The official snow total marked this storm as the 11th largest in Central Virginia history, but local totals put it in the top three for Chester, arguably. The storm started at 10 a.m. in Chester and lasted about 36 hours. It totaled between 15 to 18 inches of snow with about 15.5 inches falling at the Village News office at Route 10 and Ecoff Road.
In recent memory, storms have dropped 14, 13 and 11 inches in 1983, 1996 and 2000, respectively. The most snow Chester has seen on official record fell on Valentine’s Day in 1940 when over 21 inches covered the ground.
According to the history book “Chesterfield: An Old Virginia County,” 159 years ago, to the day, on January 22-23, 1857, between two and three feet of snow fell. The storm became known as Cox’s Snow, named after Dr. Joseph E. Cox who froze to death in the blizzard.
It was reported that temperatures were 18 degrees below zero when Dr. Cox set out to visit his son-in-law in Clover Hill. His buggy hit a hidden log and snapped the axle and stranded him. His horse was also reported to have frozen to death in the storm.