Alum Creek Station, WV Young Boys Drown, June 1928
2 BOYS DROWN IN COAL RIVER.
SHARP DESCENT IN REVER BED PROVES FATAL FOR ST. ALBANS LADS, IN WADING AT SUNDAY SCHOOL PICNIC.
HAROLD THOMAS, 14, son of Mr. and Mrs. Howard Thomas, and VINCENT CLENDENIN, 12, son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Clendenin, both of St. Albans were drowned while wading in Coal River yesterday afternoon near Alum Creek Station.
The boys were members of a Sunday school class from the First Presbyterian church, St. Albans, and they, accompanied by their teacher, William Bodie, were enjoying a picnic near the forks of Coal River when the accident occurred.
Soon after reaching the picnic grounds, the boys decided to go wading. All the boys except the THOMAS and CLENDENIN youths stayed close to the shore, but the two ventured farther out and stepped from shallow water into a hole about 30 feet deep. Their companions saw them go down and called for help. Aid was soon received from the Boy Scout camp nearby, and Beverly Mitchie, assistant camp director, of the Charleston Chapter Boy Scouts, reached the scene first, dove into the water, and at the risk of his own life rescued the THOMAS lad, unconscious.
Other Boy Scout councilors with Mitchie attempted to resusitate the boy. A request was sent to Charleston to the city fire department for a pulmotor and FIre Chief Louis McLane, together with Hugh Hartinger, member of the city fire department, went to the scene of the drowning in Barlow's ambulance. Hartinger operated the pulmotor, and for an hour artificial respiration was kept up by the Scouts who volunteered their assistance, but it was impossible to save THOMAS' life. His body was brought back to Charleston by Barlow's and sent to St. Albans last night.
Members of the Boy Scout organization, working all night, failed to recover the body of the CLENDENIN boy. It was stated last night that unless the body was found early this morning the police department would join in the search, dragging the river with grapple hooks.
The place where the accident occurred is about 100 yards from the Charleston Boy Scout camp, but is in no way connected with the camp's pool. Scouts working at the camp yesterday were getting it in readiness for the summer camping expeditions, and readily volunteered their services to the unfortunate boys when word reached the camp of the accident. The swimming at the Boy Scout camp is strictly supervised, officials stated yesterday, and a similar accident would be impossible there, they said, because of precautions that are taken.
Charleston Gazette West Virginia 1928-06-21