Johnson's Island, TN Boat Capsizes, 3 Boys Drown, Mar 1890


KNOXVILLE, Tenn., March 7.---(Special.)---Two sons of William Maples and a son of William Baker, while trying to cross the river sixteen miles above here yesterday, had their boat capsized and all were drowned.

Omaha Daily World-Herald, Omaha, NE 8 Mar 1890


Three Lads Drowned.

KNOXVILLE, March 7.--While trying to cross the river at Johnson's Island, sixteen miles above here, two sons of William Maples and a son of William Baker were drowned yesterday. They were in a frail boat which capsized and the lads perished before help could reach them.

The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA 8 Mar 1890



They Fail to Handle a Frail Boat and Are Overcome by the Current.

A frail boat.
Strong current in the river.
Three boys thrown into the water.
A struggle for life, and all are drowned.
Each in brief is the sad ending of three young lives.

Since the steamer Bussell sank at Johnson's island, sixteen miles up the river, a force of hands has been employed in an attempt to get the boat out of water. Late Wednesday afternoon, two sons of a farmer named Wm. Maples and a son of Wm. Baker, who resides in that section, went down to the river where the Bussell had sunk. They were of a venturesome nature and did not content themselves with remaining on the bank. A small boat was secured by the youths. They all got in and their combined weight was too heavy for the boat.
An effort was made to cross the stream. The current was very swift and strong. The boat got beyond control of the occupants. In their efforts to reach shore the boys only increased their danger. The boat capsized and all were thrown into the water. A desperate struggle for life ensued, but without avail, and the boys sank at once.
The people near the shore made every effort to rescue the drowning boys, but were powerless.
All went down and sank to death beneath the rushing waters.

Messrs. Maples and Baker, fathers of the boys, are farmers who reside in the upper end of the county. They have the sympathy of the entire community in the sad affliction brought upon their families.

The Knoxville Journal, Knoxville, TN 7 Mar 1890



One of the Three Boys Drowned Is Brought Up From the River.

The body of Luther Baker, one of the three boys drowned in the French Broad river Wednesday night, has been recovered. The lifeless body was discovered near the mill where it is supposed that all three of the young men were drowned. The river was dragged all day Thursday and Friday, and the work was continued last night. The dragging will not be stopped until the remaining two bodies are found.

The funeral of Luther Baker occurred yesterday afternoon.

The Knoxville Journal, Knoxville, TN 8 Mar 1890