While some braved temperatures in the teens to make use of the sledding hill by Centennial Park after snow fell on the Newton area Sunday night, others were scampering inside.

About 75 people braved the chilly temps Jan. 16 to take part in a History Walk to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

According to the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network, about one-tenth of an inch of precipitation fell the morning of Jan. 15, with trace amounts recorded the previous day.

At about 6 p.m. Jan. 15 parents of students in USD 373 received notification via phone that school for Jan. 16 was canceled. The area was under a severe weather advisory with wind chills predicted to be below -20, according to the National Weather Service. 

Just as many were happy to have the dry spell ended with recent snowfall, so Newton residents 100 years ago were relieved to have the winter's drought suspended with precipitation.

Snow fell on Jan. 10, 1918, with four inches covering central Kansas. According to articles published in the Evening Kansan-Republican in January of 1918, temperatures as cold as five degrees below zero were forecast; Clay Center recorded a temperature of 19 degrees below zero. The snowdrifts and cold temperatures brought moisture, but also challenges.

The available coal supply was totally depleted. None of the three coal yards in Newton could fill the orders that kept coming in.

"Save your fuel. Save every pound possible," an Evening Kansan-Republican article urged

Four train cars of coal arrived on Jan. 11, 1918, but consumers were notified that they would have to fill out a fuel card in order to receive an order, thus ensuring no one was obtaining multiple deliveries until the shortage passed.

Despite the weather, schools held regular classes, with one exception. The McKinley school building had coal, but the pipes used to transport steam heat to the classrooms were in such disrepair that plumbers had to be called in to repair them. Students were given the day off, while the teachers went to visit other schools.

However in 2018, severe cold and advisorys led to a closure of all Newton schools.

It was also reported that nearly $1,000 in damage was done when the water pipes in the Eagles Lodge froze and burst, dripping down into Anderson's Bookstore below.