Chicago, IL Auto Plunges Into River, Nov 1909





Chicago, Nov. 8. - With no bodies recovered at a late hour tonight of the victims of the automobile which plunged into the Chicago River at Jackson Boulevard Drawbridge Sunday night, the identity of persons who lost their lives still is unknown.
ERNEST CAMP, twenty-two years old, a chauffeur, is believed to have been one of the victims. He was employed by J. W. Schreffler, and the wrecked automobile, dragged from the river today, proved to be this machine. CAMP, it is believed now, took a party of men and women from Van Buren Street and Wabash Avenue last night with directions to drive them to some point on the west side of the city. He had an engagement to meet a party of women at a downtown theater, and has not been seen since.
Many rumors of missing persons were run down by the police today in an effort to find some clue to the identity of the river victims, but no definite information was learned.
The police ceased dragging for bodies at sunset. As the current in the river is flowing at the rate of six miles an hour toward the drainage canal. It is expected that the bodies will be found in the canal within a few days.
Late tonight relatives reported to the police the disappearance of MAX COHEN, a cigar dealer who conducted a store at 514 West Van Buren Street, and MISS BEATRICE SHAPIRO, who lived at 1102 South Paulina Street. COHEN and MISS SHAPIRO were friends and are believed to have been together Sunday night.
COHEN did not appear today to open his store and MISS SHAPIRO did not return to her home. N. M. Cohen, brother of the missing man, believes that his brother and MISS SHAPIRO were in the automobile that plunged into the river. That COHEN had engaged an automobile in the downtown district Sunday night could not be established.

Not A Salt Lake Man.
It was at first thought that the automobile belonged to James E. Cosgriff of Salt Lake City, Utah, who left the Congress Hotel with a party of friends a short time before the accident occurred on the way to the union station, but it was later learned that the Congriff party were safe and that the machine belonged to J. W. Schreffler. It is said to be one of two machines he has for hire, and was in charge of ERNEST CAMP. Mr. Schreffler was unable to locate the car today and feared that the machine belonged to him.
An early clue that the victims of the accident might have been the Congriff party was absolutely disproved today by R. P. Thompson, treasurer of the Union Stock Yards and Transit Company a friend of James K. Congriff. Mr. Thompson declared that Mr. Cosgriff and his friends left Chicago on the Los Angeles Limited at 10 p.m. last night for Rawlins, Wyo., where Mr. Congriff is to address a convention of wool-growers tomorrow.
The most plausible theory regarding the accident is that CAMP, whose stand was at Van Buren Street and Michigan Avenue, had been engaged by a party to make a sight-seeing trip of the city and that while on the way to the west side of the city had driven the car into the river. A heavy rain was falling at the time, and it is thought CAMP was unable to distinguish objects distinctly. CAMP'S home was in the south, and it was learned that his mother was expected here next week to live with him.
The accident is similar to two previous ones which have occurred here within the last few years and which resulted in the loss of four lives. On August 17, 1904, a car containing a woman and three men plunged over the south abutment of the Rush Street Bridge. All were rescued, but one of the victims subsequently died. The following year a car containing five persons went into the river at the bridge from the north side. Three of the party were drowned.

Nebraska State Journal Lincoln 1909-11-09