Monday, April 29, 2013

Earl Barnard and Delbert Whittaker

Hartford Herald
June 19, 1912

Drowned in Green River.

Earl Barnard, age about 18 years, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. John H. Barnard, of near South Carrollton, Ky., was drowned in Green river at what is known as Shrewsbury's Landing in Ohio county, Monday afternoon while in bathing with several other companions.

Young Barnard being unable to swim and getting into deep water was the cause of his drowning. Up to Tuesday at noon his body had not been recovered, but the services of an expert diver of Evansvllle, Ind., has been obtained and it is hoped that it will be only a short time until his remains will be found. The deceased is a nephew of M. W. and M. H. Barnard, of Hartford, Ky., and is survived by his father, mother and one brother.

Hartford Herald
June 28, 1922


Delbert Whittaker was drowned at 6 o’clock p.m. Wednesday, at Rochester, while bathing in Green River. A boat was passing at the time and it is not definitely known whether the waves from the craft or cramps caused his death. After dragging the river for two hours the body was found. His age was 18 years, 8 months and 3 days.

The youth was a son of Mr. and Mrs. Lee Whittaker, of the Barnett’s Creel vicinity and he and his wife had only recently moved to Rochester, where they opened a bathing beach and restaurant for the season.  He attended Hartford High School during the year 1920-21 and was well known here.  He was a member of Barnett’s Creek Baptist Church and a splendid young man. He is survived by his parents, wife, three brothers and one sister.

Rev. Russell Walker, pastor of Hartford Baptist Church, conducted funeral services at Mt. Hermon Methodist Church Thursday afternoon.  The body was laid to rest in the church cemetery. An immense congregation was present at both services and there were many beautiful floral arrangements.  The surviving relatives have the most profound sympathy of his many friends both here and in the home community.


Thankfully, the foregoing ends the articles on drownings in Ohio County. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Jesse Ashford and Rufus Fulkerson

Hartford Herald
July 14, 1909

Young Man Drowned

Jesse Ashford, the 18yearold son of Mr. Tobe Ashford, living in the Horton vicinity, was drowned last Thursday evening about 3 o’clock, while he and a younger brother and a neighbor boy were bathing in Muddy creek near their home. Alarm was immediately given and a searching party at once begun dragging the creek for the body, which was found about five o’clock the same evening about three hundred yards below where it disappeared. Funeral services were held at Bethel church Friday afternoon and the remains were burled in the cemetery near by. It seems that young Ashford couldn’t swim and when he saw that he was sinking he caught hold of his brother and came near drowning him. The current was strong and he was soon washed away. He was quite popular and is mourned by a large circle of friends and relatives.

Hartford Herald
August 9, 1911


Mr. Rufus Fulkerson, a miner of McHenry, Ky., was accidentally drowned In Green river, near Rockport, Ky., last Friday evening. In company with his young nephew in a skiff, he had been running a trotline and stopped near the shore for steamer Hartford to pass by. Evidently intending to ride the rolling waves a little or to swim to the other shore, he plunged in, his scant clothing being already wet. He swam a short distance and then called for help. He was known as a good swimmer, but notwithstanding this, his nephew first started to paddle the skiff to the drowning man, but making little headway, plunged in and swam to his assistance. Mr. Fulkerson sank out of sight just as his rescuer came up near him and never arose again.

A search was at once begun and Mr. Fulkerson's body was recovered about two hours later near where it went down. It is supposed he was suddenly taken with cramps. The fact that he was a good swimmer and his cry for assistance, indicated that some sudden danger had overtaken him.

The body of the unfortunate man was buried at Pond Pun graveyard Saturday. Rev. Birch Shields and the Red Men, of which lodge he was a member, conducted the funeral services. He leaves a wife and one child.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Tom Leisure and H. J. Ranney

Hartford Herald
April 18, 1906

Accidentally Drowned

Mr. Tom Leisure, son of Mr. John Leisure, who formerly lived in Hartford and died here last summer, was accidentally drowned near his home about 7 miles above Hartford on Rough river, last Sunday morning.

