Archived Story

A look back at cold weather

Published 1:52pm Wednesday, January 8, 2014

People from “up north” might not think so, but for Alabamians the past week has been a very cold one. Despite the absence of modern technology and such, our grandparents and great-grandparents had ways of coping with it.  It was mostly—but not always—viewed in a negative light.  Little was possible in the way of weather forecasting.  Great reliance was placed on old folk maxims and signs in the natural environment.

July 3, 1895—The cold weather of this past winter ought to mean a healthy summer, while the abundant snows experienced throughout the county should mean good crops this season.

Jan. 16, 1904—The grand jury of Lawrence County has examined the county jail and reports that it is not suitable to contain a human being. First, the sanitary condition is horrible; second, there is no way of heating the cells whereby the prisoners might be kept comfortable.

March 5, 1907—(Decatur, March 4)—Word was received here this morning of the death of County Commissioner S. P. Lovelady (father of Hartselle’s famed Dr. W. H. Lovelady). Mr. Lovelady died yesterday at his country home near Danville.

He had been in bad health for some time but the immediate cause of his death was due to a severe cold which developed into a case of pneumonia.

Jan. 17, 1910—On account of the severe cold and rainy weather, work on the county turnpike roads has been almost suspended until spring.  However, some grading is being done and rock is being crushed.  The work will be pushed as rapidly as possible just as soon as the good weather opens up in the spring.

Oct. 23, 1910—As a result of the storm on the Florida coast, Hartselle has experienced a banana famine during the past few days.  The dealers here who receive bananas in carload lots have been unable to get any fruit on account of the storm.

Oct. 23, 1911—A cold wave struck this section of the state at an early hour this morning. The thermometer dropped from 70 to 45º, with a cold wind blowing out of the north.  There was no frost.

Feb. 8, 1912—The thermometer here (Lacon) registered five degrees above during the recent cold snap.  There was considerable suffering among the stock of the country.

May 15, 1914—The thermometer fell several degrees last night, almost reaching the frost point. Farmers say this weather will injure the cotton to some extent, as much of the cotton is up or just coming up out of the ground.

Dec. 1, 1915—A. S. Bynum, city, is getting ready for colder weather with the purchase of a new union suit for 80 cents and a pair gloves for 45 cents.

Oct. 19, 1916—The honking of thousands of wild geese here tonight indicated the coming of cold weather, according to amateur weather prophets. It is said that the geese go south with the passing of the warm weather.

Dec. 28, 1924—Sportsmen report that the hunting of wild ducks within the last few days has been the greatest sport of this kind in years.  More ducks than have ever been seen before were on the rivers and ponds and the reason for this is said to be unusually cold weather in the north which has compelled these flocks to migrate south in order to find food.

Dec. 15, 1955—A low of 15 is expected tonight.  No snow is expected to accompany the frigid temperatures, however.

Dec. 12, 1957—It is very cold in Hartselle. The low this morning was 10 and the thermometer is not expected to rise above the 20s during the day. Many Hartselle residents are reporting that their pipes have frozen.

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