----- ............Cemetery Walk: An afternoon of discovery! Every stone has a story. And they are waiting to be told........... -----

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Mary's Autograph Book - Part 4

Death of Mary's son, Warren Fay.

Recap of Mary's children:
  • Helen V.: 1891 – 1891 [in same lot with Mary, Robinson & Warren]
  • Sidney Hill: 1888 - 1976
  • Warren Fay: 1892 - 1909 [drowned]
  • Leo Vern: 1894 - 1979

Drowns in the Pond

W. F. Bramwell Sinks While Friends on Shore Look On

At Stevens Place Saturday Evening, Occurs First Fatality in Fifteen Years

Brave Attempt at Rescue

Owner’s Son Jumps in, Clothes and All, But in Vain

A Poor Swimmer, the Boy Loses Plank, Use While in Deep Water

The first fatality in fifteen years at Stevens swimming pond happened Saturday evening when W. F. Bramwell, 17 years old, son of Robert Bramwell, a wealthy farmer residing near Darlow, drowned. With others at the bank watching his efforts to save himself in ten foot of water, the body sank for the fourth time before he could be rescued.

When his body was finally recovered after about four minutes by Otto Stevens, son of the owner of the pond, the body was worked on a half hour in an attempt to revive but he was already drowned. In view of the sad mishap, the ponds were closed all day yesterday. The smaller one will be open tonight and the large one, tomorrow night.

Bramwell was with a party of friends. They had been dancing. He was the only person in the water at the time. He was not a good swimmer and had been warned by his friends, it is said, not to go in the deep pond but to content himself with the smaller one.

Bramwell was pushing a plank ahead of him and paddling with his feet. As he got out in the middle of the pond where the water is deep, the plank slipped from his grasp and was gone. The boy immediately went under, came to the surface and went under again.

Those on the bank were watching the boy but imagined that he was playing until he came up a second time. Then Otto Stevens was hurriedly called. When he heard the facts he rushed to the water and jumped in, shoes and all. By this time the boy had sunk. It took two dives to recover the body. Stevens himself, came near sinking, with the combined weight of his clothing and the boy.

The boy’s home is in the country near Harmony church. The funeral was held this morning from that place.

The drowning is the first that has happened at the Stevens pond since it was opened. Care is exercised for the protection of swimmer. Additional safeguards are to be provided in ropes to be stretched across the deep places in the pond. About five times as many swimmers patronize Stevens pond as swim in the river and creek and there have been about twelve drownings in the latter places.

Hutchinson News 7/12/1909


Funeral of Fay Bramwell

More details of the Drowning of the Darlow Boy

The funeral of Fay Bramwell, the young man who was drowned at Stevens pond last Saturday night, took place in Fairview Cemetery Monday afternoon. Previous to the interment a service was held in the Harmony Baptist Church, of which the deceased was a member for the last six years.

The building was crowded, many being unable to gain admittance. The program of the service was arranged by Brother Jim Fisher of Ottawa, who is visiting the home church, the following taking part in the service: Choir, Mesdames Lyman and Switzer, Edna Freeman and Massrs G. Freeman, Lyman, Givens and Fisher, Mrs. Ottie Umstot presiding at the organ. Miss Freeman and Mrs. Switzer feelingly rendered a duet, “The Christian’s Good Night”. The Rev. Schull, Methodist pastor at Elmer read the scripture lesson, John 11: 47-55. Rev. Looney of Burrton, a former pastor, offered prayer, and the sermon text, John 11:50, was preached by Rev. T. Neale of Hutchinson, a former pastor. At the close of the sermon prayer was offered by Brother Fisher, who then read a letter written by Fred Williams to his mother, Mrs. Walter Williams, who lives in Missouri.

After describing Fay’s visit to town and their trip out to Stevens pond, Fred continued:
“We went in to swim, but instead of staying in the little pond we went to the big one. First, I got out too far, and Fay and Clarence Rexroad caught hold my hands to help me. I caught hold of Fay’s hand and he said something to me. I don’t know just what he said, but “let go” was all the words I caught. They were the last words he spoke.”

“I let go and gave him a push toward the bank. He was standing on the bottom with his head out of the water when I pushed him, and I went out farther into the pond than Fay did. Fay was then seized with the cramp and he went down without saying a word. I think he was dead when he went down.”

“I was in water about ten feet deep when it happened. I got on top and swam toward the bank, where I was helped out by another man. I was nearly exhausted and they got Fay out in two or three minutes. His body was limber when we got him out of the water, but we couldn’t give him up, so we worked with him ten minutes before the doctor got there but it was too late.”

“He is better off than we are; it was God’s will, and Fay’s time to go. We will only try to meet him on that other shore, where there is no more sorrow.”

“He is to be buried tomorrow (Monday) at 2 o’clock. The cousins have decided to be the pallbearers; they are Ray, Robert, Holmes, Herman, Chester and myself. I don’t know whether we can stand it or not, but we are going to do our best.”

“Aunt Mollie and grandma take it very hard, but I think Aunt Mollie’s worst is over. Uncle Rob can hardly give him up yet.”

“Our plans are all broken up. I stayed at grandma’s Saturday night. There has been a crowd of people here all day (Sunday).”

“You must not worry or weep, because God knows what he is doing; if he did not, he would not let this have happened. You need not look for me for a couple of weeks now. Fay was my best cousin and friend, it doesn’t seem that he can be dead; he looks so natural, just as if he was about ready to laugh and talk. Papa will tell you all the details of the funeral.

After viewing the remains the cortege proceeded to the cemetery where Brother Neale read the scripture portion and Brother Fisher sang a committal verse and then closed with prayer and benediction. There was a large collection of beautiful flowers from the relatives, friends, Sunday School, women’s societies and neighbors.

Hutchinson News 7/13/1909

Fairview Cemetery

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