This page was last updated June 7, 2005.