January 23-31, 1937

January 23, 1937, Saturday

Bright but cold. I dried clothes or part of those I washed Tuesday on the rack near heater, got meals, mended and ironed a few pieces, baked 2 mince-pies and played solitaire. Thomas got hay on Ferron land for the cattle and chored in eve, for Will came in just at dark to help him, for Seth walked home with Edward Whiting Jr., and Evard Roubideaux who walked to the store. Seth had a sore throat this p.m. is reason for going home. Will said there were a lot of men at store to trade to-day. They put 2 more layers of ice in Tom’s ice-house. I took a bath this p.m. and it helped my feet a lot.

January 24, 1937, Sunday

Was bright or partly bright and warm until toward noon a real blizzard continued for a few hours and cold N.W. wind. I got meals and read part of Arizona Bill, played solitaire and after supper Will and I played Casino and Thomas made an order for some music. He got 2 big loads of hay on Ferron land and came home in the blizzard. Will helped him unload. Will chored and was to get wood but only an armful. Blizzard quit late p.m.

January 25, 1937, Monday

Sun shone bright but was cold until in p.m. south-sides thawed some. Will chored, cut out the ice in water-hole and hung out some clothes. Seth came on Cody, has a sore throat but got in wash-water and cleaned ice-hole. Thomas got 2 loads hay on Ferron Land, fixed his hay-rack. After washing clothes, 2 mopped floors, got meals.

January 26, 1937, Tuesday

Sun shone and was warm enough that thawed the snow for one could see damp ground even away from south-sides. Seth and Will went to Tom’s and Lemoyne and Stanley, got a load of straw here on truck so they finished the 3rd Layer of ice in Tom’s ice-house and came home in eve. I got meals, played solitaire, baked pumpkin-pies, a cake and cooked prune-sauce and was all in, also swept the boys’ room up-stairs. Thomas gave the cattle hay from water-hole, put a load of straw at our ice-house. Lew McKee came to see how many of his cattle here. No mail-man to Hidden Timber yet since the storm.

January 27, 1937, Wednesday

Strong N.W. wind, cold and a little snow fell at mid-day, was a S.E. wind last eve. Thomas went for hay and the racks skidded on icy-roads in wind so he came back, gave cattle hay from big stack at home. Seth cleaned ice-house, found 43 small snakes so put them to freeze. The men in p.m .cleaned barn. I got meals, dressed a turkey and baked bread.

January 28, 1937, Thursday

Sun shone but was cold. I got meals and dried some clothes, played solitaire. Lemoyne, Stanley, Bud and Set Whiting and Will put ice in our ice-house. Thomas got hay from Ferron Land. Ben came at noon from the store, gave us grapefruit and 2 cans beef from relief.

January 29, 1937, Friday

Not so bright to-day and was cold. I got meals, dried clothes by heater, played solitaire, visited with Nell Larmer as she walked to store from Ed’s yesterday and came with men on the last load of ice for they put more loads in ice-house to-day but Bud never helped and Will and Seth up to dam to cut ice in p.m. Thomas got 2 loads of hay on Ferron Land for the stack to-day.

January 30, 1937, Saturday

Bright but cold. Thomas got 2 loads hay on Ferron Land and chored, for Will and Seth and Lemoyne and Stanley got 2 thick layers and 1 thin one in house and finished this eve but to pack last layer. I got meals, played solitaire. Will had tooth-ache last night so we are all in to-day for he had to get up to doctor.

January 31, 1937, Sunday

Bright, nice but cold. I got meals, played solitaire and started to read a story. Will, after helping boys chore, shaved and slept a long time. Thomas and Seth went horseback to the store and were back at supper-time. There were 4 boys hunting through Lattimore’s field.

January 23-26, 1952

January 23, 1952, Wednesday

The blizzard quit but none too fair, only partly, as hazy clouds when sun came out. Cows just stood as they are, frozen snow on their backs and sides. One calf was down, but Dan got it limbered up and it got up to eat later as the men gave hay to cattle. Fed the big herd behind the hill S.E. of the house. Will is about all in, but we stayed up late to get weather conditions. A Mr. Maxwell from Winner froze to death near his truck, as he was a trucker. Virginia Spinar died at the school house where her mother had taken her, and brothers going from the school had their Jeep stalled. The older brother walked, then mother tried to get a tractor there, but it stopped, so she sent the boy back to care for a small one, and she took the others to the school house where the girls had died from exhaustion. A trucker died somewhere near Pierre at a school house. Mr. Kourt, Winner, died at Vivian from exhaustion. A lot of folks are away. and not found yet.