It seems that somebody had borrowed his boat and rowed it across to the other side of the river and left it. Mr. Leisure wanted to use the boat and concluded that the best plan was to swim across and get it. Accordingly he pulled off his coat and plunged into the river.  He had gotten nearly to the boat, which was floating over the deepest part of the river at that point, when he went down. It is supposed that a sudden cramp seized him for he was a good swimmer. Several parties saw him go down and search was immediately begun for the body but it was not recovered until Sunday evening.

Mr. Leisure was a young man about 23 years old and leaves a wife and child.

Later. – Mr. Leisure and his wife had been separated about a week, and Sunday was the day set for them to divide their household goods. He hurried to the crossing place but found that others had preceded him and taken the boat across. Nothing daunted, he pulled off his coat and started to swim the stream with the above result. Being hot from running and fast walking it is supposed the cold water cramped him, resulting in death.

Hartford Herald
December 25, 1907

Near Cromwell Ky - Tragic
Fate of a Man Returning
From Hunting Trip

Mr. H. J. Ranney was drowned in what is known as the Sep Taylor lake in Butler county near Cromwell this county about 5 o’clock last Friday evening. Mr. Ranney and Mr. Ed Dorch had been bird hunting and on their return trip, while crossing the lake, the small dinky boat capsized, throwing them into the lake. Mr. Dorch, who had been in the front of the boat, breaking a thin sheet of ice, caught to the beat as he came to the surface but Mr. Ranney, though a good swimmer, failed to catch the boat and drowned. Mr. Dorch, who was holding on to the boat, finally succeeded in summoning aid and was rescued but almost frozen. The search was then begun to recover the body of Mr. Ranney, which, after constant work, was found about 8:30 o’clock that night. His gun was found near where his body was. It is supposed that two bird dogs that were in the boat, and near Mr. Ranney, caused the boat to capsize.

The deceased, who was the son of Mr. S. P. Ranney, leaves a wife and one daughter about fourteen years old. His remains were interred in what is known as the Brick House burying grounds near Bald Knob Saturday afternoon.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Jesse Tooley, Conts Miller, and M. L. Ward

Hartford Herald
January 9, 1895

Drowned in Rough River

Mr. Jesse Tooley, who resided with his two boys near Turkey Bend, on Rough river, about seven miles below Hartford was drowned near his residence last Sunday morning. The river was frozen over, but the warm spell of Sunday morning made the ice rotten and treacherous. A "dinky" boat belonging to Mr. Tooley was on the opposite side of the river and one of the boys proposed to go over and loosen it up. To this Mr. Tooley objected, but the little fellow said he would go anyhow, and forthwith started out over the ice. The father, seeing his son's danger as the ice began to crack, started to the rescue. He reached the boy and grabbing him, threw him back toward the shore, where he fell in safety, but the force of the effort broke the ice and precipitated Mr. Tooley into the water. It seems Mr. Tooley was greatly excited, as would be natural in such a crisis, and although a good swimmer, the terror of the moment bereft him of all self command and he sank beneath the floating ice. He was seen to struggle a few minutes, but without avail, and he soon went down to rise no more. The water at the place was about six feet deep. Mr. Amziah Carter, who lives a short distance away, was attracted by the cries of the boys and came and took the unfortunate man from the water.

Mr. Tooley was a widower and a highly respected citizen of the county. His remains were interred at Walton's Greek cemetery Monday afternoon.

Hartford Herald
June 13, 1900

Conts Miller, the 19 year old son of Joe Miller, of Sunnydale, was drowned last Wednesday while attempting to swim Rough River a short distance above Sullenger’s old mill. He and Elisha Durbin had been to Livermore with some saw logs and were returning home on the north side of the river and when they reached the point where they wanted to cross the river, they found the boat gone and undertook to swim across the river and when near the south side young Miller gave out and sank from sight in the muddy waters to rise no more. His body was recovered Sunday after tireless work and interred in the family burying ground Sunday afternoon.

