Oshkosh, WI Clyde Spore Drowning, July 1912

Before this time, however, cooler heads had acted. Two men, whose names were not learned, had thrown off their outer garments, plunged into the lake, and swam out to attempt the rescue. One athletic fellow, regardless of purse, or watch, went into the water just as he was, and worked like a Trogan [sic] hero, but without avail. Another man had managed to find a rowboat tied up with the Oshkosh launch, Naomi, and he rowed to the harbor entrance as fast as he could. William Tannewitz of Oshkosh was on the fatal spot almost as soon as SPORE disappeared, and he dived in the deep water, until he was almost exhausted. The man who had taken the rowboat found he was too late, and it was only then that the men and women on shore realized they had seen a drowning – that they had seen a young man go down to his death in the cruel waters.

James H. Jones and William T. Arnold of Oshkosh and a number of others at the park determined not to give up the work and for an hour they rowed over and over the place where SPORE went down, probing the bottom with a long pike pole and a boat hook in the effort to locate and bring up SPORE’S body. Had the body been brought up within that length of time it was felt life could possibly have been revived by means of resusciation (sic) measures, inasmuch as a well known Oshkosh physician was at the park, ready to assist in the work of artificial respiration.

Within a few minutes of the time SPORE went down there were several men diving for the body and one or two of them could not have striven more faithfully had the man on the bottom been their own brother. It was only a short time before other rowboats came up and crossed and recrossed the place with hooks dragging and long poles tracking on the bottom. But as hard as men worked, it was useless, for at 6 o’clock the body had not been found. And the drowning occurred at 2 o’clock.

Meantime there was work cut out for some of those on land. Cornelius and Hinz, after their companion had gone down, waded wisely to shore. Hinz, the younger man, was exceedingly tired but was soon able to help himself, but Cornelius fell utterly exhausted on the rocks, and seemed likely to slip back into the water when men grasped him and carried him to the grass in the shade of trees. The Oshkosh physician give his assistance and Cornelius was taken to the park hotel, where he was restored. The young man had swallowed so much water that for a time he was in a serious condition.

Saw Him go Down

C. E. Cleveland, president of the Giddings and Lewis Manufacturing company, together with this wife and members of his family were at Calumet Harbor when the accident took place. They were in their auto which had been run to a point near the channel edge and commanded a clear view of the scene of the drowning.

Mr. Cleveland said this morning that his attention was attracted by shouts for help which came from a group of swimmers who were about one hundred feet from shore and on a line with the south side of the boat channel. There were three swimmers in the group and one of them had evidently become exhausted or suffered from a cramp. One of his companions tried to save him, but nearly lost his own life in the attempt having only strength enough to break away and struggle to the shallow water. He was in an exhausted condition when he was taken into the hotel nearby and required the attention of physicians.