Friday, October 29, 2010

The Kansas Drownings.

Drowning is always a possible when one is not careful around water. The dangers of drowning is the same today as it was in the olden days. Kids swimming unattended, people trying to cross swollen creeks and rivers at high waters and your ever day accidents.

1. 1859 Charles Dewy. Drowned in the Missouri, at White Cloud, June 13.

2. 1859 John Kinison. Drowned in the Missouri, near White Cloud, May 27.

3. 1865 Frank Whipple. Drowned in Independence Creek, August 5.

4. 1867 Mullenix. Son of Charles Mullenix was drowned near Mauck's mill, July 24.

5. 1868 James Coates. Drowned in the Missouri, at Lafayette, in Doniphan County, July 28.

6. 1875 Anna Pengra. Drowned (?) in the Missouri, north of Troy, June 2.

7. 1875. Elsworth Monroe. Drowned in pond near Troy, September 5.

8. 1883 Neal Gillen. Drowned in Union Township, June 16.

9. 1887 William S. Myers. Drowned near Troy, June 17.

10. 1893 Lewis Schletzbaum. Drowned in Doniphan Lake, August 6.

11. 1898 Wendell Braun. Nine year old son of Wendell Braun. drowned in cistern near Doniphan, November 6.

12. 1899 Henry Smith. Drowned in the Missouri, July 23.

13. 1900 Mrs. James Galloway. Drowned in the river near Wathena, in August.

14. 1900 Perry Round. Drowned in the Missouri river at Elwood, August 10.

15. John Maloney, of Strong City, Drowned Age 11 years 2 months, Jun 08 1892.

16. Harold Martin, of Cottonwood Falls, Drowned Age 12 years, 1898.

17. Joseph Martin, Strong City, Age 22 years drowned, Jun 13 1896.

On August 31, 1868, C. A. Kelso and Augustus Melvin, while crossing the Neosho in a skiff above the mill dam at Oswego, ran into drift which carried them over the dam; Mr. Kelso succeeded in getting to shore, but Mr. Melvin was drowned.

In the summer of 1871, old Mr. Hart with his little daughter were attempting to cross Pumpkin Creek, at Duncan's ford; the creek was very high, but so strong was Hart's belief that he would not die until the second coming of Christ that he drove in, and he and his daughter, as well as the team, were drowned.

On December 12, 1881, while W. P. Wilson and his son Thomas J. were crossing Pumpkin Creek, the water in which was then very high, their wagon capsized and young Mr. Wilson was drowned.

During the high water of June and July, 1885, travel over the Labette bottom above Parsons had to be by boat. On July 2d Master Mechanic W. E. Phillips, having Chester Jones and T. Fox in the boat with him, was drawn into a current, and all were drowned.

Gridley Star
July 7, 1905.

Misses Etta and Ida Twyman, daughters of Wm. Twyman living south of town, were drowned Sunday afternoon while attempting to cross Big creek at the Caven ford about six miles south of town. The sisters were not found until Tuesday. Walt Morrow found Miss Ett's body one-fourth of a mile below the ford about five o'clock in the afternoon and the body of Miss Ida was found Tuesday night at 11:30 by George Crotty about one-half mile below the ford. The horse which was drowned was nearly a mile below the ford and the buggy was found about half way between the bodies of the two girls.

The funeral was held from the home Wednesday morning at nine o'clock and the interment was in the Big Creek cemetery. Rev. Mr. Laughlin of Gridley made a very touching funeral sermon and the entire neighborhoon with their presence showed the sorrow they felt at the sudden death of the girls.

Miss Ida had been working for the family of Abe Cokeley and her sister Miss Etta was intending to take her place. The girls started Sunday afternoon to go to Cokeley's and Miss intended to stay over night and return home Monday. When she did not return Monday, Mr. Twyman thought she had decided to stay over that day and no alarm was given. Tuesday morning when she did not return home, Mr. Twyman went to the Cokeley home to learn of her continued stay. When he found that the girls had not been there an alarm was given and the men of the neighborhood started the search for them.

