Tuesday, April 2, 2013

James Clarence Stalsworth

Hartford Herald
September 14, 1921


Bathing in Rough River
Monday Afternoon

One of the saddest accidents of recent years occurred here late Monday afternoon when James Clarence, the eleven-year old son of Mrs. Mary Stalsworth, widow of the late Arch Stalsworth, who lives a short distance north of town, was drowned bathing, with a youthful companion, in Rough River a short distance from his home. Clarence and young Roscoe Peters had gone to what is known as Tichenor's Ripple, a few hundred yards above the old mill dam for a cooling plunge school. It seems that Peters, who is also about ten or eleven years of age, could swim, that young Stalsworth knew very little about taking care of himself in the water. The recent rains had caused a considerable rise in the river and the boys were swept off their feet almost as soon as they entered the water. After unavailing efforts to aid his companion young Peters succeeded in reaching the bank, but little Clarence was carried down stream in the rapid current. The alarm was at once given by the survivor and efforts to recover the body were immediately begun, lasting practically all night. With daylight the search was renewed with redoubled energy, with all available means of dragging the river bed. A net of wire was placed over the openings to the dam and charges of dynamite were exploded in attempts to bring the body to the surface. At last about 11:30 yesterday morning the body of the unfortunate was rescued by Messrs. John Phipps, Jr., and Emerson Stevens by the use of a mussel-drag, it being found about seventy-five yards below where boys entered water.

Funeral services were conducted at 4 p. m. Tuesday at the residence of his uncle, Mr. Clayton Bozarth, by Rev. Russell Walker with interment in Oakwood Cemetery in the presence of a large gathering of relatives and friends, including many of his schoolmates of the fourth grade of the local school.

Little Clarence is survived by three brothers, his mother and a large number of other relatives. He was a promising boy and his untimely death has cast a gloom over the community. His tragic loss has been the occasion of a wonderful demonstration of sympathy and helpfulness from every citizen of the community, so well exemplified by the faithful and heroic efforts put forth by the searchers for the lad’s body.

The bereaved family has the most sincere and heartfelt sympathy of the whole community in this hour of anguish and bereavement.

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