January 24, 1952, Thursday

Sun shone quite a bit, so the Men gave cattle hay and dug out water by the culvert for the cattle to get some more to drink, as there was not wind enough to pump for them in the tank. An old cow got down north of the hill when feeding cattle, so Dan killed her and hauled her away to S.W. of the house. Also a calf is dead at the S.W. corner of their lot in a snow bank. Flora, 8, Helen, 7, Mr. Pete Judd, their father, a nephew Cecil Judd, 20,got stalled in a Jeep getting the girls from school four miles from home, 18 miles north of Murdo, Jones Co., S. D. The girls were found 1/2 mile from home in a creek bed under a clump of trees, Mr. Judd 1000 ft. from home and Cecil on top bridge floor 1500 ft. from home, all frozen to death. Mrs. put 4 month old baby in a basinet on a hand sled, and pulled it 2 miles to neighbors, and the Patrol was there today to tell her. She expected something was wrong. Lots of cattle are frozen in drifts in these parts. Thomas Whiting, Jr., lost 7 cows, Lemoyne some, Van Epps saved only milk cows out of 31 head. Graydon Hallock lost a lot, also Paulie Charboreaux and Tripp Co. S.W. part lost a lot. We haven’t a road to highway but Dan had to wash clothes to-day so no dig out.

January 25, 1952, Friday

Bright nice so Men gave cattle hay and in p.m. Dan tried to go to Store with Tractor, no get so came back, went horseback, got some mail. Usual pastime and work for me, played some cards.

January 26, 1952, Saturday

Some clouds but mostly Sun shone so Men gave cattle hay and had to make 3 trips to get one stack cut in two, then last half fell off so left it on Sled when they pitched it on. Went to Klein fence with tractor in p.m. after Dan washed clothes and put on line. Never saw Betty and Calvin but they are O.K. Calvin sleeps in day, wakes until late in night. Will and I played cards this eve and usual meals but we have pancakes and fritters for bread. I am all in also.


Lisa’s Note: For more on the blizzard of 1952, see The Blizzard Of 1952: Before The Storm (by James E. Roghair, Murdo). Also, Hattie’s nephew and niece shared these memories of the ’52 blizzard:

From Harley: “This blizzard started on the 21st. It was a nice morning and Dad and I went out to get hay for the cattle. Suddenly the weather got very still and I remember Dad felt we should get to the house and get Mary Alice and Jean Chauncey from school. We got home and picked up the girls at school. On the way home the blizzard suddenly hit. I was driving and I don’t think I went 50 feet before I hit the side of a drift (the roads had been opened with a snowplow). We walked something over a mile home. We were able to stay between the drifts on the sides of the road, otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to stay on course.

We never went out until the storm eased the evening of the 23d. We had ear corn and took some and fed it to the cows. I remember seeing a cow trying to eat an ear and she could only push it ahead of her as there was probably 6 inches of ice frozen on the end of her nose.

I don’t remember how cold it was but, it was cold and this before they thought of wind chill.”

From Dorothy: “Aunt Hattie wrote about the Blizzard of 1952…and…I remember that day! I was teaching at the Lone Hill school southeast of Mission. I roomed and boarded at Veryl Holmes about 1/4 to 1/2 mile west of the school. About a foot of snow fell with no wind during the earlier part of the day. Then, with no warning, a strong wind came up. Parents came and got their kids. No phones. Who knew what was going on? Then I walked to Holmes. I could see nothing and walked right along the fence line until I got to their driveway.

There were huge drifts along Highway 18 east of Mission. The regular snow plows couldn’t handle the snow and ‘rotary plows’ were brought from somewhere.

Mom told many, many times about my dad and your dad bringing Mary and Jean from school that day. She said they came into the house completely covered with snow…the way snow looks when the wind has plastered it over something. They looked at each other and started laughing. It was probably a release of many emotions. Mary was in 2nd grade and Jean in 3rd.

