Enduring a Dakota winter

Continuing with Gerald Nathan Hodgson’s Northwest family narrative, with thanks to Michael Howard Hodgson:

Their North Dakota winter was noteworthy because of the cold, the wind, and the windblown snow of the blizzard. It was dangerous to go anywhere in blizzard season. People strung ropes between the house and barns to find their way back and forth. However, Dad was running short of coal and perhaps other necessaries such as chewing tobacco, so he took a chance and made a trip to town with a team and sled and started back with a load of coal. A blizzard struck before he got quite home, and it was dark also. I think he may have had the help of fences part of the way, but when he reached home he couldn’t see it and passed by; however, Mom had set her kerosene lamp in the window as a beacon and Dad was just lucky enough to glance back and see it through a rift in the snow. I can’t remember whether he got the sled turned around or not but he at least reached the house and barn with his horses in safety.

After the hailstorm and the blizzard, Mom said she would not live in North Dakota if you gave her the whole place, and the stage was set for the move out here. Somewhere along the line, she took her children and went back by railroad to visit her parents and then never saw them afterward. Her father spent his last years in a town called Popejoy. Iowa (present population 190); was married at least once afterward but no further children. I remember reading a portion of a letter from Uncle Howard in which he said. “I sure think Paw made a fool of hisself. getting married again.”


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