Hartford Herald
Feb 8, 1905

Drowned in Green River

Mr. M. L. Ward, better known as “Mit” Ward, was drowned last Saturday morning about 10 o’clock in Green river. He had been living on the R. T. Iler farm and undertook to cross the river on the ice and when near the middle of the river the ice gave way and he went down. It was some time before he succeeded in making anyone hear him. When the alarm was heard several men ran to the nearest skiff and pulled it down the river to a point opposite to where he broke through and started to his rescue. But he went down when they were in about thirty yard of him. He had kept up, as nearly as they could reckon the time, for an hour by means of a small pole. After about an hours work his body was recovered. His brother, Ham Ward, of Central City, went to Ceralvo and took charge of the remains and took them to Hazel Creek, Muhlenberg county, for burial. Mr. Ward had practiced law for many years, having once been County Attorney of Butler county.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Hayden Porter, Owen Fox, and Willie Kincheloe

Hartford Herald
March 8, 1893


The sad news has just reached us of the drowning of Hayden Porter, of Cromwell, at Evansville, Ind., last week. He was standing watch on a barge and fell in and sank immediately to rise no more. His brother, J. M. Porter, was telegraphed at once and went to Evansville to institute search for the body, but thus far all efforts have failed. Mr. Porter is a son of Martin Porter, deceased, and a nephew of Cols. W. H. and E. O. Porter, of Cromwell. He was a very promising young man about twenty-five years old, sober, energetic and honest, and much loved by a host of friends who will join with his family in mourning so sad a fate for so noble a young man.


Mr. I. H. Porter, of this place, was drowned in the Ohio River at Evansville, the 1st inst. He was in the employ of a Lumber Company there as night-watchman on some loaded barges, and while making his rounds to see if his barges were all right, his feet slipped from under him and he fell in the river. His cries for help soon brought throngs of people to his assistance, but as he could not swim, they were too late. Hayden (as he was familiarly called) had numerous friends here who deeply sympathize with his heartbroken mother, his sister and brothers. At last accounts his body had not yet been found.

Hartford Herald
November 11, 1894

Drowned at Rockport

About 12 o'clock on the night of the 8th inst., while Owen Fox, Henry Guy and Joe Wiggins, all Echols miners, were crossing the river at Rockport, Ky., their boat sank and Fox was drowned. It seems that in trying to pull his overcoat off, Fox became entangled some way and went to the bottom, although a good swimmer. The others reached the shore in safety. Fox' body was soon found and after an inquest held by Judge Reid, the verdict of which was in accordance with above facts, was buried at Pond Run church. His brother who lives in Birmingham, Ala., was telegraphed for, but for some reason did not come. Mr. Fox was on Englishman, about 55 years of age, and came to this country from Scotland. He came to Echols from the mountains of Kentucky about a year ago. He was of quiet and orderly deportment and his untimely death is deeply regretted by all who knew him. He leaves a wife and no children.

Hartford Herald
July 25, 1894

A Sad Accident

Last Sunday morning Mr. Willie Kincheloe, accompanied by his brother, went to Rough river to cross at Johnson's Ferry, about three-fourths of a mile above the mouth of Barnett's Creek. Finding the boat on the opposite side, he swam across after it and appeared to reach the boat in safety, but as he tried to reach the top of the gunwale, he was heard to utter some exclamation and immediately sank out of sight. His brother quickly swam across but was too late to be of any assistance, as the man was never seen to rise again.

Quickly going for help, Messrs. A. C. Rowan, Randall Rowan, Sam Ashby and W. M. Johnson were soon at the place. His body was found in about fourteen feet of water, and was soon secured by diving. Every effort was made to resuscitate the drowned man, but all to no avail, as the delay in securing help and recovering the body, although done as quickly as possible, was too long to hope for remaining life. His body was carried to his home, about 1 1/2 miles away, where tender hearts were wrung by bitterest grief at sight of the lifeless form so recently in perfect health. He was a good swimmer and the only theory accounting for the accident is that he was seized with cramp in the cold water.

Mr. Kincheloe was a man 25 years old and lived on the farm of Mr. John Vancleve. He was the son of E. H. and R. E. Kincheloe, of Nelson Creek. He was a devoted Christian and for eight years had been a member of the Baptist church. He was always honest, industrious and upright, well liked by everybody and if he had an enemy, no one knew of it. He leaves a wife to whom he had been married only seven months. The neighborhood is terribly shocked at his sad fate, and the tenderest sympathy is extended to the grief-stricken family. The parents return heartfelt thanks to their neighbors for kindness in this hour of bitter woe and pray God to richly bless them for their ready help. The remains were interred at Pleasant Hill, Monday at 11 a. m., in the presence of a large crowd of sorrowing people.