I have wondered now about so many things. There was no way for Chauncey’s to know that Jean was safe. However, I do faintly recall Mom saying that someone went there as soon as they could to let them know that she was at our house. And, how worried was Mom as to where they were as they were walking home.”

January 19-22, 1937

January 19, 1937, Tuesday

Was cloudy and middle a.m. started to snow from the Southeast and continued all day. This is Madge Whiting’s 19th Birthday, for she was born 3 days after we were married 19 years ago. Will got in water and I washed the clothes and put in tub to dry later and hung some up in our room and clothes-dryer for our bed it still in the front-room. I got meals, read some of Arizona Bill’s tales of Wild West years ago. Thomas got 2 loads hay, also gave cattle 1 load of alfalfa. Seth came horseback and stayed to help ice.

January 20, 1937, Wednesday

We got up at 8 a.m. to a blizzard from the Northwest, sun peeped out at 11 a.m. and at times in afternoon but the snow moved until bed-time, was moonlight and we could see down the river but was cold all the time. The men just chored, gave the calves 1 sack of cake but couldn’t get any hay to them and threw hay off the big stack to cows behind the wind brake and got in early eve. I got meals, made the sleeves shorter and collar smaller on a work shirt of Will’s, popped corn and made fudge and we played rummy after supper.

January 21, 1937, Thursday

Sun shone to-day but was cold but no wind so the men gave cattle hay and alfalfa and Will saw that the stock got water. Thomas drove Grans’ cattle to Wagner place as they went to N.W. Tuesday, when a S.E. snow but three were gone. Will went to the store horse-back in p.m. to see if Tom’s will get up ice to-morrow. I got meals, played solitaire and had queer pains in my head so laid down late p.m.

January 22, 1937, Friday

Bright day. Thomas got hay from meadow and gave [to] cattle. After choring, Will and Seth went in dump-cart to the store to help Tom put up ice. Ben came in p.m. for awhile. Bolin boys went by in a wagon to store. I got meals, baked bread, played solitaire, had a headache so wrote in diary and doped for headache. Will and Seth came back just before dark and got 1 layer except 1 cake of ice in Tom’s ice-house.

January 18-20, 1953

January 18, 1953, Sunday

Bright, nice until in middle p.m. began to cloud and snowing about 4 p.m., continued in eve. Men gave cattle hay and Will didn’t do much indoor work, but we played Canasta in p.m. and eve. Dan went to River Pasture in our Pick Up and drove all the cattle back to near home and east from here to River Pasture, so cattle came to corral and South Trees south of House and under Hill where men put 3 stacks of Old Hay from Strids sometime lately. I washed some dishes but not much cleaning as I don’t feel good. Men use electric pump to give cattle water.

January 19, 1953, Monday

Some snow until late p.m. then sun shone a little. Calvin is able to be up from his bronchial touch of pneumonia latter part of last week at Sandhills General Hospital, Valentine. Will says he plays with his toys and steps around fairly well, for he couldn’t walk Saturday when they brought him home. Men gave cattle feed and went to Whiting Store to mail letters and get mail. Dan works at a Rack he is making for his Pick Up box. Will had to rest a while and lay down so I am making a quilt top and cut blocks while he rested awhile late p.m. I played a little solitaire and got eats.

January 20, 1953, Tuesday

A few clouds but some Sunshine. Men gave cattle hay in a.m. I listened to Inaugural of Pres. Eisenhower and Truman (Harry) going out at Noon, I guess 11:30 our time. Vice-Pres. Richard Nixon of California took Barkley’s place. Mr. and Mrs. Truman, Harry, Bess and daughter Margaret left Washington in Private Car of Pres. but just ordinary citizens for their home at Independence, Missouri. Ex. Pres. Truman was [to] give farewell as Train left Washington. I guess the Cheers they gave made Mr. Truman sad at Heart, one [day] he [will not] forget if he lived to be a hundred years, which he was going to be. His Office will be at Kansas City. I don’t know if Mo. or Kansas. I like the 2 small Rugs in Back Porch of varied stripes while I write in diary. I rest to admire these rugs.

