Friday, July 12, 2013

Excerpt from Esther's Town

Few Esthervilleans could forget the year 1936. A bitter cold winter was followed by a capricious spring and by an unfriendly drifting summer that added insult to the injury of empty stomachs. Heavy drifting snows snarled railroad traffic, and the cold soon emptied the coal bins. As coal trains stalled in mammoth snowdrifts, the community ran perilously low on fuel. Mayor Fred Ehlers recruited volunteer shovelers, who rescued a train loaded with coal that got almost as far as Estherville when once again it was stalled in a deep cut. Daily bulletins published in the paper kept anxious readers informed on the progress of the train bringing them coal, which finally reached the town as residents were steeling themselves for cold houses. Fears of empty coal bins were no more than allayed when other fears replaced them. On Thursday, April 30, a funnel cloud roared in from the west over the bluffs along the river.

Esther's Town, by Deemer Lee

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