Idaho County Free Press
July 15, 1920
PERISHES IN VAIN ATTEMPT TO SAVE GRANDSON FROM DROWNING
A.S. Wright, 59, president of the Wright Grocery Company in Grangeville, lost
his life at noon Saturday in an unsuccessful attempt to rescue his grandson,
Frank Willey, 12 years old, from a drowning in the middle fork of the Clearwater
River at Lowell, 25 miles up the middle fork from Kooskia.
Mr. Wright's death was
attributed to heart disease, superinduced by over-exertion when he saw his
grandson struggling for life in the swift waters of the river. Mr. Wright sank
to the bottom, in 25 feet of water.
About noon on Saturday the
Day boys and the two Willey boys were wading in about a foot of water on a
sandbar in the river, when suddenly Frank Willey stepped off the sandbar into
deep water. His companion immediately called for help to adult members of the
party, who were sitting on the bank of the river 200 feet away. Rushing to the
scene, Mr. Wright, fully dressed, leaped into the water to rescue the boy,
caught hold of the lad, and for a moment attempted to bring him to shore.
Observing Mr. Wright was
unsuccessful in his effort, Mr. Day jumped into the raging river, and caught Mr.
Wright by the hand. Mr. Wright suddenly let loose Mr. Day's hand and at the same
time released his hold on the boy, and dropped beneath the waters surface. The
boy also went down, and it was only with difficulty that the other men in the
party were able to rescue Mr. Day. The man and boy went down in 20 feet of
IN HALF HOUR
For an hour and a half,
members of the party, assisted by Mrs. William Parry of Lowell, worked over the
boy in an effort to restore respiration and bring him to life. but without
When Mr. Wright's body was
brought ashore, attempt was made to revive a spark of life in him, but with
It is believed that Mr. Wright's
death was due to heart disease, from which he had lately been suffering.
His sudden release of the
boy and is of Mr. Day's belief, as does the fact no water was found in his
lungs, while the boy's were filled with water, is the case with a person who has
been drowned. Also, the boy came to the surface the proverbial three times
before he sank to the bottom, while Mr. Wright's did not rise.
Coroner A.J. Mugg was called to the scene of the tragedy Saturday afternoon, and
arrived at Lowell 8 o'clock Saturday night. He deemed no inquest necessary, and
had the bodies removed to Grangeville.
OF MR. WRIGHT
FRANK WILLEY, son of Mr. and Mrs. George Willey, was born in Grangeville on
Aug. 10, 1908. His entire life was spent here. Besides his sorrowing parents, he
is survived by three brothers; Vernon, Glenn, and Wayne, and by two sisters; Eva
funeral services for Mr. Wright and his grandson were held Monday afternoon at
2:30 form the Odd Fellows hall. Every seat in the hall was occupied while
many friends found standing room only. Brief services were conducted by
the Rev. S. Randall, pastor of the Federated Church. Burial, directed by A.J.
Maugg, took place in the Prairie View Cemetery.
Active pallbearers for Mr. Wright were A. Urbahn, V. Knapp, John P. Eimers, C.A.
Johnston, R.F. Fulton, and W.H. Badgero. Honorary pallbearers were T.E. Quinlan,
D.H. Sasenberry, M.B. Geary, J. Frank Sims, Frank Hockersmith, and C.C. Call.
Pallbearers for Harold
Frank Willey were John Eimers, Jr., Floyd Hamill, Reese Hattabaugh, Jr., Harold
Smith, Rowley Call, and Paul Eimers. All are Boy Scouts.
Submitted by Chris