Davenport, WA Accidental Drownings, Aug 1906
FIVE WERE DROWNED.
PROMINENT CITIZENS OF DAVENPORT, WASHINGTON.
THEY HAD BEEN ENJOYING THE WATERS OF SPOKANE RIVER WHEN ONE OF THEIR NUMBER WAS DRAWN DOWN BY UNDERCURRENT AND THE OTHERS WERE DROWNED WHILE TRYING TO RESCUE.
Davenport, Wash., Aug. 13. -- Five well known citizens of Davenport who had been enjoying an outing on the banks of the Spokane River about 12 miles northeast of here were drowned Sunday and only one body has been recovered.
The victims are:
MISS WINNIE JONES, aged 19 years.
A. L. BERGETT, aged about 40.
MRS. A. BERGETT, aged about 35.
ROY HOWARD, aged 28.
A. L. INMAN, aged 34.
Four of those drowned heroically sacrificed their lives in attempting to save others. One after another they plunged into the river, only to lose their footing and be drawn down either by the whirlpool or the undercurrent, which at that point is particularly dangerous.
L. F. MOORE, who returned to Davenport with the body of MRS. BERGETT, gives the following account of the distressing tragedy, gleaned from others of the party who were eye witnesses.
"The women were bathing and wading at a point near Laughburn's place, located close to the scene of the big slide last year in the Spokane River. MISS JONES ventured out too far, got beyond her depth and MRS. BERGETT immediately waded out to assist. MRS. BERGETT was soon in the same danger as MISS JONES. Both women were struggling in the river when A. L. BERGETT, husband of MRS. BERGETT, rushed out to save them. He also was rendered helpless by the swirling waters. The screams of MISS IRENE DANSON and MISS DAISY HUTCHINSON, who were on the bank and unable to reach their drowning friends, brought A. L. INMAN, ROY HOWARD and MR. PAULINE, who were a considerable distance away and the three men attempted to reach those in distress. MR. INMAN ventured out too far and he also was sucked under the surface."
"Finding they could not hope to save the others by swimming out to them, MR. PAULINE and MR. HOWARD rushed for their horses, hoping the animals could find footing on the bed of the river far enough out the reach the victims. MR. PAULINE'S horse refused to venture out. MR. HOWARD'S horse went as far as the animal found it could stand up, and, when being urged by the rider, threw MR. HOWARD into the stream. MR. HOWARD was swimming to shore, but suddenly was sucked under by the whirlpool, and he also drowned. MR. PAULINE saw his friend sinnk, but was unable to reach him. MR. PAULINE then went for assistance and found MR. MOORE. They recovered the body of MRS. BERGETT, which floated on top of the whirlpool, but the other bodies had disappeared."
News of the accident reached Davenport shortly after noon. In less than two hours every available vehicle in the city was on the way to the scene. Dynamite was taken along in hope of bringing the bodies to the surface. All afternoon the rescuers worked, and late tonight few of them had returned.
Davenport is shaken to its very center by the calamity. Every one of the victims was well known and prominent in the life of the town.
Failing in their efforts to dislodge the bodies by exploding dynamite in the river, Davenport citizens are making efforts to get a diver from Seattle or Spokane. The river will be watched for miles below, and the search will be thoroughly organized.
Later -- Tuesday -- All the bodies have been recovered.
Pullman Herald Washington 1906-08-18