Oshkosh, WI Clyde Spore Drowning, July 1912

High School boy Drowns in Harbor

Three Hundred People Witness Drowning Accident – Attempts at Rescue Fail

CLYDE SPORE, Oshkosh High School Student, Meets Tragic Death at Calumet aHrbor [sic]

CLYDE SPORE, an Oshkosh High school student, seventeen years of age, met a tragic death by drowning in sight of about 300 people at Calumet Harbor Sunday afternoon.

He was the only son of Mr. And Mrs. George H. Spore, of Oshkosh. His father is the drummer in the Arion band and orchestra.

The young man was in swimming with two companions, Roy Cornelius, aged twenty-one, and George Hinz, aged eighteen years, and it was while trying to swim gack [sic] from the reef on the outer side of the channel at the harbor entrance that he became distressed. He began to cry, “Help, help me.”

Cornelius and Hinz swam to their companion, who grasped hold of them so tightly they were in great danger of being drowned, themselves. Cornelius admonished SPORE to take things easy, but the latter had swallowed considerable water, was tired, and frightened. The other two were carried under water when SPORE clung to them and then they swam ahead, trying to encourage Spore to keep up a little longer. He again shouted for help, however, and the other swimmers took up the cry.

It was only then that the picnic parties at Calumet Harbor realized there was trouble in the water. Different persons who were on shore asserted afterward they distinctly heard the first cries of the drowning boy, but thought he was laughing. This seeming mockery of death, this fatal deception in sounds, cost the life of a clean, promising young man.

Efforts To Save

During the next minute or two the park became a place of tense anxiety, for when the combined cries for help were heard, picnicker’s deserted their dinners and rushed to the shore.

There, less than 300 feet from the rocks, they saw a young man battling against the wind and waves; heard two other young men, with drawn faces, and standing neck deep in water, nearly exhausted from their efforts, calling to the lad further out to keep on, that only twenty feet away was a reef and safety; heard the lad reply, “I can’t make it. Help. Help.”

Then the distressed swimmer went under, once, and came up gurgling o nly [sic] to resume his fight. He went down a second time, and came up weaker. In a few moments he was under again, and did not reappear.