Friday, April 19, 2013

George M. Hocker and Tichenor child

Hartford Herald
July 15, 1885

Mr. George M. Hocker was drowned in Green River, near South Carrolton last Sunday evening. He and several other men were in bathing. They concluded to swim the river, and when about half way across Mr. Hocker was taken with cramp in the legs and drowned before help could reach him He is a .man about 30 years old, with family and a son of John W. Hocker.

Hartford Herald
June 8, 1881

A little five-year old son of W. H. Tichenor, was drowned on Tuesday of last week at Rumsey lock on Green river. The little fellow was on the lock watching a passing boat and just as the boat got clear he fell in and the fierce current immediately drew him into the pit and between the gates. Life was extinct before help reached him.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Forest Taylor and Calvin Taylor

Hartford Herald
June 4, 1913

Forest Taylor Drowned.

Forest Taylor, son of Thomas Taylor, Borah, Ky., was drowned while crossing the lake near Cromwell last Monday morning. He was on his way to work and the boat capsized, throwing him out. Forest, who was nineteen years old, was a nephew of Dr. J. W. Taylor, of Hartford. Mr. Taylor and family have the sincerest sympathy of every one in this, their sad bereavement.

Hartford Herald
November 6, 1907

Sad Accident

Calvin Taylor, the ten year old son of Mr. W B Taylor, fell off of the boat We Three last Friday afternoon about 2 o’clock and was drowned. His remains were brought to Hartford and taken to Capt. Wm. Foreman’s residence where they were kept until Saturday at 2 o’clock p. m., when interment took place in Oakwood cemetery.

The accident occurred while the boat was making the bend Just below the mouth of Muddy creek about two miles West of Hartford. The boy was standing on the deck near the kitchen and when last seen was sliding over the guard of the boat into the river. The alarm was given and the boat stopped as quickly as possible, but while every possible effort was made to rescue him he drowned before aid could reach him. His remains were recovered in about five minutes after he sank. All known means were resorted to restore him to life but to no avail. His father, Mr. Taylor, has the Herald’s profoundest sympathy in this his sad bereavement.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Hartford Herald
April 17, 1912


Went to Watery Grave in a
Strange Accident - Well Known Here

Captain Alex H. Rowan, forty-seven years of age and one of the best known river men of this section of Green river, was drowned at 11 o'clock Saturday morning, about two and one-half miles above Livermore, near Jamestown. His body was recovered about 2 o'clock in the afternoon.

Captain Rowan was the owner of the gasoline towboat, Jolly Tom, and at the time of his death was engaged in taking a raft of logs down to the Smith Cooperage company at Livermore. The raft was ahead of the boat, which was going down the river. The tow drifted against the bank and struck some trees that hung out over the water and Captain Rowan stepped from the boat onto the raft for the purpose of pushing it out into the
river. He stepped between two logs in such a manner that he was unable to extricate his foot and the raft was carried down under the boat, with him on top of it, crushing and drowning him between the raft and the bottom of the boat.

An account of the accident was telephoned to Livermore and another boat was sent out at once. The little boat was pulled off the raft and the body of Captain Rowan was recovered and taken to his home in Owensboro.

For a number of years Captain Rowan had engaged in the towing business up and down Green river and was a very popular man. Several years ago he was landlord of the Commercial Hotel in Hartford and was well known here. He is survived by a wife and two children, Miss Annie Laura Rowan, sixteen years of age, and Tanner Rowan, twenty-one years of age; two sisters, Mrs. Maude Peay, of Little Rock, Ark., and Mrs. Julia Atherton, of Nuckols, and one brother, Mr. Louis Rowan, of Livermore, also survive him. He was a member of the Livermore camp of Modern Woodmen of America.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Hartford Herald
August 2, 1916

An All-Day Search Was Made,
But Body Finally Drifted
To Surface

A deplorable affair happened at Dundee, this county, last week, in which Ferda Lee, a young man, son of Steve Lee, of Sunnydale, lost his life.

Thursday afternoon, Constable Charlie Wedding approached young Lee at Dundee with a warrant of arrest, charging him with breach of the peace and threat to kill, which it was alleged occurred a few days previously. Young Lee refused to listen to the reading of the warrant and started running towards Rough River, near by, and up the river bank into the underbrush, with Constable Wedding in pursuit, Constable Wedding fired three shots into the air, to arrest the flight of the fugitive, but pursuit was soon abandoned.

