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River's End. Mishaps on the Lower Columbia River in the 1880s and 1890s

Collected by Liisa Penner

Articles from Astoria newspapers

The water at the mouth of the Columbia River is cold. Temperatures range from the forties in winter to the sixties in summer (Fahrenheit). For the man who falls off a boat into the water now, the experience is frightening and miserable, but help is usually soon on the way. Lightweight clothing, life jackets and flotation devices keep him boyant while the radio on board his boat sends out distress calls to the Coast Guard who dispatch helicopters and boats to locate and pluck him out of the water.

No radios or helicopters or or boats of the modern Coast Guard rescued the man who was thrown overboard in the 1800s. Few ever survived. Heavy clothing, quickly water-soaked, pulled the victims under the surface before anyone nearby could help. Some managed to float for a while, waves slapping against their faces, the cold paralyzing their limbs, their weakening cries for help going unheeded or unheard until they too sank down into the water.

How dangerous was it to work on the river in the 1880s and 1890s? The following articles from the Astoria newspapers reveal a past many have forgotten or may have never known. The articles that appear here are only a small portion of the total number.

Abbreviations of the names of local newspapers

DA = Daily Astorian
WA = Weekly Astorian
DMA = Daily Morning Astorian
ADB = Astoria Daily Budget
MA = Morning Astorian

Many exaggerated statements were afloat yesterday concerning the loss of boats, nets and men fishing, night before last. We could not get reliable data to base anything like a correct report upon. No doubt some persons lost their lives, but as to who they were, or to what cannery they belonged, etc., we are still unable to say.

The body which was brought to Astoria by the steamer Quickstep yesterday is supposed to be the remains of Mr. A.C. Slippen, whose loss was noted in THE ASTORIAN of the 23d ult., when he attempted to go from Astoria to Deep river in a small boat. He leaves a family in Washington territory. The body was found floating, standing erect in the water, the breast, shoulders and head just above the water, his hat still on. The remains were taken in charge by officers at the morgue, for christian burial. May 5, 1880 DA

Monday night was a bitter night for the fishermen. Mr. Joseph Hume's steamer Quickstep arrived from Knappton yesterday at half past nine o'clock A.M., with her colors at half-mast, which drew a crowd of people together at the landing. Capt. Turner had the body of a man on board which he had picked up afloat in the bay, and two of Devlin and company's boats in tow, one of which was swamped. He reported one of the Astoria Fishing company's boats ashore at Chinook, and the net on the sands; and had information from Capt. Pease, of the Edith, that one of Booth and company's and one of Badollet and company's boats were lost. May 5, 1880 DA

The most reliable reports concerning disasters to fishing boats night before last, comes from Capt. W.P. Whitcomb of the steamer Gen. Canby, who says that four boats came into Baker's bay without men or gear, yesterday morning. One other boat of the Aberdeen Packing company had not been heard from at noon; one of the same companys boats attempted to get into Wallicut, capsized, and one of the men was drowned. Four other boats were reported by reliable persons in the breakers, swamped, without men in them, half a mile below Scarboro hill. The men are possibly on shore, with their nets, and safe. At least it is hoped so. May 5, 1880 DA

Great Loss of Life and Property.

Joseph Hume has picked up a large yellow boat. Kinney's No. 6 is reported to have lost one man. Peter J. Blagan, an independent fisherman is reported lost. Two of J.G. Megler & Co.'s boats are supposed to be among the fleet lost. Wm. Hume's No. 10, Mr. Geo. Adams, a noble good man, is reported lost. There is no telling the amount of damages, nor loss of life by the storm of Tuesday night. All sorts of rumors are afloat. We give only such as we feel justified in placing any confidence in. The Anglo-American Packing company's No. 11 drifted out to sea. Men and gear supposed to be lost. Two boats and nets were picked up yesterday morning afoul of the barkentine North Bend, lying at Grays dock. Many boats came in yesterday without a fish and the men in them were thankful that they had saved their lives. The steamers Katata, Edith and Rip Van Winkle, had a sorry time of it trying to lay at anchor near Sand Island. Mr. Kyle and partner report that they, with others, were two days on Sand Island, no food, fire nor other comforts. Hans Hansen of Geo. W. Hume's No. 28 is reported lost; also Henry Heinson of boat 32, same cannery. Jas. Hansen of 32 was saved. A few weather bound fishermen return grateful thanks for generous hospitalities extended to them by members of Hapgoods boats at Tongue point yesterday morning. Mr. Acklan reports seeing two men on the bottom of a blue boat, lead colored bottom, nearing the breakers yesterday morning. He could do nothing to save the men, and they bid him farewell by tipping their hats as they entered the jaws of death. It is said that one of the Eagle boats in charge of big Mike (name unknown to us) picked up the crews of two lost boats and put into a safe place above Tongue point. During the night a drift log struck Mike's boat, and the six men drowned. May 7, 1880 WA.

