Event Person Place

Couple from Moore’s Lane Drown in the Ohio River

Milton Lewis, 37, of Moore’s lane, farmer, and father of six small children, who gave his life in a vain effort to save his wife.”

Elizabeth Lewis, 21, Mr. Lewis’ bride of less than three months. They were drowned in front of their home in Ohio river about 7 p.m. Saturday.”

6 Children Eyewitnesses

“As his six small children summoned aid, Mr. Lewis, 38, farmer of Moore’s lane, West Side, gave his life in a vain effort to save his young wife.”

“Both lost their lives directly in front of their home no the former Stahler farm as aid approached the scene in response to the children’s cries. Both bodies were recovered and resuscitation efforts were in vain.”

“Fire Capt. Walter Chick, of Seventh street fire station, and son David Chick, 13, were baiting a trot line in front of the Chick camp nearby when the drownings occurred and Capt. Chick recovered the body of Mr. Lewis about 15 minutes after he submerged. The body of Mrs. Lewis was recovered about 9:0 p.m. by Raymond Pierron of Friendship.”

“As volunteers dragged the river for the body of Mrs. Lewis, city firemen under Lt. Frank Eastwood, acting assistant chief, used a resuscitator in an effort to revive Mr. Lewis. Capt. Chick administered artificial respiration until firemen arrived with the resuscitator.”

Went To River To Bathe

“After finishing the day’s plowing Mr. Lewis, who is employed on the Thomas F. Lewis farm, took his family and friends to the river bank to bathe.”

“Mrs. Lewis and Hilda Fultz, 11, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. T. E. Fultz, went ahead of the rest of the party and Mrs. Lewis was in wading when Mr. Lewis and children reached the bank.”

“Mrs. Lewis waded out about 50 feet and suddenly stepped into a hole and submerged. She came to the surface and called for help. Mr. Lewis kicked off his shoes and plunged into the water and hurried to her aid, running in shallow water and swimming as he reached the deep water. He caught hold of Mrs. Lewis and both went down, Mrs. Lewis emerging four or five times before being drowned. Mr. Lewis was drowned when he submerged the second time and his body did not appear on the surface again.”

Douglas, 11, and Joseph Franklin, 9, sons of Mr. Lewis, told Deputy Sheriff Burl Justice and firemen details of the double drownings.”

‘Daddy Sitting On Bank’

“”Mother was wading out from shore and stepped into a hole,” the boys said. “Daddy was sitting on the bank. He was not ready to go in swimming. Mother went down and came up calling for help. Daddy said to his cousin, Joseph Caldwell, 16, of Friendship, “go in and get her,” Joe replied, “I can’t swim that good.””

“”Daddy ran down the bank kicking off his shoes. He did not wear a shirt and jumped into the water with his pants on. He ran and swam to mother and got hold of her. Both went down. Daddy came up and we could just see his face. He called for help and went down. Mother came up four or five times after that.””

“”We saw Mr. Chick fishing in his boat and we called to him for help.”

“Capt. Chick said he and his son had just finished baiting a trot line when they heard children calling: “Mr. Chick they are drowning.””

“”We were about 150 yards down stream,” Capt. Chick said, “and I jumped to the rear of the boat and started the outboard motor. When we reached the scene David handled the boat and I dragged the scene with a boat hook I use to pick up the trot lines. Within about 15 minutes I recovered the body of Mr. Lewis. We took the body to shore and I administered artificial respiration while others continued to search for Mrs. Lewis.””

“Joseph Caldwell, son of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Caldwell, of Friendship, visited the Lewis home Saturday and helped Mr. Lewis cut weeds.”

Started To Rescue

“”I cannot swim too good,” the youth said, “but I jumped in the water and started after Mrs. Lewis. Mr. Lewis ran by me and got to her first. Both went down before I could get to them.””

“Displaying manly courage, Douglas and Joseph Lewis, calmly told officials of the drownings. “We helped daddy work some Saturday” the boys said, “but we didn’t do very much.””

“”I watered the mule for him this evening,” Joseph volunteered.”

“Acting Chief Eastwood and Firemen Larry McCormick and Gerald Ennis responded with resuscitator, dragging brail and life jacket. Firemen received the call at 8:19 p.m. Deputy Sheriff Justice, Sam Simon and Mac Wamsley responded and aided in the rescue efforts.”

“A long bar formerly extended out into the river where the drowning occurred. In the last two years Portsmouth Sand & Gravel Co. has been dredging sand and gravel on the bar and the dredge cut a hole about 20 feet deep, residents of Moore’s lane said.”

“Mr. Lewis’ first wife and infant died Jan. 6 when the family resided on Lucasville Star route. He married Elizabeth Lewis April 5 at Greenup.”

“He was a son of the late Dan Lewis of Carter Co., Ky., and Mrs. Elizabeth Lewis Fannin of Friendship.”

“Surviving are six children at home: Douglas, Joseph, Vesta, Chauncy, Dorothy, and Gerald.”

“Mr. Lewis also leaves two brothers, Edward of Lucasville Star rt, Paul of Dayton; a sister, Elsie Griffith of Wheelersburg rt. 1.”

“Mrs. Lewis is survived by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ervin Odle of Friendship and the following brothers and sisters; Sgt. James Odle of Ft. Bragg. N.C., Malissa Cassero of Brockfort, N.Y., Woodrow Odle of De Smet, S.D. and Mary Jeanette, Rosie, and Lula at home in Friendship.”

“The bodies are at Melcher funeral home with funeral arrangements pending arrival of relatives from out of town.”1(1947, June 30). The Portsmouth Times.[efn_/note].

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