Young Lee continued his flight and little more was thought of it. Next morning, however, when he did not show up nor was heard from, search was begun, which lasted all day Friday. The river was dragged and inquiries were made.

Early Saturday morning the body of young Lee was found floating in tile mill pond, just above the dam at Dundee. Coroner Dr. A. B. Riley, of Hartford, was summoned to the scene. A coroner’s jury was not empaneled, but Dr. Riley, assisted by Drs. Godsey and Duff, made a good examination of the body of young Lee and reported that they found no wounds nor abrasions on the body. It was their opinion that the young man plunged into the water while overheated and was overcome with cramps, which caused his drowning. It is said that he was a good swimmer.

Coroner’s Verdict.

I, A. B. Riley, M. D., coroner of Ohio county, Ky., after a post-mortem on the body and questioning of witnesses, find the deceased, Ferda L. Lee, came to his death July 27, 1916, between 1:30 and 2 o'clock p. m., by accidental drowning in the waters of Rough river, in Ohio county. Ky.

A. H. RILEY. M. D.,
Coroner of Ohio County, Ky. This July 29, 1916.

The witnesses above mentioned were: S. A. Lee, (father of the deceased), Tom Smith, W. T. Morris, J. T. .Miller, and Charles Wedding. Mr. Lee testified that his son was 23 years old. Had heard his son had got into trouble but did not know exactly what it was. Tom Smith said he got the body out of the water. W. T. Morris testified that he saw the tracks of young Lee in the mud on Rough River bank, watched for the body and finally saw it after it had arisen to the surface. Says the deceased could swim. J. T. Miller said he sat up all night watching for the body, and found it next morning on the mill dam. Charles Wedding stated he attempted to arrest Ferda Lee, when the latter ran. He called "halt” two or three times and then shot three times - "first time in ground, second time in ground and third time about six feet just to his right," and that Lee "kept running towards the bridge." Says he "did not shoot at him at any time."

The affair caused considerable excitement in the neighborhood for awhile, but the verdict of the doctors explained the matter.

Thursday, April 11, 2013


Hartford Herald
June 4, 1919


One of the saddest events that has over occurred in the county took place near Horse Branch Sunday when two brothers, Hubert and Millard Geary, were drowned in Caney Creek, while in swimming. About 9 o'clock the two boys, together with a small boy, went to Caney Creek at a point just above White Run, with intention of going in bathing. The small boy did not go in, and it was he that gave the word that the Geary boys were drowned.

It seems that the channel of the creek at this place is very narrow but deep, it being some seven feet in depth at this place. The boys misjudged the depth and the younger boy plunged into the water which was very cold and immediately took cramp. The older brother, seeing him struggling, jumped after him, but the boy was drowning and struggled so fiercely to get to the shore that both were drowned. The boy who was with them became frightened and ran home. Their lives could possibly have been saved had he retained his self-control as some men were in a field nearby when the accident occurred.

The boys remained at the bottom of the creek for about two hours. A search for the bodies, which lasted for over an hour, resulted in finding them and they were taken to the home of their mother, Mrs. Fannie Geary, near White Run. They were buried Monday in the same coffin, at the request of their mother. Mrs. Geary is very low with tuberculosis and the shock was so severe she is not expected to recover. Hubert was 21 years of age and Millard was 14.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Hartford Herald
June 26, 1912

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.

Monday, April 8, 2013


Hartford Herald
July 20, 1881


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

Saturday, April 6, 2013


Hartford Herald
March 4, 1891

Three Young Men go Out Duck Hunting and
One is Brought Back a Corpse

The body of Grant Wallace, who was drowned near West Point, Saturday was brought to Rosine Sunday and buried at the Mt. Pleasant graveyard Monday morning. The remains were accompanied by Charlie Curley, who was with Wallace at the time of his drowning. Grant Wallace was a son of Mr. Samuel Wallace, who lives in this county, between Rosine and Select. Grant had been working with Charley Curley on the N. N. & M. V. road. The last place they were stationed was at West Point. They did not work Saturday, but concluded to go on a duck hunting expedition. The Courier-Journal of Sunday gives the following account of the drowning:

"A Kentucky giant was drowned in the Ohio river a few miles this side of West Point late yesterday afternoon. His name was Grant Wallace. He measured six feet and ten inches in height. The coffin which was shipped for his body last evening by Wyatt & Cralle was seven feet three inches from end to end. It was one of the largest ever made in this city, and, except that used for the remains of the famous Jim Porter, it has rarely been surpassed here in point of size.