The Caven ford across Big creek is rather a bad one which the water is high and the continued rains the past week made the creek dangerous to ford. The water in the ford was about seven feet deep and very swift. The supposition is that the horse and buggy was swept away as soon as the current struck them.

The Misses Twyman were young ladies 17 and 19 years old. They had won the respect of the entire community by their faithfulness and pleasant and accomodating manner. Their mother died when they were young and for the past few years they have had charge of the home and given their time to their younger brother and sister.

They were good examples of fine womanhood and their sudden death is a very sad affair. The father one sister and three brothers are left to mourn their loss and they have the sympathy of all.

South Kansas Tribune, Wednesday, May 27, 1903, Pg. 5:


On the morning of Thursday, May 20th, word was brought to us that J. W. Burke had been drowned in Sycamore creek at the ford on his farm, between 8 and 9 o’clock the night previous. On going there we learned that on Wednesday Mr. Burke and wife spent the day with their daughter Mrs. David Hawkins. It rained hard the most of the day and those who claim to know say that at least four inches of water fell, and there was a rise in the creeks. Mr. & Mrs. Burke started home as soon as the rain slackened, but on going to the creek found they could not cross, and drove down to near the Krone school house intending to cross on the bridge west of the school house, but found too much water there. Then they drove back to their own ford but still it was too deep, so they drove to R. M. Pasley’s and had supper, then hitched onto Pasley’s wagon, tied the wagon box down and drove back to their own ford. Mr. Pasley did not want “Uncle Will” as we called him to try it. But Mr. Burke insisted, said he had often crossed when the water was higher; and both of them were anxious to get home to their daughter Fannie, who was there with Mr. Johnson, their hired man, and the water had been doing some damage.

Mr. Burke drove in while Mr. Pasley and his hand Mr. Brown, stood on the bank and watched. The water scarcely touched the bed of the wagon, but it was very swift at the ford and when the team reached the west bank, the wagon had drifted down so it struck a little bank that the team could not pull up; then it swung around down stream and the horses swung out into the stream and re-crossed the creek to the east side, but hit the bank below the ford about fifty yards, where it was steep. Just there an old field roller had drifted in and lodged the team and wagon struck it, the wagon tipped and threw Mrs. Burke out between the roller and wagon. “Uncle Will” got out on the roller frame and called to Pasley to “get Becca out” and “he would look after the team.” By the time Pasley and Brown had got Mrs. Burke out she was nearly drowned and somewhat hurt by the wagon and roller, so they had to restore her and get her out of further danger. While taking care of Mrs. Burke the team swung off from the roller and loose from Mr. Burke. He jumped from the roller into the creek where it was about waist deep and a little down stream from the roller. The team lodged 400 yards below, on the old Watkin’s place, and Johnson and Ed Scott succeeded in getting out one of the horses—the other drowned. But while they were at this they supposed that “Uncle Will” was helping take care of his wife—so neither party missed him for some time---each supposing him to be with the other, and when it was discovered that he was not at either place a search began. No one knows what happened after he was last seen as stated above, standing in the water. The search was kept up by hundreds all the rest of the week, and until 3 p.m. Sunday when his body was found in two feet of water by Carl Perkins. There had been two raises in the creek in the mean time and it is supposed that the body had drifted some that day. He was found on the Watkin’s farm 500 yards below where he was last seen. The body was left in the creek till the Ulmer Furniture Co.’s undertaker arrived at 2 a.m. Monday, when it was taken out and prepared for burial. The funeral was held Monday at 10 a.m., at the Sycamore Valley M. E. church, conducted by Rev. A. A. Horner, who read the 90th Psalm, and First Corinthians 15, 50, 58, his text the last verse. The hymns were “Nearer My God to Thee” and “The Great Physician.”

The interment was at the Krone cemetery, where the Masons, from Independence had charge of the service.