Truman’s Farewell Address
Eisenhower’s Inauguration

January 15-20, 1949

January 15, 1949, Saturday

Bright until near noon began to cloud and started to blow and snow late p.m. from North to Northeast and Northwest. Joe gave calves grain and fed chickens, and he and Will gave Big Herd part of Stack for the other part went to pieces. Had a flat tire so fixed it and put stack on sled to feed tomorrow, gave calves grain and got them at Shed. Elva brought Milk. Will put rest of clothes on line and got in before snow. I did usual work, ironed clothes and dried all but some I put up at night, not too dry.

January 16, 1949, Sunday

Wind from Northwest blew all night and snow moved but not much fell for moon would shine at times but was zero and around 4 above all night and same this day but sun shone and snow and wind until about 3 p.m., just some wind but no snow moved. The Men gave Big Herd a stack of hay in p.m. and Joe gave cattle in Bull-pen grain this morn and again late p.m. for could not get any hay to them. Joe brought a qt. of milk and put in refrigerator but no gas so we have to get tank that Bud used for heating now. This is our 31st Wedding Anniversary and was a blizzard for 3 days 31 years ago. We just stay at Home and got eats, played solitaire, read some and Will read also. Listened to radio and we played pitch and Rummy in eve.

January 17, 1949, Monday

Not so cold and storm has quit so Joe chored and he and Will gave calves a half stack hay east of creek in Bull-pen. There are old cows and Bulls in this pen also. They caked and gave Big Herd a stack. Elva brought milk and put some clothes on line for was a little sunshine. I did usual work, pastimes and sewed on dresses.

January 18, 1949, Tuesday

Partly cloudy but no snow fell so Men fed big herd and gave grain to those in Bull-pen. Elva brings up Milk and Cream and gets meat in basement. I did usual work and sewed on everyday dresses and cut some out and played solitaire and read.

January 19 & 20, 1949, Wednesday & Thursday

Partly cloudy and very cold. Men fed stock as usual and had to give calves another half stack of hay east of creek. I did usual work and sewed on dresses and cut out 2 more, read, listened to Pres. Harry S. Truman being out new Pres. He took Oath at White House Lawn at noon to-day, also Mr. Barkley was Vice pres. The Parade was broadcasted in p.m. Pres. Truman gave a nice inaugural address. Elva came up with milk and several times. I am ahead of the inauguration, for that was tomorrow, January 20th, Thursday, so both these days are about the same to my work and the men’s.

January 5-8, 1947

January 5, 1947, Sunday

Bright but snowed last night so ground is white and not so cold today for got to above 30. The men chored and Levi washed clothes so stayed home only while Seth got him in his car and they got Seth’s cook stove at Seth’s for Levi. Seth came last night in Clarence’s Car and stayed at Levi’s, went back to Ed’s and got his car this a.m. He froze the Radiator the cold Thursday night that he was here so put the one off of old Model A in his car this a.m. then got his cook stove for Levi. Will washed all the dishes and swept and cleaned the front room. I got meals, laid down in p.m., mended a dress to put on, cleaned front table to put on clean tablecloth.

January 6, 1947, Monday

Bright, nice day, not so cold these nights. Will got ready early and went to Valentine to get Radiator soldered, the Steering Wheel fixed and when these were finished, he started home near State line, the right hind Tire flat so Mike Longcar (sp?) came along and as spare didn’t have air either, he helped Will put it on and some air in it, then Will went back to Valentine to get spare fixed with new valve stem and the flat had a nail so he got it fixed, then came home at 9:35 p.m. Levi did the usual work, fed cattle and cleaned the barn. Harry, Louise and Mary came in a.m. and had dinner, then took home 12 roosters. I did usual work and Will and I had ice-cream after 10 p.m., retired at 11 p.m.

