July 20, 1881
DROWNING OF FRANKIE JACKSON
Rockport, Ky., July 18, 1881.
As your regular correspondent is sick he requested me to write the full particulars of the drowning of little Frankie Jackson, son of Dr. S. A. Jackson, which occurred on the evening of the 14th last.
Frankie was last seen with Dolie Williams, the eight-year-old son of Rev. W. W. Williams, about 4 o’clock in the evening in washing. However, he was not missed until supper, when the family became alarmed and search at once began.
Dolie was interviewed and said he left Frankie at the river. The alarm spread from house to house, and in a short time the greater part of the town was hunting for the darling boy. Some were diving, some dragging the river; others were searching the fields, barns, houses, etc., but all to no purpose. Not a single trace could be found. The search continued until a late hour, when we were compelled to rest until morning.
On the 15th diving, dragging, etc., were continued with the same result. It was suggested that shots be put in the water, which was done – shaking the earth for many feet around. Still no sign. Most of the party had started home for dinner when some one in crossing the river discovered the naked body of the favorite boy. The shot had raised him. The body was at once removed to the house, and, strange to say, he looked as natural as life. He seemed to have drowned without a single struggle. The remains were interred at the burying ground of G. W. Haden, in Muhlenberg county.
Dolie Williams has since confessed the whole matter. He says that Frankie and himself had gone to the river to swim, and that Frankie was showing him how to dive and got into deep water and he saw him drown. Dolie says he was scared and started to take Frankie’s clothes home when he concluded that Mrs. Jackson would not like him any more, and that Dr. Jackson would have him put in jail; so he concluded to conceal the clothing in the crib and say nothing of Frankie's having drowned. The clothes have since been found in the crib.
Frankie Jackson was six years old, and being unusually intelligent and lively, was the favorite of all who knew him. We deeply sympathize with the bereaved family in the loss of their son. P. W. James