J. W. Burke was born in Macon county, Illinois, on Nov. 4, 1837. In 1858 he was married to Miss Rebecca Lay who, with five children survive him. They are A. L. Burke of Rice county, Thomas M. Burke of Sycamore, James H. Burke of Whistler, Ok., Miss Fannie Burke and Mrs. David Hawkins of Sycamore. He came to Kansas in the fall of 1870 and bought of J. T. Stewart, as a “claim” the farm upon which he had since lived. During the war of the rebellion Mr. Burke enlisted in Co. E. 41st Illinois Infantry and served till discharged for disability. D. C. and D. H. Krone served in the same company. He was a Methodist for fifty years and will be missed by his church, for he made things go. He was a man of positive opinions and was prominent in all the affairs of this community—and was as well known as any man of the community and respected by all. His family have the heartfelt sympathy of all. His children were all present at the funeral. It was the largest funeral we have ever attended in the valley.

Obituary of WILLIAM P. COOPER.
Drowned Near Burdett Tuesday.

William P. Copper, 27, Victim
Of Flood Tuesday Evening
While Attempting to Cross Swollen
Stream on Horseback, the Animal Floundered

Bulletin – The body of Wm. P. Cooper was found yesterday afternoon about three o’clock in the Pawnee, about 200 yards below the point where he was drowned. The body was found by using an improvised grappling hook, attached to ½ inch gas pipe. Tuesday night after the drowning about seventy-five persons worked till 2:30 o’clock yesterday morning searching for the body. The work was resumed yesterday morning at five o’clock and at three o’clock yesterday afternoon the body was found.

William P. Cooper, 27 years old, was drowned in the swollen Pawnee Tuesday evening about 6:30 o’clock on the Crockett place, 2 miles east and a mile north of Burdett.
Mr. Cooper’s body has not yet been recovered.

The tragic accident occurred when Mr. Cooper attempted to cross the Pawnee on horseback after the cows, which were on the other side of the stream. The stream was about fifty or sixty feet wide at the point where Mr. Cooper attempted to swim the horse across it, due to the high water which has prevailed here for the last week. Mrs. Cooper witnessed the accident, as she was standing on the bank of the stream when it occurred.
Mr. and Mrs. Cooper had gone to the banks of the creek to see about repairing some fence, which had been washed out by the flood. Mrs. Cooper urged her husband not to attempt to cross the stream, as she felt it was too dangerous. The water was about twelve feet deep at the point where the tragedy occurred. Mrs. Cooper saw the horse flounder in the water, and her husband, struggling to save himself, apparently caught hold of the bridle or an ear of the animal, which he was riding bareback, the horse rolling over in the water.

It is believed the horse must have struck Mr. Cooper as the animal struggled in the water, as Mr. Cooper was able to swim, and he never came to the surface after he sank. The accident occurred on the “Bob” Crockett farm. Mr. Cooper was a brother-in-law of Mr. Crockett, having married a sister of Mr. Crockett last fall. Mr. Cooper came here from Missouri about two years ago to work in the harvest and remained here. Mr. and Mrs. Cooper had been living on the Crockett farm, looking after the stock. Mr. Cooper’s parents live in Missouri.

Mrs. Cooper gave the alarm as soon as her husband sank, and within a short time a large crowd had gathered, and made every effort to recover the body. Rakes and grappling hooks were used, and also a hay rake, which was pulled back and forth across by men on either bank, but the body could not be located. Harvey Kreiger, of Larned, county coroner, was called to Burdett about seven o’clock. When he arrived there about one hundred persons were engaged in an effort to recover the body.

Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Cooper, from near Joplin, Missouri, father and mother of the dead man, are expected here today in a car. Funeral services probably will be held tomorrow afternoon and burial will be at Burdett.

