Duluth, MN drowning, Dec 1899



While Wheeling Screenings Along Dock to Fire Room, He and Harrow in Some Way, Fall in Slip, Gets on Harrow But Plunges Off and Stays Down - Leaves Wife and Three Children.

Alfred Ecklund was drowned at elevator E yesterday afternoon. Just how the accident occurred will probably never be known. Ecklund was wheeling some screenings along the dock to the fire room, and it is thought that the wheelborrow must have struck one of the stones piled on the dock near the point from which he must have fallen, and that the shock was sufficiently heavy to throw him into the slip barrow and all.

Nobody saw him fall, and the first that his fellow workmen knew of Ecklund's misfortune was when the operatives on the dock of the Pioneer Fuel company, across the slip, yelled at them. At this moment Ecklund was astride his wheelbarrow, some distance from the dock. Ropes and pieces of timber were thrown to him. Suddenely [sic] he lurched forward, perhaps in an attempt to grasp a rope, and plunged head foremost into the slip. He did not appear again until the life saving crew brought his dead body to the surface after dragging some time.

Ecklund has been employed at the elevator some months. He lived with his wife and three children on Vernon street in West Park. He was about 45 years of age, and was formerly employed as a laborer with the Missabe road. The remains were taken to the undertaking rooms of C. O. Nelson in the West End.

There was some complaint yesterday afternoon regarding the slow and ancient methods that have to be followed in communicating the facts regarding any emergency that may arise to the life saving station. In the case of Ecklund the life savers were powerless to help him after he went down, but an emergency may arise some time in the harbor where the efficiency of telephonic communication to the life saving station would result in preventing a loss of life that would be sure to follow unless the improvement is installed. It was necessary yesterday to telephone the police and have the department dispatch a man to the station in order to enlist the services of the crew to drag for the body. No inquest will be held.

The Duluth News Tribune, Duluth, MN 18 Dec 1899