Alexandra S. Levine
It was unseasonably warm on Jan. 12, 1888, as Minnie Freeman made her way to a school in rural Nebraska, where she was a teacher.
Temperatures had been climbing well into the 40s that month, a respite from the bitter cold that usually gripped the prairie in the dead of winter.
Shortly after she arrived, the students, whose ages were about 5 to 15 — shuffled into the tiny Midvale School and the lesson began. By noon, a light morning frost had melted, and the sky seemed to be clearing.
Then, over lunch, a deadly snowstorm struck.