Marvin Wirtjes spent much of his life operating Stevens County snowplows during hazardous winter weather. Over the years there were lots of times when he was needed to clear the road. The blizzard of Monday, January 16, 1967, is one that has not been forgotten by this long-time county employee.
What kind of snowplow did he drive?
“FWD 10-ton snow plow with a V-plow,” Marvin replied without hesitation. “I can’t remember the year,” he apologized, as if the interviewer might actually expect him to know that information after nearly 50 years.
Marvin said his workday started at the county shop in Morris.
“I suppose as soon as it was known the bus was stuck, we got a call,” Marvin said.
He thinks it was Lyle Syverson who accompanied him in the snowplow. He said at times the visibility was so bad that Lyle had to walk alongside the snowplow as it crept along, so that the snowplow would not go in the ditch.
“It took us about three hours to get to Chokio,” Marvin said.
Marvin recalls that he had the snowplow ready to head south from Highway 28, when the rescue team arrived. He turned around and headed back to the county shop in Chokio as the team set out to reach the stranded bus.