Lake Geneva, WI Boating Accident & Drowning, July 1895

Lost in Lake Geneva

Six Persons Drowned by the Capsizing of a Steam Launch

Lake Geneva, Wis., July 8 - The steam launch Dispatch went down in the storm that raged here Sunday afternoon.

Those drowned were: HOGAN, FATHER, Harvard, Ill.

HOGAN, MISS, Harvard, Ill.

PRESTON, JOHN in charge of the boat.

UNKNOWN, three people not identified yet.

The three unknown people were supposed at first to be Dr. Franz, his wife and daughters of Elgin, Ill. A later report from Elgin shows the Franzs are at home and safe and the identity of the victims of the disaster is not yet fixed.

The little party had chartered the boat shortly after 3 o’clock and it had steamed about in the swarm of pleasure craft that dotted the lake. At 4 o’clock threatening clouds began to gather and most of the boats began making for shore. The launch did not heed the warning and within a few minutes, when it was opposite Lake Side park, the storm broke in fury.

The boat seemed staggered by the sudden shock of wind and changed its course several times, as if at the mercy of the elements. It finally righted itself and continued up the lake. When nearly opposite Crane’s there seemed to be a misunderstanding or disagreement again.

The course of the boat was changed for Crane’s pier apparently, when the boat was again headed up the lake. It had gone only a few hundred feet when the boat was swamped by the immense waves, which the heavy wind had raised.

As soon as possible after the storm had passed the steamer Majestic started out in search of the boat and the bodies. After cruising around in the locality the crew found the body of Miss Hogan floating near the shore a short distance from the summer residence of Herbert A. Beidley. Miss Hogan wore a fashionable dress with large puff sleeves, and these sleeves were found to be full of air, and, together with a satchel she had in her hand, caused the body to float. No trace of the other bodies has been found, although the cap of the engineer was picked up near where the body of the woman was found.

The launch was about 30 feet in length, built of oak, brass trimmed and upholstered with plush. It was brought here by Mr. Ide of Springfield, Ill., who used it as a private yacht. It had no deck, and when last seen the parties had the storm curtains down, which would naturally hinder the escape of the bodies if they remained in the boat till it went down.

Centralia Enterprise and Tribune, Centralia, WI 13 Jul 1895


Recovered More Bodies

Victims of the Dispatch Found in Lake Geneva

Lake Geneva, Wis., July 17. - Diver Nelson again took up the search yesterday for the remaining bodies lost with the Dispatch. An hour’s work brought up the body of CAPT. PRESTON. Another trip to the bottom and Nelson found the little HOGAN child. This was the last body recovered, although the diver claims he saw the body of MRS. HOGAN, but could not get it without a new grappling hook, which he is having made. Nelson will try and recover Mrs. Hogan’s body today.

Centralia Enterprise and Tribune, Centralia, WI 20 Jul 1895