Dec. 27, 1935/36: The terrible winter that had started on the 20th was getting worse. Trains stalled. Car brakes failed. Furnaces broke down. Water mains froze. Schools closed. Mail piled up at the post office. Grocers’ supplies were running short. Heating materials were unavailable. Entrances to coal mines were blocked. Miners dug their way to work, then became marooned inside coal shafts. People chopped up their garages and their porch columns. They burned corn cobs and corn stalks. The National Guard cleared Rock Island tracks. Highway employees worked days and nights to keep roads open. They dynamited drifts. One south of Streepyville was higher than an automobile and longer than several hundred feet.