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: Mr. Ringland, in company with the Muscleman Bros., old Mr. McKay, a Mr. Hatfield and several others, were out fishing with a sein. As they were approaching Mr. J.A. Barson’s farm in their course down the river, they came in sight of some ladies still further down. Mr. Ringland proposed to the boys to have a little fun at the women’s expense by making them believe that he was drowning. He carried out his design at the cost of his life, for when he was drowning he called for help and the twelve persons who witnessed the awful scene only thought he was fooling, and before they fully realized his peril he had sank for the last time. His excited companions could not find him for 20 or 30 minutes. He was brought to the surface by a young man by the name of Hatfield. It was about one and a half hours before a doctor was on the ground. Every available means was applied to resuscitate him, but of no avail. Mr. Ringland leaves a large family to mourn his loss. They were telegraphed to immediately to know what to do with the remains. An answer was received on Sunday evening to ship them to his bereaved family. They went on the evening train east Monday. The Newton Kansan, Newton Kansas. Thursday, July 1, 1880. Page 3.
Thomas A. Ringland enlisted in Company C, Illinois 2nd Cavalry Regiment on 12 Aug 1861 as a Bugler, serving in the Civil War until he was mustered out 11 Aug 1864. He was 45 years and 27 days old at the time of his death. He is buried in the Forest City Cemetery in Forest City, Illinois, next to his wife, Emelia.