Jay Carman, Obituary/Death NoticePorter County obituaries and death notices . . . .

Jay Carman

The following from the Daily Winfield (Kan.) Courier, will be of interest to the citizens of Hebron; "Yesterday morning the [19th inst.] at 8 o'clock one of the most terrible catastrophes that ever occurred on Cowley's fair domain, took place at Dawson's Ford 14 miles up the Walnut River, just below Rock Creek, in which six human lives and a fine team were swallowed by the waves. Mr. and Mrs. Anson Carman and their son Jay with his wife and Mrs. Jim Carman, residing on Rock Creek, hitched up early Sunday morning and started to spend the day gathering wild plums on the Arkansaw River. They drove a very fine team to a farm wagon, passing by the home of Wm. Cates, a mile below Carman's. They stopped, told Cates where they were going and asked him and his wife to go along. They agreed and Cates hitched his team to a spring wagon and started, Jay Carman and his wife got out of their wagon to occupy the hind seat in the wagon of Mr. Cates. Anson Carman, wife and Mrs. Jim Carman drove on and Cates followed up some quarter mile behind. The old gentleman went on down to Dawson ford. Though only living a few miles from this ford he had'nt crossed it for two years. There was no guide board and he notices nothing wrong; besides he knew that Mr. S.C. Cunningham, living near Sedley, had crossed it the evening before on his way to visit his brother-in-law. But there had been a rain up the river, making a raise of four feet. The horses had hardly touched the water before they were swimming. The swift current whirled them down stream, the wagon box floated off with the women in it. Mr. Carman held the lines and got out on the horses in hopes of extracting them, but one whirled over the other and all went down. About this time the wagon box struck the current, tipped over and sunk. Mr. Carman saw the women but once. Women, team, wagon and wagon box went as completely out of sight as though 100 miles away, and Mr. Carman floating down the river with but little hope of ever getting out. He finely drifted into a clump of willows and getting a death grip, held himself up until help came. He was 80 rods below the ford, and in the excitement forgot the other party, but the spring wagon, seats and cushions floating down the current soon told their fate. Cates and wife and Jay Carman and wife had followed up, came to the river, noticed where the old man had driven in and seeing nothing of the head party supposed they had crossed. Not a riffle of suspicion could be seen. A young man named Johnson working for Mr. Sheets 20 rods from the ford, ran out to tell Cates he could'nt cross the ford, but he was too late. Johnson said he did'nt see the first team pass. Running after Cates as fast as he could he reached the ford approach just in time to see the spring wagon and party go under. The harness were farm harness with steel tug buts and the tugs when slackened slipped off the singletrees, let the horses loose and they swam across and got out. Johnson threw off his coat, sprang in and grabbed Mrs. Carman but she had already gone under 3 or 4 times and the current was so swift that it was with a terrible struggle he got ashore a half mile below almost dead himself and Mrs. Carman entirely gone. He tried to resuscitate her but life had gone. Johnson says the last he saw of Cates and Jay Carman they were trying to save Mrs. Cates. She was a very heavy woman and it is supposed she drowned both Cates and Carman. The terrible screaming brought Messrs, Sheets and Sturling each living 20 rods away on each side of the river. But scarcely a riffle told them of the terrible disaster when they got there, 5 or 10 minutes after they heard the screaming. Anson Carman soon let them know where he was by his screams, and ropes were thrown out and he was brought ashore. The alarm was soon spread and hundreds of people flocked to the scene and the search. Mr. Carman was about 60 years old, and he was frantic with grief over the awful calamity, Jay Carman was 35, and Cates about 40. Last evening the body of the old lady was found and this morning Jay's was found. The others were not found at last reports. The bodies were found downstream nearly half a mile. The team and wagons were also dragged out. The three bodies were buried to-day. The Carman's came into that neighborhood two years ago. There were 6 or 7 voters among them, all men of means and influence. One is the partner in the sop business with John Stultz. All the unfortunates were highly esteemed and their sad ending has cast a terrible gloom over the entire neighborhood. The Dawson ford is a specially mean one, 3 or 4 teams and several lives have been lost there before."

Word has come to Hebron by letter that the other bodies were all found. The bodies of Mrs. Jay and Mrs. James Carman were kept until their brothers, who went from here arrived. The bodies were in a good state of preservation.

Newspaper: Porter County Vidette
Date of Publication: July 30, 1885
Volume Number: 29
Issue Number: 31
Page: 4
Column(s): 3 and 4

Key to Newspaper Publication Locations:
    Newspapers Published in Chesterton, Porter County, Indiana
                Chesterton Tribune
                The Tribune
                Westchester Tribune

    Newspapers Published in Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana
                Porter County Vidette
                Practical Observer
                Valparaiso Practical Observer
                Vidette and Republic
                Western Ranger

The obituaries and death notices appearing on this website have been transcribed exactly as they were originally published in the newspaper. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of obituaries and death notices appearing on this website.

Obituary/death notice transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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