The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

The Wisdom of Barnyard Bruke: Snow Activities, Deep Snow Winters, Quotes On Winter, Climate Change Dogma

Greetings ta ever one in western Illinois and all readers of "The Quill".

January 8 is the annivThat was some snow that fell last Saturday the 12th. Depend'n on where ya live, it amounted ta betwixt eight (8) to (10) inches or so.

Mike and Sherry Hoyt, in the Tennessee/Colchester community had a retirement auction that day. The snow continually fell dure'n the sale but it didn't seem ta dampen the bidding. Ever thing seemed ta sell quite well with bids quite enthusiastic. The Hoyts had good well maintained equipment, which helped a great deal.

Some of the livestock equipment was bought and traveled as far away as the state of Nebraska.

It was an enterest'n site watch'n the farmers in attendance as the snow fell. Some had boots on, some didn't. Some wore hats and hoods and other had no cover on their heads. Some wore gloves, others didn't. Some had light jackets and clothes and others dressed so heavily it seemed it limited their movement. All were covered with snow and the only ones that weren't were bidding on the internet with the comfort of indoors. Congratulations on a good sale Mike and Sherry.

Come'n up next week is the White Farm Trust 153.41 acre land sale. The week after that is the Kettelkamp trust 238 acre land sale. Those sales should give us a good idea of how Henderson County land sales are trending. I spect they are hold'n their own, but we'll wait and see.

Shirley Linder said the Methodist church in Stronghurst were she attends, held their annual chicken and noodle dinner Saturday night dure'n the snow storm. Personal attendance was off by quite a lot, due to the snowstorm but carry outs were strong. She said they had over 50 carry outs and were satisfied with the results.

The Hoyt farm sale and Stronghurst church supper goes ta show Henderson County folk and surrounding areas are not intimidated by a little inclimate weather. Rural people are a hardy bunch!


Some folk is complain'n about all the deep snow we is a have'n around these parts lately. It might be well to remember afore one gets to complain'n too much that "Deep snow in the winter means tall grain in the summer". That's an old proverb that generally holds true.

Back in February 2008 I wrote about the winter of the Deep Snow, which happened in the winter of 1830-31. It was the granddaddy of em all that we have record of. I'm repeating it again fer this column, just in case someone feels this is the worst winter on record.

"The Winter of the Deep Snow"

The fall of snow was phenomenal, and of course, I was not around to experience it, no matter how old me grandchildren believe I am.

This large amount of snow probably had never occurred before, and certainly has not since within the boundaries of the State of Illinois.

On a calm windless day the snow fell in Central Illinois to the depth of four feet. This was followed by a drizzling rain which soon turned to sleet.

Then the weather became intensely cold, and the whole face of the area was covered with a sheet of ice, overlaying a field of snow that was four feet deep.

Indians that yet lived in the area starved, necessitating the use of their council house for a kitchen.

The storm was very destructive to game of all kinds. It was several years before wildlife again became abundant. Birds, such as grouse and quail, perished in great numbers. Deer starved to death by the hundreds. Showing no signs of fear, they would stand and eat the branches from a fallen tree while the woodman was chopping and splitting the body of it.

After the snow had continued for some time, the deer were not molested, as they were so emaciated that they were unfit for food and were only occasionally killed for their skins.

There is a place, in a swail along Route 34, north of the highway in Tompkins Township, of our neighbor Warren County to the east, where the buffalo piled up that winter and starved in huge numbers. Their sun-bleached bones were of such a large volume and piled by the thousands, that they had remained for school children from a nearby one room school to gather many years later, and served as a reminder of that harsh pioneer winter.

It has been said that the winter of the Deep Snow took the last of the buffalo from east of the Mississippi River.

Valley Forge had a bad winter fer General Washington's soldiers in 1777-1778, but this 1830-31 snow was worse. It has been stated as the deepest most intense, coldest, and longest last'n snow since the retreat of the last glacier. Storms with high hurricane force winds continued fer over 60 days, day and night, filling the air with snow, so stinging, blinding, and choking, that no person could make travel against it on foot. The breath of anyone was almost stopped fer those who attempted to face it.

A man with his wife and six children froze to death, huddled about their half-burned wagon on the prairie as they made a vain attempt to survive.

Another man, attempt'n to reach home a mile and a half from home with oxen and wagon, unhitched his gentlest ox and attempted to ride it home. The ox's back was so slippery that he could not stay on it. In despair he wrapped the tail of the gentle ox firmly around his hand and allowed it to drag him the entire distance home.

A Pottawatomie Indian described the winter this way: "Big heap snow came early and no thaw until late spring. Snow, snow, snow everywhere. Blow into hollows and make all level. Deer could not travel. Indian wigwam all covered. Turkey got nothing to eat, prairie chicken starve, deer starve and die. Wolf not die, he run on top of snow crust, kill and eat plenty deer. Deer break through snow and no could run. Poor Indian hungry and almost starve."

Interestingly Abraham Lincoln's family first came to Illinois from Indiana to settle here at a spot 10 miles southeast of Decatur just in time to experience the Deep Snow. Also, Mormon missionaries, under the leadership of Oliver Cowdery, were inspired by Joseph Smith to travel to the western edge of civilization from Fayette, New York to preach the restored gospel to the Laminites or Native Americans. They arrived in Illinois just in time to experience the winter of the Deep Snow.

Well, so much fer winters history once again. It brings ta mind some enterest'n writin's I've read:

Quotes on Winter

As I sit here in my warm comfortable home watching the cardinals, woodpeckers, Bluejays and birds of all types feeding outside my kitchen window, I realize how fortunate we have it today. The snow is gently drifting down as I observe the cows pastorily mulling about by the barn with their newborn calves, casually grazing on the hay, from this morning's chores.

I am very thankful for farm life and the many blessings it has given my family and friends, and oh so grateful to be the beneficiary of those who have gone on before and for the sacrifices, trials, and tribulations they made

When ya think about the storms of old, were they caused by Global warming (climate change) and if so, by what factory back then? What caused that vital element (Carbon Dioxide) to be demonized by political activists? Some sez the last snow storm is proof of climate change.

The climate-change dogma is pushed by political "elites" who engineer this idea seek'in a big tax on energy for their own political goals. They know if'll ya repeat a lie long enough (generally about 3 times) people begin ta believe it.

"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; its just that they know so much that isn't so'. Ronald Reagan

Thats all fer this weeks column. Hope'n ta see ya in the church of yer choice this week.

Wherever ya are, whatever ya be a do'n "BE A GOOD ONE!'

Keep on Smilen

Catch ya later

Barnyard Bruke