APRIL 7, 1899

Three Men Drowned

Salmon river, to a greater extent than any other stream in the mountains, has the reputation among men familiar with the country, of being a wicked and dangerous stream, even in its most peaceful stage.  At this time when the melting snow adds to its great volume of water it is treacherous throughout its entire course.

McCaffrey, Mallory, Shorthill and O’Brien has all made locations at Mallick and started back on foot for Florence with samples.  Seven miles below Mallick at Elk Creek, they came upon Jeff Turpin, who had made the trip with a boat full of grub and having cached his provisions, was about to start down stream and offered the men a lift.

The whole outfit got along swimmingly until they reached a point six miles above Madame Carey’s ranch at t he old wire bridge.  At this place there is a sharp bend in the river and the stream sets strongly to the north bank, perpendicular cliffs, creating a dangerous backwater and breakers.  Despite frantic efforts, the boat was swept toward the bank and under the breakers, capsized and put the five men in the water.  McCaffrey succeeded in getting away from the breakers and managed to kick off his rubber boots.  The only man he could see was Mallory and they succeeded in catching the boat, bailing her out and spent considerable time searching for their comrads without success.

Upon their arrival at Florence a search party was organized, without success.


JUNE 2, 1899

The body recently found on Salmon river was identified as J.O’Brien.  It was impossible to remove the body, so it was reburied and the grave surrounded by a fence.


JUNE 16, 1899

The bodies of Jeff Turpin and A.T. Shorhill have been found near Freedom and Slate creek, identified by papers found in their pockets.





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