Harrisburg, PA McCormicks Island Drowning, Sept 1906

Swimmer Drowns Near M’Cormick’s

Indiana Man Visiting Here Falls Victim to an Attack of Cramps.

While swimming in the river opposite the lower point of McCormick’s Island yesterday afternoon about 3 o’clock, John Floch, aged forty-two years, of Royal Center, Ind., was attacked with cramps and was drowned.

Mr. Floch had been visiting the family of Mrs. George Dice, 335 Kelker street. He is not known in this section of the country and this was his first visit here. Shortly after 2 o’clock he left the Dice home accompanied by George, the twelve-year-old boy of the family. They strolled up along the river front and when near the first tollgate, which is just opposite the lower end of McCormick’s Island, the boy proposed that they go swimming. Mr. Floch agreed.

A number of other boys were swimming at the point and one of them, Benjamin McNear, went out to a big rock half way to the point of the island. Mr. Floch followed him and it was while he was attempting to swim back that he was seized with the attack which deprived him of the use of his muscles. He went down before the youngster’s eyes.

The frightened boys notified the police station. Detectives Ibach, Welsh and former clerk to the Mayor, George N. Barnes went to the tollgate in an automobile. Later a party of firemen from the Reily Hose Company, including Charles Fred, and Harry Stroh, John Geisel, Clarence Diffender, George McAlicker, William McAlicker, John Bowman, John Shisler, O.J. Crooks, J. Drewitt and Samuel Johnson went to the rock on a steamer. George Dice piloted them. With a fire hook, Charles Stroh brought the body to the surface, shortly before six o’clock.

The coroner was notified and will investigate the drowning to-day. The body was removed to an undertaking establishment. No funeral arrangements have been made.

Patriot, Harrisburg, PA 10 Sept 1906