The story about one of the Aberdeen Packing company's fishermen swimming two miles and getting ashore with his clothing on, has been corroborated. It is a fact. The boat was two miles from shore when she capsized, and the anchor falling out, anchored the boat where it went over. The man whose name we cannot ascertain, started for shore, and got in near the Wallicut and lived. His partner was drowned. May 14, 1880 WA

[On the effect of alcohol on the loss of the lives of fishermen, one correspondent to the newspaper said:] ...Sleepiness (caused in part by the use of liquors) is the most prolific cause of fatal casualties [to fishermen]. How many times have you old fishermen seen a boat drifting out toward the bar and not a man to be seen in her? Was it not because they were asleep in the bottom of the boat? May 14, 1880 WA

Cook's fishing boat, No. 23, and the net was picked up yesterday in the vicinity of Sand Island, and it is feared that the captain and his assistant are lost. The captain of this boat was Mr. Andrew Gill, one of the oldest and most reliable fishermen on the river. We hope that the fears respecting his loss may prove to be unfounded. His parents and wife live in this city. May 14, 1880 WA

Promptings for the sake of humanity would seem to suggest that there should be a signal station at Astoria to give fishermen warning of approaching storms, if for no other purpose. May 14, 1880 WA

Mr. J. L. Stout, of Ocean View, three miles north of Ilwaco, reported the finding of the body of a man in the surf, half a mile south of his house. An inquest was held and the jury returned a verdict of death by accidental drowning. The age of the person was supposed to be between forty and fifty years, and appeared to have been in the water about three weeks. The description is as follow: length of corpse: five feet ten inches, with large mustache, small goatee, high forehead, small ears, having on an oil coat, heavy blue flannel shirt, black pilot cloth coat, broad striped undershirt, light flannel shirt with various colored stripes, two pairs overalls, blue and brown, No. eight gum boots, heavy flannel scarf around the neck with stripes of three or four colors. In the pockets were found a knife with two blades, point of large one broken and a copper piece of French coin. The body was given Christian burial about one-half a mile south of the residence of Mr. J. L. Stout. After the ceremony, it was resolved that J. D. Holman be appointed to report the facts as above to THE ASTORIAN. The coin, knife and scarf may be seen at the house of Mr. Holman at Ilwaco. May 26, 1880 DA

Watson's No. 10 boat was capsized Saturday, but the men were not drowned as reported. They returned to the city yesterday, and we are informed both boat and net were saved. One of the men had a very close call; he was entangled in the net about fifteen minutes. May 26, 1880 DA

Information is wanted of a young man named Morrison. His father, Captain John B. Morrison of Oakland, Alameda county, California, formerly in Simpson Bro's employment, writes to say that his son left San Francisco to go fishing. He was in Astoria two weeks before the late storm when so many fishermen were drowned. Since then he has not been heard from and his father and mother are very anxious to ascertain if he be alive or not. If any one can give any information, they will confer a favor to him by leaving word at THE DAILY ASTORIAN. May 26, 1880 DA

In reply to an item published in THE DAILY ASTORIAN of Wednesday last, concerning the whereabouts of a son of Capt. John B. Morrison of Oakland, Cal., we have received the following note from J.O. Spencer, of Clifton, Oregon: "Donald Morrison was here from the 17th to the 20th of May and said he was pulling boat in Astoria at the time of the storm. His partner was drowned, and he was saved by the Rip Van Winkle. He left here on the 20th for Knappa, Oregon, expecting to find work in a logging camp. He was satisfied with his fishing experience and didn't wish to continue. Have not heard of him since. He may be the one Capt. Morrison of Oakland, Cal, is inquiring about; if so, he is alive and apparently in good health. May 28, 1880 DA

Who Will Bury the Dead?

The following communication has been handed to us for publication. If the facts are as therein stated, it seems to us that any resident along the weather beach or the river shore line finding a corpse ought immediately after finding it to do as was done in the case of the dead man found near Mr. J. L. Stout's residence, on the weather beach, as reported a few days ago in THE ASTORIAN,--hold an inquest, even if it is an informal one, for the purpose of identifying the corpse, if possible and then give it a decent burial and make public the facts.

