A community newsletter serving New Melle, Defiance, Augus​ta, Marthasville, Dutzow​​ a​nd surrounding areas.

Entries from Herman Knoernschild's Diary


Submitted by Ellen Knoernschild

Ellen Knoernschild of Centennial Farms in Augusta submitted the following excerpts from Hermann Knoernschild’s diary. Herman is Ellen's late husband's great uncle. Ellen wanted to share entries from Hermann's diary, and as Ellen pointed out to me these are the actual temperatures, not wind chills. It is hard to imagine life with no weather forecast to warn you of drastically changing temperatures or approaching snow and thunderstorms, etc.

Jan 5, 1884 Temperature 24 degrees below zero. River froze over.

Jan 6, 1884 Warmer, 10 degrees below zero.

Feb 5–11, 1889 Such a cold week; all week thermometer did not go above zero and nights were down to 10 to 25 degrees below zero.

Feb 12, 1889 Last coldest night of the year. 30 degrees below zero.

Feb 24, 1889 Went to town with a basket of eggs and was pleasantly surprised to hear they were 30 cents a dozen.

Jan 12, 1895 Brr-whee-ouch, this doesn’t make sense to me, suddenly the temperature dropped to 6 degrees below zero. With such weather, I naturally did not accomplish much except take care of the livestock before noon. In the afternoon, I hauled wood together in preparation for butchering next week.

March 20, 1895 Well, this is something – the first day of spring and 16 inches of snow on the ground!

April 25, 1895 Planted corn. All day long it threatened to rain, but none came. It is so terribly dry even the old timers cannot remember it being ever this dry this early in the season, as most cisterns are nearly empty, where other years they were full enough for the summer’s supply.

July, 1895 Rain almost every day.

Sept. 4, 1895 Terrible thunderstorms with tornadic winds.

Sept. 6, 1895 Another terrific thunderstorm.

Feb. 26, 1906 Roads have already been almost impassable with mud most of February. Today, a blizzard that defies description. Snow 12 inches deep on top of mud 12 inches deep, which totals up to 24 inches of bottomless footing, and in such weather, one is expected to keep up a happy mood? Transported three hogs to town for shipment, weighing 213 pounds on average, and had to hitch four horses to the wagon to pull it.

March 19, 1906 About 8 inches of snow on the ground and still snowing.

March 21, 1906 The first day of spring, 7 inches of snow with 7 degrees above zero.

March 30, 1906 Such miserable weather – terrific snow storm and heavy downpour of rain alternating all day.

March 31, 1906 Glory, Hallelujah! March is to an end. More than 31 days of miserable weather we, of course, did not have – but goodness knows – not many less! That’s all I have to say!