June 26, 1912
WHITE MAN AND NEGRO
In Rough River Near Palo
Heavily Loaded Skiff
As the result of the capsizing of a skiff on Rough river, near what was formerly Palo, this county, on Mr. Joe Maiden's farm, Charles Lewis, white, a fisherman and trapper, and Sam Jackson, colored, a laborer, were drowned. The accident occurred about 11 o'clock Friday morning, and the body of the white man was recovered about an hour later, while that of the negro was found Sunday evening by Mr. J. Y. Hagerman.
The men were members of a camping party from Whitesville (Daviess County), who had intended spending the week on Rough river, the negro being taken along as a camp cook. On reaching the river, Lewis, R. E. Knox, the druggist at Whitesville, and the negro loaded a part of the camp outfit in a skiff and started across the river, which is about seventy-five feet wide at that point, and very deep.
When near the middle of the stream, the heavy load of the boat caused it to capsize, and the three men were thrown into the water. It was known that Lewis was an expert swimmer, but he went down with the skiff and was not seen again until his body was recovered. Dr. M. A. McDonald, who was standing on the bank of the river, called to Knox and the negro, telling them to hold on to a large box that was floating by the skiff.
Both of the men caught the box, but the negro a moment later turned it loose, and shortly after disappeared beneath the surface of the water. Dr. McDonald, still calling to Knox to hold to the box, jumped into the river and swimming out to the box, managed to push it ashore, along with Mr. Knox.
Mr. Knox was unable to swim, but Lewis, who was drowned, had spent a great deal of time on the river and was regarded as an excellent swimmer. Lewis was a man about sixty years of age and had lived at Whitesville for the past ten years. During the first of his stay there he was a painter, but had recently been spending most of his time hunting, trapping and fishing.