ASTORIA, May 27, 1880.

We would like to call your attention and the attention of this community to the following facts: You will remember reporting the fact of one of the fishermen of the Aberdeen Packing company and his boat puller being capsized in the late storm, and of the boat puller being drowned and the fisherman swimming some two miles and landing on Sweeney's beach in Washington territory. Now, what we wish to call your attention to is this fact: That the body of the dead boat puller of that boat washed up on the beach a few hundred yards from Sweeney's house on the 14th day of this month, thirteen days ago, and still remains there decomposing in the sun, and food for carrion birds. I would ask you is this a Christian land? One of the proprietors of the cannery for which he was working knows of the body being there, and has said that the company had no time to give the body burial. We simply ask for this space in your valuable columns, so that some one who has a Christian heart in that section of the country may read it and go and perform the last sad rites for one whose parents and kindred are all in a distant land.

May 29, 1880 DA

Death in the Breakers.

Mr. J. Kelley, an intimate friend of the late Louis C. Webber, informs us that we were in error in stating that Webber, who in THE ASTORIAN reported drowned on Thursday last, was a German. He informs us that Webber was born in Baltimore, was of Irish descent, and a shoemaker by trade. He has lived a long time in Portland and wore on his vest to his death, a badge of his membership in Wallamet engine company No. 1, of Portland. Webber was lately working at his trade in Leinenweber and Co.'s boot and shoe factory at upper Astoria, but had quit that employment to take his chances of making more money at fishing during the salmon season. On Thursday morning last, he and Tom Johnson, who fished with him for A. Booth & Co.'s cannery, drifted down with the tide with their net out until they had reached a point in the north channel a considerable distance beyond the cape, far out on the bar, and near the western curve of the middle sands. They allowed the net to drift on out, expecting the turn of the tide to drift it back toward them, and then, as usual, they would commence to take up and remove the salmon to the boat. At about 10:45 A.M., Thursday, the 27th inst., Webber being at the tiller and Johnson handling the net, the latter suddenly exclaimed: "Louis, we must get out of this, the fish are striking." (The salmon, touching and striking the ground and their struggling causing a peculiar tugging at the net, showed Johnson that they were getting into shoal water. They were then in about three fathoms.) Webber said "Oh, let her stop here." Almost immediately after, they heard a low moaning noise, and Webber sung out to his companion, who had let go of his net and seized his oars, "head her for the breaker!" which by this time had assumed shape and was rapidly nearing their boat, gaining in size and strength, and rapidity as it approached. In attempting to turn the boat to the now coming breaker that she might meet it head on, one of the oars broke in Johnson's hands, and the remorseless wave struck the broadside of the boat, lifting it on to its crest, turning it over and over as if it had been a cork, leaving both men to struggle for life's breath in the seething waters. Webber was washed out first. Johnson tried to maintain his hold of the boat, but, owing to its rotary motion, he was compelled to let go. The breaker having spent its force, the surface of the water to which both men had arisen, became comparatively smooth. Johnson is a good swimmer, and on looking around, he saw Webber also struggling above water near enough to hear him exclaim, "Tom for God's sake, save me!" He answered, "I will, Louis." Johnson had by this time succeeded in divesting himself of his heavy flannel shirts and was trying to remove his long gum boots which he found a more difficult task. He could do nothing toward saving his companion with these on. He then saw the boom they used for their sail floating toward Webber and told him to seize it, and soon one of the Columbia Canning Co.'s boats (which was making toward them) would pick him up. This boat soon reached Johnson, but he told the men in it not to mind him but to go for Louis who was further in the breakers than he was. Just then the second heavy breaker was fast coming, rolling relentlessly along toward the struggling man, and it would have been at the risk of almost certain death to themselves had the new comers approached the spot nearer. They would only wait to see if the poor fellow would be allowed one more chance for his life after being engulfed the second time. They could do nothing more just then. They saw the cruel wave near its crested head, and drawing the now helpless man in with the undertow, it lifted him up and then broke over him. After this they saw him no more, and it is probable that that is the last of Louis C. Webber until "the sea shall give up the dead that are in it." Johnson was picked up by the men in the Columbia Canning company's boat and with their assistance, he recovered both his boat and net. From the latter they took between seventy and eighty salmon, forty of which he turned over to the men who had aided him in recovering the property and saving his life.

