1925 New Year’s day snow / 1864 New Year coldest day ever
The big snow New Year's day reminded old timers at the capital of "the cold New Year's" sixty years ago. There were not many thermometers in this part of Illinois in those days, and just what the drop in the temperature was is not known. Men caught out in the storm, or going about their feeding duties, were seriously frozen, The hands, feet and ears of hundreds of people throughout the country were frozen stiff after an hour or two of exposure. Chickens, turkeys and birds fell from their perches dead. In Xenia township the body of a man was found two or three days after the storm half-buried in the snow, but whether he had been frozen to death or had been killed by members of an anti horse-thief association then existing in this county was never made clear. The cold wave extended to the Gulf of Mexico, and many soldiers in both the Union and Confederate armies died from exposure. New Year day, 1864, is believed to have been the coldest day ever experienced by white people in the United States.
Extracted from the Flora Journal-Record - January 8, 1925