The weather was quite severe and the trains on all the roads were running somewhat irregularly owing to the heavy snow storm which fell under conditions especially favorable to drifting. The trains on the “Q” were behind as a rule and the fast mail was three hours late, which would require it to make up two hours and twenty minutes between here and Council Bluffs or pay a forfeit. The Narrow Gauge trains also behind, the Des Moines passenger having been obliged one night to lie up at St. Charles, a drift of many hundred feet in length and eight foot deep completely blocking its progress.
The intensely cold weather made railway travel difficult, uncomfortable and occasionally dangerous. A C. B. & Q. train was detained for a considerable length of time, about two miles west of town, by a breakage of some kind in one of the car trucks. Another time a train on the Narrow Gauge encountered a broken rail a couple miles from Osceola and a passenger car containing several lady passengers rolled over on its side in consequence. Fortunately none of the passengers were injured and found refuge at a house which was close at hand until another train could be sent to their relief. Again another set of unfortunates again appealed for aid. The train on which they had taken passage had completely lost its grip on the rails owing to an immense snow drift about three miles from town. Some passengers were obliged to take the midnight train on the “Q”. Three engines went up to the drift and pulled the train and passengers through to town.
A notice had been posted in the post office from the signal service department announcing a cold wave approaching and that the thermometer would probably fall fifteen to twenty degrees. (C B & Q-Chicago Burlington & Quincy rail line)