Mr. Webber had been married but a few short months and the sincere sympathy of the community is extended to the widow in her sad bereavement. May 30, 1880 DA

The body of a drowned man was found floating near the Farmers dock yesterday, by Capt. Phil Johnson. It was conveyed to the undertakers where Coroner Turlay held an inquest on the body which was identified as that of John Francis, a Russian Fin, aged about forty years. The inquest not being concluded we have no further particulars. June 3, 1880 DA

The Coroner's jury summoned to inquire into the cause of the death of John Francis, whose body was found near the Farmer's dock, after a session lasting nearly all of yesterday, found a majority verdict that the deceased came to his death by violence at the hands of some person or persons to them unknown. June 4, 1880 DA

Arrested for Murder.

Yesterday morning Chief of Police Barry and Officer Murphy arrested John Christiansen and Lawrence Larsen at the cannery of Badollet & Co., on suspicion of being the murderers of John Francis, whose corpse was found in the river near the Farmers dock on Wednesday last. As the preliminary examination of the prisoners will be held to-day, we forbear mentioning any of the particulars which have led to the arrest of the persons named. June 4, 1880 DA [There was not enough evidence against them and the two men were released.]

In reference to the statement that the bodies of fishermen, drowned during the late gale, had been cast upon Chinook point by the waves and were being torn to pieces by the vultures and gulls, the Portland Bee says Mr. Leinenweber, of Astoria, makes the following explanation: "A fisherman, belonging to the Aberdeen Packing company was washed overboard and drowned. In course of time the body came ashore about fifteen miles from Astoria, on the Washington territory side. Word was sent to the Aberdeen company that the body of one of their men had been washed ashore, and a request that it be given decent burial. The answer from the company was that they had no time to attend to the matter. In consequence the body lay for some time exposed to the elements and ravages of the vultures, as stated. The body was on the Washington territory shore, outside of the jurisdiction of the Clatsop county coroner and far from the people of Astoria, and no blame can be attached to them. The Aberdeen Packing company alone are to blame for the outrageous affair, and such inhumanity is deserving of severe condemnation. June 6, 1880 DA [B.A. Seaborg was the Finnish owner and manager of the Aberdeen Packing Company.]

The body of an unknown man was found floating in the river yesterday morning, and was picked up by the steamer Canby which brought it ashore, and the remains were conveyed to Franklin's undertaker's shop. It had evidently been in the water a long time as the features were unrecognizable. In a wallet found in his pocket was found a Big Rapid, Michigan hospital certificate containing the name of Leander Matson. June 8, 1880 DA

A little boy aged seven or eight years, a son of a Russian-Finn named Grinnell, was accidentally drowned in the Nehalem river at Mishawaka, on the 3d instant. It is the first death in that settlement for fourteen years. June 10, 1880 DA [He was Joseph, son of Britta and Joseph Gronnell.]

It is more than probable that two more fishermen lost their lives yesterday morning. Drayman, who was saved by the Mary Taylor, asserts that he saw a light in another boat about an hour before daylight. The last he saw of it was close to the whistling buoy, that shortly afterwards the bar began breaking heavily and they must have drifted, he says, where no power on earth could save them. June 11, 1880 DA

It is our sad duty to announce that two more have been added to the already long list of drowned fishermen this year. Mr. A.T. Brakke, of the Fishermen's Packing company, informs us that Thomas Bell and his boat puller, Charles Williams went out on Tuesday afternoon and have not been seen since. Yesterday Frank Johnson brought up their boat, which belonged to Mr. Brakke, in a wrecked condition. It had been picked up by Mr. Smith off Fort Stevens with nothing whatever in it, and there is but the shadow of a doubt that the unfortunate men are lost. Bell was a steady, sober man, much respected and one of the best fishermen on the river. Rumors of other fishing disasters are afloat, which we hope will not prove true. Thomas Sands and his brother, fishing for the Fishermen's Packing company went out on Tuesday, same time as Bell and Williams, and had not reported up to Friday evening. June 12, 1880 DA

