Tragic Endings: Drownings In Harvey County, Kansas

Harvey County is one of the smallest counties in Kansas, and watersports is not our primary attraction.  Our rivers are more like creeks and our lakes are more like large mudholes.  Nevertheless, our residents have suffered tragic deaths due to drowning in bathtubs, drainage ditches, water wells, creeks, rivers, farm ponds, and small lakes.  Several have drowned during flood events.

Those included in this list are connected to Harvey County in a variety of ways – many drownings happened here and some were Harvey County victims who drowned elsewhere.  Some made Harvey County their final resting place.

This page is dedicated to the memory of those whose lives were effected by these tragic endings in Harvey County. 

Robert Eugene Page

Toddler Drowns In A Bathtub.  Robert Eugene Page, 11-month-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Virgil Page, Newton, drowned Monday in the bathtub at his home.  The child's mother said she had left him in the house while she burned some trash and then chatted with some neighbors. ...

James Robert Young

James Robert Young, 9, Hollister, Mo., drowned Monday at Courtney Davis Lake, north of Wichita.  The boy was vising his grandparents in Wichita, Mr. and Mrs. R.T. Young.  He had been fishing off a bridge with his grandmother but apparently wandered down the bank,...

Unknown Boy

Young Newton Boy Drowns In Creek.  A young boy apparently drowned in Slate Creek in Newton Thursday after he fell from his bicycle into the water during a heavy rain storm.  The victim was not identified but was believed to have been around six years old.  The...

Carl Sellens

Youth Drowns.  Carl, 9-year-old son of Mr. and Mr. Henry M. Sellens of Nevada, Mo., was drowned in Yentruoc Lake near Newton Saturday night.  His body was recovered Sunday afternoon.  The Atchison Daily Globe, Atchison, Kansas.  Monday, July 12, 1948.  Page...

Robert George Parker

Sgt. Robert Parker Was Drowned Former Newton Man Met Death in North Carolina.  Staff Sgt. Robert G. Parker was accidentally drowned off the beach of Camp Davis, North Carolina, relatives were advised by the War Department today.  A former resident of Newton, Sgt....

Earl Abbey

Word was received here today that Earl Abbey, son of Mrs. F. L. Abbey of Newton was drowned in the gulf at Port Arthur, Texas, Sunday attempting to save a man who was struggling against the undertow. Abbey rushed into the water in his clothing and was dragged under....

Richard Wayne Fast

Boy, 4, Drowns In Sand Creek Body of Dickie Fast Found By Rescue Workers Two Hours Later.  Pulmotor is Used.  Children Had Been Playing Near the Water at Athletic Park.  Dickie Fast, four-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank B. Fast, Santa Fe apartments, 400 West...

Robert Marshall Plummer

Boy Drowned Sad Accident Was Endeavoring to Swim from Boat to Shore When Taken With Cramps.  All Newton was shocked and the hearts of all the people of the city beat in sympathy with the parents when it was learned this morning that Mr. and Mrs. W. C. Plummer's son...

Abraham Dick

A Ride To Death Over Classen's Dam Yesterday morning about 10 o’clock while boating above the dam at Claassen’s mill, eighteen miles northwest of here, Jacob Riesen, aged 21 and Abram Dick, aged 20, being unable to swim and the suction just below the dam being too...

Jakob Riesen

A Ride To Death Over Classen's Dam Yesterday morning about 10 o’clock while boating above the dam at Claassen’s mill, eighteen miles northwest of here, Jacob Riesen, aged 21 and Abram Dick, aged 20, being unable to swim and the suction just below the dam being too...

Daughter Bascom

The two-year-old daughter of Oliver Bascom of Sedgwick City was drowned Friday afternoon (Aug. 27) in a water tank on the Hurd Ranch.  The Newton Daily Republican, Newton Kansas.  Monday, August 30, 1886.  Page 4. This girl and her burial location is unknown.  If she...

Christopher Johnson

Drowned While Swimming Christopher Johnson, a Santa Fe Employe, Meets his death at Emporia.    Christopher Johnson, employed in the water service department of the Santa Fe, was drowned in the Cottonwood River near Emporia Saturday afternoon.  Johnson came to this...

Nicholas Tase

Last week Ernest Wetzel, of Newton, went to Wabaunsee county to visit his brother-in-law, Nicholas Tase.  Last Friday (February 25, 1881) the two men went to Alma and while returning home at night in attempting to cross Mill creek a cake of ice struck the wagon in...

Thomas A. Ringland

A man by the name of Ringland, whose family resides near Forest City, Illinois, was drowned near this place, in the Little Arkansas river, between the hours of 4 and 5 o'clock P.M., on Saturday the 26th day of June, the circumstances of which are substantially these: ...

Mattie Lathan

On Sunday Frank Lathan, thirteen years old, and Mattie Lathan, ten years old, children of Henry Lathan, who lives one mile south of Sedgwick City, were both drowned in crossing the Little River at Fry's ford.  See our Sedgwick City correspondence for particulars.  The...

Frank Lathan

On Sunday Frank Lathan, thirteen years old, and Mattie Lathan, ten years old, children of Henry Lathan, who lives one mile south of Sedgwick City, were both drowned in crossing the Little River at Fry's ford.  See our Sedgwick City correspondence for particulars.  The...

Bertie Vetter

On Thursday of last week (August 9, 1877), a party of little boys went to the pond on Dr. Floyd's place to fish and swim. They had been about the pond for two hours, when James Johnson, a young man working for Dr. Floyd, heard an unusual noise at the water and looking...

John Kelly

John Kelly, aged about 11, was drowned in White Water creek last week while herding cattle.  The Harvey County News, Newton, Kansas.  Thursday, June 21, 1877.  Page 3.

William C. Van Horn

T.B. Van Horn's son was drowned Sunday in a slough one mile south of Halstead.  The Harvey County News, Newton, Kansas.  Thursday, May 24, 1877.  Page 2. William "Willie" C. Van Horn was the son of Thomas B. & Ara Anne Van Horn of Halstead.  His birth date is unknown,...

Eli Dodge

Drowned.  Tuesday forenoon of this week (June 15, 1875), Eli Dodge, aged about fifteen years, and whose parents reside four miles northwest of Halstead, was drowned about a mile above the mill dam at Halstead. His mother and brother were near by at the time, and it is...

H.K. Packer’s Horse

Last Sunday, H. K. Packer, living a few miles northwest of this place, lost a fine grey horse.  He was lariated out, and becoming entangled in the rope he fell in about six inches of water and was drowned.  The Newton Kansan, Newton, Kansas.  Thursday, July 17, 1873. ...

W. H. Kain

Drowned W.H. Kain, for some time a resident of El Dorado, was drowned in the West Branch of Whitewater last Thursday.  It seems that he was on his way to Newton to buy some property there.  He had a span of mules hitched to a spring wagon and succeeded in getting over...

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