Sunday, February 26, 2012
The Schoolhouse Blizzard
A fast-moving blizzard struck central Nebraska on January 12, 1888, dropping temperatures from around 30 degrees Fahrenheit above to -20 to -40 below in a matter of hours. It caught much of the populace by surprise, halting travel in its tracks and trapping people in the open and away from home. 19-year-old Minnie Freeman was teaching in a one-room schoolhouse when the storm, with no warning, blew open the front door and tore a piece of the roof off. Wasting no time, Millie tied the children together with cord - the older kids in the front, and her taking the rear of the line - and guided them to a farmhouse a mile away. Despite the punishing winds and snow, and the near-zero visibility, the children and Minnie Freeman all survived.