"Wallace was a railroad man. He was in charge of a corps of men employed on the N. N. & M. V. railroad when he met his death. Wallace's home was at Rosine, Ky., and he had only been at West Point a short while.

"In company with two friends, Wallace hired a skiff and went a short distance up the river duck hunting. The party did not meet with success out in the stream and they rowed into the backwaters, which spread across the fields. While rowing swiftly toward the bank, the frail skiff ran into a stump which had been partly concealed by the flood. At this point there is a side current in the river, and when the boat struck it, it was capsized in a twinkling. The three young men strove hard to save their lives. Wallace's friends succeeded in grasping parts of the broken skiff. They were whirled rapidly onward, and would probably have lost their lives, but for the assistance of a farmer who saw the accident. On account of the high water he had a skiff tied at his door, and in this he was soon rowing rapidly to their assistance. They had gotten into a swift current, and the farmer had to row several hundred yards before he succeeded in pulling them, half dead, into his boat.

"After recalling the circumstances of the accident, the young men remembered Wallace, and they assisted in pulling the skiff to where they had been thrown out. A long search discovered Wallace's body tangled in some underbrush in the back waters. The small branches were torn and showed plainly that he had struggled hard for his life. The remains were placed in the skiff and taken to the shore. A wagon was procured and the procession proceeded to Went Point. Coroner J. O. Fischer was notified, and after the inquest returned a verdict in accordance with the facts as above related. Wyatt & Cralle, of this city, were notified by telephone to make the coffin, which was shipped to West Point last night.

"Wallace was not only remarkably tall, but he was also well-proportioned. He was twenty-five years of age, and was said to have been possessed of unusually handsome features. His gigantic stature caused him to be looked upon with wonder and admiration wherever he went."

Thursday, April 4, 2013


Hartford Herald
May 16, 1894

Had Got Aboard a Skiff to Hunt a Bathing Spot
Accidentally Swung Off and Could not Swim.
The Body Recovered

Another victim is added to the sad list of fatalities among our school boys and Mr. A. R. Crabtree, Panther, Daviess county, has found a watery grave.

Yesterday evening about 5:30 o'clock, he in company with Messrs. J. C. Miller and Silas Griffin went to the river to bathe. They procured a boat and rowed up the river about three hundred yards above the bridge when young Crabtree undressed and swung off the stern of the boat into about fifteen feet of water, but held on to the boat while the other boys rowed slowly up stream. After they had gone some twenty or thirty feet in this manner, he let go of the boat, and before the rowers could turn the boat and reach him he sank to rise no more. The alarm was immediately given and in a very short while there was a crowd on the spot seeking to recover his body. The dragging and diving was kept up until about 8 o'clock, when the faithful search of sorrowing friends was rewarded and the young man's body was recovered, and all that human skill could do was done to resuscitate him, but to no avail.

Mr. Crabtree came here from Daviess county at the beginning of the third term of school, and by his manly bearing and studious habits had won for himself the love of his schoolmates, the highest respect of the faculty and the citizens of this place. His untimely death will be a sad blow to Hartford College which was just in the midst of preparing for Commencement. Greater than this, however, and the saddest of it all will be the shock which his parents at home will suffer. He was the idol of the old father and mother at home. They had given him good advantages and were looking forward no doubt with gladdening hearts to the approach of June time which should bring their boy home to them. Sad beyond power of man to tell will be that home-coming, when this evening he will be borne in loving tenderness back to the arms of those who loved him so.

The tenderest sympathy of Hartford's people goes out to those who have thus been robbed of their loved one. Dr. Alexander, who loves his students almost with the tenderness of a parent, was almost overcome by the terrible accident. When seen last night after he had done all he could to assist the searchers, he could only say as the tears ran from his eyes, "It is too bad, too bad!" May He who can bind up the broken spirit, heal with His tenderness the wound of this evil day.

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.