January 7, 1947, Tuesday

Cold last night but warm to-day and bright. I got only breakfast and Supper, for the men chored and Levi, Sparky and Levi’s brother Clifford Leighton walked up so I got to see Clifford. They all went with Will to Mission, then Will went to Rosebud Selective Service Meeting, and Clifford stayed with Sparky and his sister Leona Grablander in Mission, and she and Levi went with Tom Whiting Sr. to Rosebud in their new V8 and were back to Mission when Will got there. Will saw Mr. and Mrs. Wm Pierce Sr. and Mrs. Wm. Pierce Jr. (Phyllis) at Mission, they had been to Rosebud for Mrs. Sr. had swollen feet and hands so I guess no school for her today. I took a bath this eve and on account of cold weather has been a long time since I did.

January 8, 1947, Wednesday

Partly cloudy in forenoon but not so cold, then got warm and bright and breeze enough to dry the clothes enough to bring them in. Will put them on line, got in water, took it out and cleaned the North Porch. I washed the clothes and am I glad, had to lie down in p.m. Will worked at the hay sled on runners, putting on front sticks and braces to hold hay on and tie lines. Levi fed cattle in a.m. and in p.m. he husked 9 rows of corn on Wagner’s. I got meals, played solitaire and read.

January 5-8, 1941

January 5, 1941, Sunday

Bright but cold until towards eve clouded so Seth brought cattle that had went up valley back to shed on horseback. He gave cattle cake, did all the chores, went to Whiting Store to get mail and take up a barrel for distillate to be brought out by mail-man. He went home until chore time in eve, he shot a jack-rabbit for the chickens. Will’s neck is still sore so he never did much but read, got coal from basement and listened to radio. I cooked or fried a chicken for dinner, also Seth took one home to be fried. Will and I picked out him some clothes from Wards and I got meals, laid down in p.m. and read, played solitaire.

January 6, 1941, Monday

Was threatening to snow but Seth got hay for cattle at Northwest stacks and chored. Will’s neck is a little better so he went to Rosebud to see if beaver could be trapped along river at dams and talked to Tom Sazama and stopped at Mission A.A.A. Office, also listened to Pres. Roosevelt’s address to Congress [see FDR and the Four Freedoms Speech] at Figerts’ Print Shop, Mission. Home late p.m. I got meals, laid down in p.m., sewed on my everyday dresses. I didn’t see anyone on highway and Seth said that little traffic as he noticed. Will said that Sadie, Mrs. T. F. Whiting, had the flu and was real sick.

January 7, 1941, Tuesday

Bright but chilly. Will and Seth chored. Will’s neck better so went to Valentine after some more nails, Wilndmill rod, bentonite to put in tank at new mill on Wagner’s. He came back in p.m. and never had any dinner, he went by Ben Clausen’s but Ben not home and started down there after he got back and Ben was at beaver dam east of horse-pasture so he and Will examined beaver dams and went to store to get Ben some canned milk and syrup. Seth hauled hay and fed cattle and chored in eve, brought Martha, Carol and Norma down here just at noon.

January 8, 1941, Wednesday

Bright but cold. I got meals, laid down in p.m. and felt sick at stomach but managed to sew a little. Will and Seth chored. Seth took team and wagon, went to windmill on Moore Creek. Will got Ben in car, they went up there and loaded tank on wagon, they unloaded it at windmill on Wagner’s before noon, and afternoon Reynolds, Ranger of Forests, I guess he is assistant at Rosebud, came to look at beaver dams so they went with him down river, came back here to drink and he went home and Will, Ben, Seth leveled up the tank at windmill. Ben walked home in eve. Men chored and Seth went home for supper.

January 5-8, 1951

January 5, 1951, Friday

Bright day, not so nice after a cool night. Clarence fed cattle in Bull-pen and he and Will put tile squares on East-end closure for Tub and had to put a piece of wall wood on East side of North window about 4 ft. high first and shellac it to fill cracks. I did usual work and pastimes. Frankie came for jars and brought us milk.

January 6, 1951, Saturday

Still bright but none too nice so Men are glad most wood stacks are in yards. They worked at Bathroom walls North and Ceiling of Tub enclosure and got west wall by Closet Lavatory ready to fix but it is rough so may have to Masonite it, also above 4 ft. finished tile East side as space to window from Tub is rough also. Carl and Carol Anderson came in Elmer’s New Car to tell us that Calvin Knox of O’Kreek was to have a Military funeral tomorrow at O’Kreek so want all ex-G.I. there for Services. Frankie brought us a pan of biscuits or rolls for Supper. Usual work and pastime for me.

