BOAT FROLIC ENDS IN DEATH OF EIGHT

WILKESBARRE, Penn., May 12 — Of six boys
and six girls, members of the graduating
and the junior classes of the High School
at Huntington Mills, a country town fifteen
miles from here, who went boating
on a millpond near the school this afternoon;
all the girls and two of the boys
were drowned, while the other four boys
after an unsuccessful attempt to rescue
some of their companions managed barely
to save their own lives.
The dead'are: BONHAM, RUTH, 18, of Town Line.
DAVENPORT, IRIS, 10, of Watertown.
DODSON, RAY, 17, of Falrmount.
GOOD, MADELINE, 17, of Watertown.
KOONS, CAROLYN, 16, of Harveyville.
MINNICH, ROBERT, IS, of Koonsville.
SUTLCIFFE, MAUD, 17, of Town Line.
THOMPSON, RACHEL, 10, of Town Hill.
These eight, with George Dodson, Uriah
Weitsell, Jay Koons, and Harold Bell,
who escaped, had spent the morning in
study and in preparation for the graduation
exercises. At noon, they ate their
luncheons, for most of tho pupils of the
school came from several miles around,
and afterward, pairing off - six boys and
six girls - the party went for a walk.
Some distance from the school
and hidden from view from the roadside,
is the old paper mill dam. The pond is
deep, but placid and was not considered
dangerous, as it is no wider than a moderate
stone's throw. Some one in the
party proposed a boat ride. They found
two small boats on the shore, and three
boys and three girls crowded into each
of these. This was overcrowded
although the boys and girls knew it was safe and
did not consider it dangerous. They were
so full of frolic, apparently, that they did
not think of danger.
According to the confused stories of
the four survivors there was much jollity
among each party. The boats pushed off
close together, water was splashed with
the oars and thrown by hand and there
was much laughter and shouting back and
forth. Near the middle of the pond the
boats separated, and were several yards
apart.
Just who was responsible for the accident
is not apparent. Somebody stood
up in a boat to change seats, one of the
boys, it is said. The boat rocked and
dipped some water, the girls became
frightened and jumped up to prevent
their dresses getting wet and the next
instant the boat had upset and all were
in the water. The second was only a few
yards away and was hurriedly rowed
toward the six struggling and shrieking
in the water. Those in the boat shouted
and screamed directions. In a moment,
it was at the scene of the accident. The
next instant — so it seems to the survivors -
this boat also was upset, either by those
leaning out to grasp the drowning
or the drowning trying to grasp onto it.
Of what happened after that they have
a confused recollection. Each says he
tried to save some girl, each was seized
and dragged down by one or more, and
each had to make a fight underwater to
escape. Not one of them gave up the
effort to save the girls until their strength
was nearly gone, they say. The girls, in
a frenzy of fear, seized whoever was nearest
to them and went down struggling and
shrieking.
When the bodies were recovered it was
found that nearly every one of the victims
was clasped in a death embrace with another.
When the four survivors reached the
shore, exhausted, they crawled as soon
as they could to the road and gave the
alarm. It was then too late.
Not one of the parents of the drowned
boys and girls knew of the accident until
all the bodies had been brought to shore.

May 13, 1910 edition of "The New York Times"