19th Century, Agriculture, farming, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Natural Disaster

Grasshopper Plague 1873

grasshoppers1939

Grasshoppers darken the skies of southwestern Minnesota. For the next five summers they strip the land bare. Charities and the state provide some relief, but many farmers lose everything.
“‘The wheat!’ Pa shouted. He dashed out the back door and ran toward the wheat-field.
“The grasshoppers were eating. You could not hear one grasshopper eat, unless you listened very carefully while you held him and fed him grass. Millions and millions of grasshoppers were eating now. You could hear the millions of jaws biting and chewing.
“Pa came running back to the stable. Through the window Laura saw him hitching Sam and David to the wagon. He began pitching old dirty hay from the manure-pile into the wagon, as fast as he could. Ma ran out, took the other pitchfork and helped him. Then he drove away to the wheat-field and Ma followed the wagon.
“Pa drove around the field, throwing out little piles of stuff as he went. Ma stooped over one, then a thread of smoke rose from it and spread. Ma lighted pile after pile. Laura watched till a smudge of smoke hid the field and Ma and Pa and the wagon.
“Grasshoppers were still falling from the sky. The light was still dim because grasshoppers covered the sun.”*

Holy Spirit, we don’t know why You allow tragedy, but we thank you that you work ‘all things together for good for those that trust him.” This event must have felt like some kind of biological warfare; its’ devastation being so total.  How helpless it must have felt to take any useful action in the face of this swarm?!

Many would find this type of annihilation a ‘proof’ that You are not God. They may fail to see beyond the immediate to the fact that You’ve given us a will to choose lightness or darkness when our the object of our security is touched. They may fail to see that in the depths of pain, one’s greatness of character arises. Nearly every Bible story contains a main character who suffers, and often suffers unjustly.

Lord, I do not want to judge my state in their response to this plague. I do want to ask forgiveness for responses of anger or bitterness and unforgiveness towards You. Whether You allowed us to be tested, or whether the grasshoppers came because of natural law and overpopulation; You are righteous in Your judgments. Lord, forgive us our lack of trust that You bring life to the land, whether human or not? You truly are King of the Universe! May we bless You and not forget the days of life and health you have given. Will You show us how to work with insects in balance? Will You bless all insect and plant life through out our land?

We are fickle. We think You serve us instead of the truth that we are Your people and the sheep of Your pasture. Father, help Your Church to not cower in fear in the face of this accusation of the enemy, but answer with confidence in Your love. May we believe as David, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust him.”

*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org , is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!

Standard
19th Century, Agriculture, Architecture, Business, Civics, Energy, History, Industry, Minnesota

Industry at St. Anthony Falls 1872

640px-Stanthonyrecession.jpg

Minneapolis industries cluster around the power of St. Anthony Falls. The Minneapolis Board of Trade estimates that the 95 waterwheels at the falls produce 6,000 horsepower.*

Lord, thank you for the gift of the Mississippi and those who harnessed its power. Thank You for the individuals and groups that contributed to its’ planning and investment? You work through those who skillfully manage money! Will You bless the entrepreneur? You work through those who take major risks to create business? Too often we are guilty of failing to properly acknowledge the reflection of Your glory through the wonderful skills of tradesmen and women! Will You bless these and their generations’: the cement worker, the engineer, the steel worker, the electrician, the riggers, the teamsters, and any other who labored on these projects?
Lord forgive us the sin of loving ‘science’ while simultaneously negating your creation. You had a plan for this city far before we began to envision what was possible. You created many electrical systems as well as the principals of hydraulics and physics in nature long before we were alerted to their existence.
How many more mysteries do You have to reveal to us? Forgive this root of ‘scientific pride’ in Minnesota. Will You replace it with humility and eternal curiosity that makes us better stewards of Your creation, technological advancement, and more receptivity to Your ideas?

*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org , is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!

Standard
19th Century, Agriculture, Business, Civics, education, Energy, farming, government, History, horses, Intercession, Jesus, livestock, Medicine, Minnesota

Energy Crisis 1872

unknown

Epizootic fever strikes horses throughout the Midwest. The three-month sickness plunges horse-powered Minnesota into its first energy crisis.*

I need to let this one simmer for a bit; “the three-month sickness plunges horse-powered Minnesota into its first energy crisis.” It’s hard to relate to this not-so-distance past when “horse-power” really meant the labor of a workhorse. I believe it was as late as W. W. II when the majority of Minnesotans still lived on farms, and felt this connection to living “horse-power. (I still need to let this steep.)

There’s something good about the connection between human and horse. Your draft animal as a precious commodity, means of production, and even friend?! A car with a face? A tractor with a face? A companion who saw the same sights, and explored the same paths as its master?

Below is some documentation of the breadth and width of this epizootic fever.
“Beginning in Toronto, Canada, in the late summer of 1872, in only three days the disease hit nearly all the livery stables and the horses used to pull streetcars in that city. By mid-October, horses in all of Canada, Michigan and the New England states were infected. By the beginning of November the disease had spread to Illinois, Ohio and South Carolina. By the end of the month, Florida and Louisiana reported cases.” http://www.heritagebarns.com/the-great-epizootic-of-1872/#.V9s-fmPSfVo

Holy Spirit, today I remember the I remember this equine flu epidemic of 1872. I accede to Your will in the relationship between the suffering of animals and the people of this state. I acknowledge the contribution of veterinarians to the well-being of these individual animals, and indirectly to our state.

Will You forgive us any judgments made against Your goodness or holiness because of the epizootic fever then? You care about each detail of our lives, and of each creature in Your world. We give You thanks for these horses past, and sincerely thank You for Minnesota’s present stock. We ask Your blessings on each colt, filly, mare, stallion, bronco, foal, and gelding that will walk the North Star state in perpetuity!

The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org , is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!

Standard