January 7, 1951, Sunday

Bright beautiful day and not so chilly so I washed my hair and put on curlers so thought we could go to O’Kreek to Knox Funeral but no go as am afraid I may get cold in head but Will and Clarence went in Pick Up to Wm Abbotts to vaccinate over 50 calves for them for hemorrhages. Brownie Anderson, wife and Donna Mary, Joyce Marie and Margaret Ann also Mrs. Wilhermione Anderson (Reka) and Hank and Delores Walters of Winner [were] there. Gene and Charles Jr. McCormick came to help vaccinate also. Will and Clarence came home because Clarence and Family went to Ed’s for dinner and came home before supper and Charlotte, Irene and Rena Whiting came in their car, staid here while house warmed but the oil heater exploded so their house all soot but managed to get supper and we have no meat but they have salmon and lots of other things to eat. Clarence came up to tell us about the explosion in eve. Will and I home and not much but lunch and read.

Jan. 7, 1951

January 8, 1951, Monday

Bright, nice. Clarence hauled or sledded in old Stacks of hay and Will went to Town to get V8 Coupe put through an exam, got carburetor, ignition and wheels checked and horn to work, got to Valentine about noon and not home until dark. I started to make out Income Report so not much else. Frankie brought the milk and got a chunk of Ham.

January 1-4, 1941

January 1, 1941, Wednesday

Partly cloudy and cold after a rain first then snow about 3 or 4 in. deep. I got breakfast but no eat for Seth chored then he and Will tried to get me to church at St. Therese’s Chapel Hidden Timber but we only skidded around in front of Garage, then a time to get back into garage, so we came back to house and quit. Seth finished chores, looked at his traps, took a chicken home for dinner, just as they finished, Edward and Leo came for them, they down here then to Ed’s. Will chored in eve.

January 1, 1941 diary entry

January 2, 1941, Thursday

Was bright, nice, warm for all snow began to melt. Will finished choring then got in water just about 2 p.m. he put clothes on line for he hauled water in and out and kept washing-machine going. I put an enormous washing of nearly 3 wks through. We left a boiler-full indoors. Will brought them in, in p.m., just then Mary Whiting Hudson, husband Henry (Hank), Elmer Brandon and Harriet Whiting’s husband Donald Hudson came to see if Will would buy their share of corn at Wallace Gran’s but Will no buy. They immediately left, no come in house. Seth had a lot of chores finished before breakfast and as he was waiting to eat, Martha came, she ran down from their place, for Carol pulled dresser scarf and lamp tumbled over and chimney broke and cut her cheek right side to nose and sideways above mouth, a terrible gash, so Seth and Martha took car back, they brought children here after breakfast then left for Rosebud Hospital to have wound closed. Came back towards eve and Seth said they did a good job of putting it together. They meals were all I could so for I was near not walking after I got clothes washed my left leg and foot so painful, laid down in p.m., dried the clothes near heater as they are damp.

January 3, 1941, Friday

Bright after a few clouds in morning, was very chilly and no breeze until p.m. N.W. wind. I got meals, laid down in p.m., still drying damp clothes near the heater. Will put some clothes on line but they froze stiff in a hurry. He helped Seth get one hay-rack unloaded. Seth caked cattle, gave calves and Bulls and cows in bull-pen some hay, he left hay on rack. Will fixed wind-brake and a halter, after noon they went to windmill on Moore Creek and pried tank loose so it can be brought to well on Wagner Place, and came home via Hidden Timber to get the mail and it began to snow in eve so men after choring went in car to drive cattle from Wagner Place down here at home. I baked squash pies in eve.

January 4, 1941, Saturday

Bright but real cold, 5 below at Valentine last night, our thermometer is broken so cannot tell here. Seth did all the work, took oats to milo and cake to the cattle in bull pen, went home to see how Martha is getting along with the Flu but she isn’t so bad. Carol’s face is healing. Will has a stiff neck caused from a cold so feels bum, had to stay indoors all day. I got meals, sewed on everyday red-figured dress, laid down in p.m., hemmed 8 wash-rags made out of old towels. Seth cleaned barn, gave cattle a load of hay on rack.