Brady, TX Two Men Drown in Flood, Jan 1968

Floodwaters Claim Two Men at Brady

Downpouring rains drenched a broad swath of the Big Country Saturday as rain swollen Brady Creek claimed two lives when a car was swept off a low water bridge and a California youth was killed on a wet highway east of Eastland.

Deluges raised three day rainfall totals to as high as six inches and more in some places.

Some Abilene streets were near rivers by Saturday night as cars stalled in spots, while Big Country creeks and river beds were full or overflowing.

Farm lands near Eastland were reported flooded and waters were over U.S. Highway 80 just east of Eastland.

The two Brady men drowned early Saturday when the car in which they were riding was swept off the low water crossing on rain deluged Brady Creek, at the south entrance to Brady’s Richards Park.

The bodies of EUGENE POWELL HALLMARK, 29, of Brady, and LARRY ELTON BISHOP, 17, of Mason, a senior at Mason High School, were found by searchers later Saturday afternoon downstream from the bridge.

Justice of the Peace Joe Myrick pronounced them dead.

Three other persons in the same car narrowly escaped the waters, Jimmy Nobles, 16, a junior at Mason High, and Ann Yarborough, 21, and Sherron Burton, 19, both operators at Southwestern State Telephone Co. at Brady.

The men were attempting to cross the low water bridge about 3 a.m. Saturday when the auto was carried over the side, the survivors related.

Heavy rains of over five inches on the Brady Creek Watershed had caused the stream to rage approximately four feet above normal.

Bishop’s body was found about 4 p.m. about 200 yards downstream from the bridge and Hallmark’s was found about 4:45 p.m. about 250 yards downstream from the bridge.

Both men were found by two separate McCulloch County Civil Defense boats and were pulled out with grappling hooks.

McCulloch County Sheriff Luke Vogel said one of the girls related that when the car entered the water it was swept off the bridge into the swirling stream.

She said the auto floated momentarily, allowing all five occupants to escape, then the vehicle submerged.

Vogel said Miss Yarborough lowered a rear window and climbed out into shallow water, then walked to shore. Nobles was also able to reach the bank safely by this method.

The other three persons were swept down the creek by the swift current.

Vogel said Nobles yelled to Miss Burton to keep afloat and to try to swim toward the bank.

He then ran down the creek bank, climbing out on a large tree limb and grabbed Miss Burton as she floated past.

Funeral arrangements for Hallmark are pending at Wilkerson Funeral Home in Brady.

Hallmark was of a pioneer Brady are family and he had been widely known in rodeo circles, helping also with FFA stock shows.

Funeral for Larry Elton Bishop, 17, will be held at 3 p.m. Monday in the Mason Funeral Home Chapel with T.J. Newbill officiating. Burial will be in the Bethel Cemetery.

Bishop was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Elton Bishop of Mason and was a high-ranking student scholastically in Mason High School. He had received a high score on the National Merit Scholarship Examination recently.

He was born Feb. 7, 1950, in Mason, and was a member of the Baptist Church.

Survivors include the parents; two sisters, Anna Lee Bishop of Austin and Vivian of Mason; a grandmother, Mrs. Hutshen Ritter of San Antonio, and one great-grandmother, Mrs. Anna Ritter of Mason.

Abilene Reporter-News, Abilene, Texas 21 Jan 1968