Cincinnati, OH Boating Accident, Aug 1870


The Cincinnati Enquirer of the 20th says:
"Yesterday five boys, CONRAD FISCHER, aged sixteen, son of DR. VALENTINE FISCHER, No. 125 Laurel street; JAMES MOORE, aged sixteen, son of MR. R. B. MOORE; EDWARD BARTON, aged sixteen, and JOHN BARTON, aged ten, sons of MR. B. BARTON, No. 114 Laurel street, and ELIAS GREGG, son of MR. E. C. GREGG, No. 121 Laurel street, procured a skiff at Newport, and went rowing up the Licking for a distance of nearly four miles. Satisfied with their day's sport they started homeward, and at about 4 o'clock rounded out of the mouth of the Licking and headed up for Newport, hugging the Kentucky shore to avoid the current. Just above the United States Barracks there are at this season always lying a number of empty coal barges, in charge of a boatman named SPROUT, under which and along whose sides the current sweeps with tremendous force. For some reason our fated young voyagers turned in toward shore across the front of one of these barges, and were immediately drawn under the slanting bow. Conjecture must here supply the place of fact as to the exact nature of the accident which followed, for all the survivor, young FISCHER, can tell, is that all imagined that they were about to be drawn under the barge, and endeavored to shove the skiff off. FISCHER, who was terribly excited last night, and scarcely able to go into details, says that he then dived out of the boat, under the corner of the barge, and came up on its outside, when he began swimming for his life down toward the lower shore of the Licking, near which he was picked up in an exhausted condition by SPROUT and a fisherman, the only person who had, as is supposed, actually witnessed the casualty, and who last night could not be found. FISCHER says that he heard a shout, he thinks from MOORE, and as he came up heard cries for help. SPROUT, who was close by, heard nothing, and only became aware of the accident by finding the skiff drifting bottom upwards at the foot of the barge, and then saw FISCHER swimming across the mouth of the Licking, and nearly gone. This boatman has saved many lives already in this vicinity, and had he heard the first cries for help, the result might have been less sad. As it was, the hat of one of the BARTON boys was alone found floating near by to tell his fate and that of his three comrades. All were undoubtedly swept under the barge at once, their efforts to keep the skiff off having probably upset her. The affair has cast a gloom over the neighborhood where the boys lived close together, and where they were well known. We understand that a liberal reward will be paid for any inteligence that will lead to the recovery of the bodies, if left at the City Engineer's office. The immediate finding of the remains of any at the present stage of the river is very uncertain, but it is though they may come ashore near Anderson's Ferry."

The New York Times New York 1870-08-22