From the Saline Valley Register, a newspaper published at Lincoln Center, Kansas, Wednesday 7-31-78: Mr. Joshua Simmons, one of our good citizens, living about five miles up the river, was drowned Saturday afternoon last in attempting to cross the Saline, on his way home from Ellsworth. As we understand it, he was riding one horse and leading another, when getting into deep water he became entangled in the rope in some way and himself and the animal he was riding were drowned. Thorough search was made for the body on Sunday but it was not recovered until Monday morning some two miles downstream. Mr. Simmons was a quiet, peacable, industrious man. He leaves a wife and five children to mourn his death….

Myrtle B. (Smith) Johnson, born 1879, died 8/27/1907, Aged 29y 3m 29d Drowned (Daughter of Mr. & Mrs. J. J. Smith, wife of William A. Johnson)

Dolly F. (Dottie ), Johnson, born 1905, died 8/27/1907, Aged 2y 5m 15d Her Children Drowned.

James M. Johnson, born 1806,died 8/27/1907, Aged 9m 24d Her Children Drowned.

Gooch, Infant - Jan. 14, 1904 to Jan. 20, 1905. "The infant son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Gooch, who resided on the old Newman farm south of town, met death in a peculiar and distressing manner last Friday. The child was drowned in a common candy bucket which contained only about 4 inches of water. It seems the mother had left the kitchen in which there were 3 small children and after an absence of only a few minutes returned, and on missing the baby, asked the other children where the baby had gone. They were frightened, but pointed to the bucket where the little one's feet were protruding. She at once rescued the baby and attempted to bring it back to life but to no avail. The child, a baby only a few months of age had evidently toppled over into the bucket and helpless to cry or extricate himself had drowned in this seemingly incredible manner. The funeral was held at the family home Saturday and the body was buried at Hillside."

The Evening Herald, Thursday, Dec. 26, 1901, Pg. 3
Died: Dec. 25, 1901.

M. Grossman, proprietor of the Grossman ice cream parlor and confectionery on North Main street, was found dead in the pool below the river dam yesterday a little after four o’clock. Grossman had been fishing. The first and most natural supposition is that he slipped into the water and drowned. Other circumstances have given rise to somewhat different theories, but in every case the death is concluded to have been either the result of an accident or from a sudden attack of illness.
Author note: There is more to this story if your interested.

The Medicine Lodge Cresset, weekly newspaper, 1889.

Died: "Charley McAlister Drowned" - Master Charley, only son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank P. McAlister, was drowned in the pond on the bottom between Spring and Elm creeks, Wednesday morning, July 10, 1889. Charlie [sic] McAlister and Willie Dem were in the water together. Charley said he could swim and was warned by Willie where the deep places were, Willie being able to swim but little. Charles had got out in the deep water when Willie noticed he was struggling. Willie was badly excited, but quickly slipping on his shirt, he ran to Al. Snodderly's house. Mrs. Snodderly was unable to do anything and told him to run to town and tell the men. The boy got his clothes, ran to town and soon men were at the pond. Among the first there were Dan Kidd, Ace Campbell, Hillory Weidner, Luke Chapin and Henry Kelley.

After a few minutes search in the water, they found the body. Doctors Moore, Karr, Gould and Burney were soon there and with others did everything possible, even to the application of a powerful electric battery, to resurrect life, but their efforts proved fruitless. Mrs. McAlister early heard of the terrible accident and would listen to nothing, but almost compelled Frank Strong to drive her to the pond. There her heart-rending cries and tearless terrible grief was such that strong men could not bear the sight and with averted faces trembled with emotion.

Mr. McAlister was at his farm south of town. He was at once notified and came as fast as a swift horse would carry him. The parents are prostrated with their grief. Mr. and Mrs. McAlister arrived here a few days since from Lakin and were visiting with friends and stopping at the Grand Hotel. Master Charley was about twelve years old, was born at this place, and was bright, loving and venturesome. He had considerable sickness when small and his mother and father had always been very careful with him and loved him as only parents can an only child. The remains were taken to the Updegraff residence. The funeral will occur at ten o'clock today. The distressing accident has cast a gloom over the entire community and the bereaved parents have the sympathy of all.


George Curran Drowned Last Saturday.

