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Jan. 12, 1909: Bitter cold brings suffering to poor

Posted by: Ben Welter under Minnesota History Updated: January 12, 2012 - 3:32 PM
 
From the front page of the Minneapolis Morning Tribune:

Bitter Cold Brings
Suffering to Poor


Union City Mission Serves Over 500 Hungry Men.

Trains from the West Come in Many Hours Late.
 
Last night was a splendid night to sit around a bright, cheery, blazing grate fire, telling stories of cold weather experiences or reading a good book with feet cocked up and pipe going full blast. It was 13 below at midnight.
 
The continued cold has brought much suffering to the city. Many are without work, poorly clothed and homeless. Many are hungry and more are without fire for warmth. The Union City Mission served 503 men with meals yesterday, the bread line besieging the offices of the mission before 11 o’clock and 5 o’clock, when the two meals of the day were served in a nearby restaurant.
 
C.M. Stocking of the mission says that many of the men are willing to go to work on the ice but their clothing is so dilapidated that they cannot on account of the fear of freezing. Several of them had shoes with big holes in them and some were minus caps and mittens. Mr. Stocking says that the most urgent need of the mission right now is overshoes, mittens and warm caps for these men so that they may secure employment.
 
The Salvation army cared for many yesterday and housed a large number last night. All of the police stations lodged several men and at the patrol barn 60 huddled together in the warmth of the basement.
 
The Associated Charities office in the city hall was nearly swamped yesterday by the many applications for food, fuel and clothing. Several cases of utter destitution were reported.
 
Train schedules were shot to pieces yesterday, the cold weather throughout the country making it impossible for the trains to keep on time. Plastered with snow, its wheels creaking and crackling with the bitter frost of the past week, No. 2, the Coast Limited and the proudest train of the Great Northern system, pulled in yesterday afternoon, 30 hours behind its scheduled time. It was Sunday’s train, running on Monday’s schedule, and five hours late on that.
 

A frigid slice of downtown Minneapolis: Nicollet Avenue at 10th Street in 1909. (Image courtesy mnhs.org)

 

The Union City Mission, 220-240 N. Washington Av., Minneapolis, in about 1900. (Image courtesy mnhs.org)

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