About this time of year back in 1912, Worth County experienced
a terrific snowstorm, which is the subject of the Grant City Star
News story below and is further described in this week's Halfway
From the Grant City Star
March 21, 1912
The most severe storm of the season has been the subject of articles in the local papers each week for the past three months and the past winter has undoubtedly been the worst for snowstorms ever experienced in Northwest Missouri.
The most severe of all the storms arrived in Worth County Wednesday night and Thursday of last week and the roads are still almost impassable on account of the drifts and mud. The snow fell only a short time but the heavy wind filled the cuts, which had been shoveled out of the drifts, stopping traffic of all kinds.
RAILROAD TRAINS DELAYED
The Grant City Branch of the Burlington were unable to get a mail to Grant City from Tuesday morning until Sunday afternoon and only then from the south
The Thursday morning passenger train got only as far as Redding, where it stayed until early Sunday morning. A northbound freight train and a light engine with a snowplow attached were also stuck between Grant City and Redding from Thursday until Sunday morning when a large force of men were able to dig them out
The rural route carriers state that the roads were in the worst condition they have ever found them. Several of them are yet unable to make their entire routes. The warm sunshine of the past few days has caused the snow to soften and the horses break through, making fast travel impossible
Wednesday morning a storm of sleet and snow began and is still pretty strong as we go to press (Wednesday night). The roads are badly cut up by the travel Monday and Tuesday and the mud peaks are freezing and covered with ice while the walks are a glare of ice.
Halfway Worth Mentioning
By Bill Gladstone
I think it might be a good thing to give the readers a short vacation from Halfway Worth Mentioning. I first considered running the three pictures one at a time but I think they will be of more interest running at the same time. So all of March's efforts will be in this issue.
Notwithstanding the record breaking temperatures during this past wee, the pictures are a vivid reminder of what can happen in Worth County in March.
The pictures were taken by N.A. Combs on March 16, 1912 at Maylan Cut on the Burlington Railroad.
Maylan Cut was north of the home now owned by Mr. & Mrs. Larry Kimble. It was about a mile northwest of Irena and some 2 1/2 miles south of Redding.
The road running north, just west of the Kimble house, was between the crew digging and the snow plow. If you will look closely you can see the top of the railroad crossing sign in the center left of the top picture. The camera was pointed in a northwesterly direction.
N.A. Combs operated a photographic studio in Grant City at that time. His studio was above what is now the Art Shop. He operated the studio some ten or twelve years with a couple of years out for service in WWI. He closed his studio and moved to Worth in 1921 when he became the rural mail carrier at Worth.
I haven't had time to research the subject at the TT office and I'll admit I should have before running the pictures but one can do some speculation from looking at the first picture.
The shadows seem to indicate that the picture was taken in the middle of the afternoon. The fact that only a very few of the men have their ear flaps turned down would also indicate that the weather was quite mild.
One could draw either one of two other conclusions. Either the snowstorm hadn't been too bad, but there was a lot of drifting, or the snowstorm had occurred several days prior the time the picture was taken. There are a lot of areas in the first picture where there is either no snow or it is very light.
The three pictures have a story behind them. Combs knew that they were going to be clearing the Maylan Cut, so he set up his camera to get some pictures.
The procedure the railroad used for clearing the cut was for the snowplow to plow into the drift but get into reverse quick enough to get back out before getting stuck. Then the shovelers would scoop awhile and then the snowplow would make another run. In the top picture you can see where they have worked into the drift quite some distance.
The crew boss was a man by the name of Bales and he began complaining to the train engineer that he was backing out too soon and that the shovelers were having to do too much of the work.
The bantering between the two continued to escalate. Finally, the engineer sidled over next to Combs and told him to get to take a picture because he was going to put the plow into the drift far enough to shut up the crew boss.
The second picture shows the plow coming in on the fatal run, full head of steam and no reverse.
The third picture in the sequence shows the snowplow after everything had settled down. The railroad brought in dozens of men to finally dig the train free.
The last Halfway Worth Mentioning had hardly hit the mailboxes when I began to get calls identifying the Allendale members. Rex Wilkinson directed me to the Allendale Centennial Picture Book and sure enough there they were.
In fact, there is some discrepancy between the listing on the back of the first picture and the book. Just in case you're keeping track I'll give you the listing from the book and then you can take your choice.
In the first picture, taken with trees as a background, the Centennial Book gives the following listing. Back row, left to right, Ed Hammer, Bill Sanders, unidentified man, Arch Campbell, Keith Rush, W.A. Roberston and Ben McDonald. Front row, left to right, Ben Williams, Gus Elliot, Charles Calhoun and Leslie Fry.
In the picture taken in front of the store building the listing is, left to right, Willis Maupin, director, Ben McDonald, Ben Williams, William (Bunky Bill) Sanders, Louis McDonald, Leslie Fry, Keith Rush, Dr. W.A. Robertson & Jake Wixtrum.
Please forgive me just this once for mixing in a little bit of Worth Mentioning material. Sometimes we tend to forget that a mistake on the basket-ball court in the last 10 seconds is just like a basket in the last 10 seconds. They are of exactly the same importance as a mistake or a basket in the first 10 seconds of a game. They all count just the same, no more, no less.