Memphis, TN Steamer M. E. NORMAN Sinks, Hero Saves Many, May 1925

STEAMER SINKS NEAR MEMPHIS, 22 LOSE LIFE.

STEAMER SANK IN THE MISSISSIPPI 22 LIVES LOST.

PLEASURE BOAT WENT DOWN NEAR MEMPHIS AND 13 PASSENGERS STILL MISSING.

(By United Press)
Memphis, Tenn., May 9. -- Settling in the water while turning in the Mississippi River near here late yesterday, the government steamer M. E. NORMAN, carrying a party of forty excursionists, sank within three minutes. Five persons lost their lives and 13 others are still missing this morning.
TOM LEE, a boatman, who saw the accident, saved nearly a score of those aboard the NORMAN when he dragged them from the river into his motor boat.
GEO. FOSTER, a Memphis engineer, swam ashore and was instrumental in sending the first word of the disaster to Memphis.
Aboard the NORMAN were delegates to a meeting of the Southern Association of Engineers being held at Memphis. A second boatload of delegates was aboard the steamer Choctaw. It completed the excursion and returned to Memphis without knowning the fate which had befallen the NORMAN. Survivors said that they had visited Cow Island Bend and were returning, running in the channel about three hundred feet from shore.
Suddenly the boat began to shake. The captain believed the passengers were crowding to one side and ordered them to scatter but the trembling continued. As the NORMAN was turned towards shore in the channel the shaking increased the ship listed and then settled and sank.
Those aboard were thrown into the water, there having been no time to launch the life boats.
LEE, the boatman, was near the scene, alone in a motor boat. He dragged from the water as many as his boat would hold, took them ashore and returned for others, saving approximately twenty in that manner.
Several persons swam ashore but others were unable to swim in the treacherous current which exists at the point where the NORMAN sank.
Help was sent out and boats went out from Memphis to search for possible survivors or for bodies. One of the first bodies recovered was that of Professor W. G. KIRKPATRICK of the University of Mississippi. Several women, wives of members of the Engineers' Society were in the party and at least two of them were still missing today.
All of the bodies found were men.

Memphis, Tenn., May 9. -- The casualty list in the sinking of the river steamer NORMAN as compiled early today follows:
Known dead:
WALTER G. KIRKPARTICK, professor of municipal engineering, University of Mississippi.
MRS. WALTER G. KIRKPATRICK.
MRS. J. F. DORROH, wife of the dean of the school of engineering, University of Mississippi.
Major M. M. GARDINER, United States engineer.
Prof. R. H. McNEILLY, Nashville.
MRS. CALDWELL, address unknown.
EDGAR BOSARD, 10, son of RALPH BOSARD, Memphis, Tenn.
C. E. SHEARER, Memphis engineer.
E. H. BOWSER, chief timber agent, Illinois Central railroad.
PAUL NORCROSS, engineer, Atlanta, Ga.
RALPH BOSARD and wife.
MISS LYDIA HYDINGER, 78.
CHARLES H. MILLER, Little Rock, Ark.
G. L. ANDERSON, city of Memphis engineering department.
WILLIAM HALIUM, Memphis.
WILL MOORE, Negro.
ROY THOMPSON, stoker, Memphis.
JACK CORCHRAN, engineer, Memphis.
S. WATERS FOX, Paducah, Ky.
TOM PLUNKETT, Memphis, Negro.
The last five were members of the crew.

Oelwein Daily Register Iowa 1925-05-09
(Transcriber's Note: TOM LEE, was a hero in every sense of the word. The man saved lives, black and white, it made no difference to him. He happened to be passing in his boat. An amazing fact -- TOM LEE could not swim at all !!!)