A Look Back at the January 23, 1873 BlizzardJanuary 23rd, 2014 at 10:07 pm by Chad Evans under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog
January 23, 1873 featured one of the heaviest snowfalls ever recorded in Lafayette & in the viewing area as a whole. This blizzard occurred just 3 weeks after “The Great Blizzard” in the Plains from Kansas to Minnesota with extreme wind & snowfall with that area of the country paralyzed for weeks. It was a great hardship for early Plains pioneers. Then, the Great Easter Sunday Blizzard struck the Plains in the spring that dealt a blow to the Plains not seen until the rough winter of 1883-84 & 1884-85.
Here, it was the wind made it a blizzard & was the worst snow storm since the legendary New Years Eve-Day storm of 1863-64.
Interestingly, 1864, 1867, 1869, 1873 all featured , historic snow storms in the area. Per data, 1864 & 1873 appear to reach true blizzard thresholds.
15.0″ of snow fell on Lafayette in the 1873 blizzard with drifts 4′ deep in town & over 6′ deep in the countryside. There was already 3″ on the ground before this storm even began.
The entire region was shut down. A train became stuck in the snow at Templeton & a train with 4 locomotives blew a cylinder on one, owing to the extreme power needed to plow through the very deep snow.