Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Bascom Cundiff

Hartford Herald
June 30, 1875


A Promising Young Man Drowned
in the waters of Rough.

On Thursday last, immediately after dinner, our community was inexpressibly shocked by the intelligence, which spread rapidly through the town, that young Bascom Cundiff, the eldest son of Rev. Dr. Cundiff, pastor of the M. E. church, South, of this place, was drowned in Rough creek while bathing. But a few minutes before he had been seen upon the streets, and was in our office, and at first the rumor of his death was received by many with incredulity. But all doubts were soon put to rest. It appears that when he left our office, on his way to school, he met two schoolmates, Clinton Field and Henry McHenry, who proposed going down to the creek for a bath. He went with them, .and they entered the creek near the mouth of the slough back of Mrs. Bettie Rowe's house, and above the saw-mill of Potter & Condict. Young Field and McHenry swam across the stream, and Cundiff, who could not swim, dropped himself into the water at the head of a raft of logs, holding on to the latter with his hands. The water was very swift, and, at that point, more than twenty feet in depth. From the appearance of the body, the position of his limbs when found, it is very evident that he was seized with cramp, as his arms and legs were both contracted as with spasm, and had to he straightened and tied to keep them in place. He made no outcry, and his companions were not aware of his peril until they looked around and saw his hands above the water making motions as though clutching for something. He was swept under the raft, and when they swam as quickly as they could to the place of course no vestige of the unfortunate young man was to be seen anywhere. Many persons engaged unsuccessfully in the search for the body up to nightfall. Early Friday morning the search was again resumed, and about half past ten o'clock Messrs. Jesse Potter, Al. Nail, Wm. Mauzy and Wm. Griffin (of color) found the body, about fifty yards below where the drowning occurred. Mr. Potter made the discovery, feeling it with a stick, and the colored man dived down and brought it up. The funeral and burial occurred at five o'clock that evening.

This was a deplorable event, and the bereaved parents have the heartfelt sympathies of the entire community. Bascom was some eighteen or nineteen years of age, and was one of the most promising young men of our acquaintance. Gifted by nature with rare intelligence, a splendid scholar for his age, modest as a girl, and gentle in his deportment, conspicuous for his morality and uprightness, he was a favorite with every one, and bade fair in after years of becoming an honor to the State as well as an ornament to society. But it was fated that he should be cut off in the morning of life, and Death, remorseless and insatiate, passed over half a dozen men in the community whom we could have spared and suffered no loss, to strike down the youngest, fairest and most promising vine in the vineyard.

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