OUR VIEW from 1886: Mitchell receives a strange visitationBetween seven and eight o’clock last evening, this city was visited by a remarkable phenomenon.
This editorial from the July 18, 1886, edition of what was then known as The Daily Republican is being republished today in honor of the 0.11 inches of rain that fell Wednesday morning in Mitchell. The editorial’s original headline was “A phenomenon: The City of Mitchell receives a strange visitation.”
Between seven and eight o’clock last evening, this city was visited by a remarkable phenomenon.
All day the atmosphere had been peculiar and the sky overcast with a sort of haze. Suddenly, without warning, a strange manifestation came from the clouds. It caused everyone on the street to stop in amazement. Strong men grew pale, and little children ran close to their mothers and hid their faces in fright. Cattle and horses on the street were dumb with amazement. Even the dogs slunk away in terror.
Great drops of some wet substance fell, one after another, and made great splotches where they struck. It was frightful to see the agonizing surprise on every countenance, the looks of wild wonderment as to what it all meant. The oldest inhabitants could remember nothing like it.
But a traveling man who had just come through Iowa got up on a chair in front of the Alexander Mitchell Hotel and as the band stopped playing for a moment, announced to the almost paralyzed populace in thunder tones: “Don’t be alarmed, ye drouth bitten Dakotans, it’s only a little rain.”
Sure enough, that was all it was, but it had been so long since any fell nobody recognized it. Shortly after one o’clock this morning the rain began to fall in good earnest, and one could almost hear the thirsty, parched earth gasping in its eagerness to drink in the welcome moisture.