George Curran aged 21 years, and oldest child and only son of Mr. and Mrs. T. J. Curran, of this city, was drowned while fishing at the railroad bridge one mile southwest of town last Saturday, May 21.
Author note: There is more to this story if your interested.

Myra King, born Sep 22 1908, of Matfield Green, Age 18 years, drowned, occupation-teacher

Frances Heinrichs, 11 years old, and Raymond Heinrichs, 9 years old, the daughter and son of Mr. and Mrs. F. P. Heinrichs, of 509 West Shawnee, Paola, Kansas, were drowned in Bull Creek, near "Ben's Hole," on the Theodore Broadman land, Wednesday afternoon about 4:00 o'clock.
Author note: There is more to this story if your interested.

Jacobs, Mrs Benjamin

On Jacbos Creek, Mrs. Benj. Jacobs, child and a span of mules were drowned by the breaking of a water spout.

It appears that on Thursday afternoon Mr. Benj.; Jacobs, residing on Jacobs creek, noticed that the creek was rising very rapidly and beginning to overflow its banis and floood the lowland. Being alarmed for the safety of his family, he hitched a mule team to a large wagon and taking his wife, a brother and his two children, one six months old, and the other, a boy by his first wife, seven years oldl began driving toward the high ground At this time the water was several inches deep on the fields and still rising. He had taken a short cut through a cornfield and was approaching a hill when a hugh wave struck and overturned the wagon and swept those inside down the creek.

Mr. Jacobs managed to save himself by holding on to a limb of a tree. His brother, William, saved himself in a like manner and at the same time held on to the seven-year old boy and succeeded in keeping his position till the rush of water abated, about an hour after. Mrs Jacobs was swept into the middloe of the current with her baby, floated down the creek and both were drowned. Their bodies were found and buried Sunday.
Chase County Courant, Cottonwood Falls, Kansas, May 13, 1886.

Martin, Harold Eugene

Harold Eugene Martin Drowned

Master Eugene Martin, the ten year old son of Mr. and Mrs. A. E,. Martin of this city was drowned in the Cottonwood river near Elmdale Monday afternoon.

Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Martin* and daughter, Cecil, and Mr. A. E. Martin and son, Eugene, left town in a covered wagon monday morning for a weeks outing. They had camped in the Starkey grove Just north the Elmdale bridge and' were fishing. Mr. Martin was fishing in the riffle above the deep water about three hundred yards north of the bridge, and Eugene was wading. Mr. Martin pulled up and broke his line and his cork went bobbing down the riffle, Eugene started to run after it when, all at once. he stepped off into deep water and disappeared. He never rose to the top again. There seems to be an eddy or whirl-pool just below the, riffle and this probably drew the boy down.

The alarm was gven and searchers worked over three hour before the boys body was. recovered about fifty yards below where he went down.

The little fellows body was brought to his home in this city and the funeral was held at the home this afternoon.

Only those who have lost the little ones can realize the great sorrow that has come to this family. it will be weeks before they can bring themselves to realize that he is gone and many times they will catch themselves calling him to fill the vacant chair.
Chase County Leader News, Cottonwood Falls, Kansas, 1900.

Daniel Brown
June 20, 1889.

Daniel Brown, aged about 26 years, last Saturday went in bathing in an artificial pond, on a farm belonging to Wm. Rallston, who lives in the northwest corner of Hanover township. Mr. Brown resided just over the line in Russell county, and the pond in which he was drowned is also in Russell county. He was accompanied by his three brothers-in-law, Chard by name. This about 11:30 a.m. After they had been in the water a few moments Mr. Brown was taken suddenly with cramp, and went to the bottom like lead, in eight feet of water. Jas. Chard attempted to help him and came very near being drowned himself. Daniel Brown had been married about a year and a half, to a daughter of Jas. Chard Sr. of Hanover township. He had lived in Lincoln county about eight years, and was an industrious, energetic fellow of excellent character and very popular. The funeral was held at 10 a.m. Sunday, and the interment was made in the Delhi cemetery.

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