Early morning as Capt. Deshon, of the Mary Taylor, was going out over the bar with building material and supplies for Tillamook rock, he saw two fishing boats fast drifting, in spite of every effort put forth by the men in them, into the breakers. With commendable promptitude, he went to their relief, and not a moment too soon to save four men's lives, he succeeded in throwing them a line and towing them out of the jaws of death. Leonard Drayman, one of the men saved, desirous of expressing his gratitude called at our office and requested the insertion of the card of thanks to Capt. Deshon, which appears in another place. From him we obtained the following particulars. He and Chas. Stone fish for Geo. W. Hume. About half past five yesterday morning, they got caught in the strong ebb tide at the mouth of the river, and in spite of all their efforts they drifted out about two miles beyond the wreck of the Great Republic, and had it not been for Capt. Deshon, they and Dick Doyle, with another boat, must inevitably have been capsized and perished in the breakers. Drayman says that he believes that there must have been a sixteen knot current at the time for they had their sail set, fair wind and stiff breeze at that, anchor out with thirty fathom line, and they pulling with all their might and yet they could not stem the current. It is a mystery to us how it is that fishermen persist in placing themselves and their boats in a situation where they have to run such desperate chances, with only a chance of making a few dollars more than those who prefer to be on the safe side. June 13, 1880 DA

The body of another drowned man washed ashore at fort Stevens yesterday just as the tug was leaving. Dr. Baker informs us it had the appearance of having been in the water but a short time. On one arm was stamped three letters. A coroner was sent for and the body awaiting an inquest when the steamer left. June 17, 1880 DA

The Lost Fishermen

Mr. Weber furnishes the following list of men lost by the storms of the past season from the Columbia river fishing fleet:


One Hundred Dollars Reward.

The Hon. A.R. Burbank, of Lafayette, whose daughter, Eva, was lost in the surf off the beach beyond Ilwaco on the 15th while bathing, is there now and is making every possible endeavor to secure the body, and he has authorized THE ASTORIAN to offer a reward of one hundred dollars for the discovery of the remains. Aug. 22, 1880 DA

The Fatal Bar.


Columbia River Fisheries How Salmon are Caught and How Men Fish--The Chinese Element Etc.

San Francisco Chronicle, Sept. 4. [1880].

The business of fishing for salmon on the Columbia river is a very dangerous one, if the fishermen just returned from the canneries speak the truth. Some assume that as many as 350 fishermen lost their lives this season on the Columbia. The lowest estimate is furnished by William Johnson who puts the number of victims at 200. Thomas McKenna, alias "Brocky Tom No. 1," states that 250 fishermen were lost. Antone Bereta figures up the list of unfortunates at 300, while Stephen Ellis places it at 350. Ellis has fished for years on the Columbia. He has been employed at times by the fish commissioner to hatch out young salmon, and is regarded as an authority in piscatorial affairs. He states that the last season on the Columbia was a most disastrous one to all interested in it. The catching of fish commenced several weeks later than usual, and in consequence the canneries discharged the majority of their hands late in July.

The Fish Came up from the Sea

In such numbers that in the hyperbole of Ellis, "you could walk across the river on 'em. Hevins the wather was shtiff wid 'em" A strike of the fishermen seriously complicated matters, [?] that the canneries were totally unprepared to dispose of the great quantities of salmon taken. There was only a few weeks of the season left, and the hands could not be collected in time. The result was that thousands of fish were left to rot on the wharves until the overworked cannerymen found time to throw them back into the river. The fishermen could only dispose of a limited supply, so that at the height of the season, which they had hoped to prove a harvest, they were forced to remain idle. An hours work, sometimes fifteen minutes, supplied them with all the fish they could sell. One cast of the net actually brought up 700 salmon ranging from fifteen to 60 pounds and sufficient to load several boats. It was nothing unusual to throw back numbers of them into the stream and let them pursue their headlong way to the spawning grounds. Ellis, who has fished in various parts of the world and whose most distant recollections are of boats and nets says that he never saw anything like it.

Prodigious Run of Salmon

Both in their number and weight, nets used were 8 ½ and 8 3/4 inches in the mesh, so that a ten pound salmon could pass through without a moment's hesitation.

Over thirty million pounds of fish were nevertheless taken from April 1st to July 31st when the season closed. During the season of abundance few lives were lost, as there was no necessity to take any risks. Fish could be found in all parts of the stream. It was during the early part of the last season, when salmon were scarce, that the uneasy bar swallowed up its daily sacrifice. A few weeks of warm weather sent the snows into the Columbia in torrents and the great river rushed down to the ocean, swollen and turbulent. Great tracts were inundated and the tides affected. The latter disturbance of Nature was what proved fatal to the fishermen. They watch the tides carefully for at slack water the fish are easiest caught. Leaving their stations on the ebb tide, they shoot out their huge seines, 300 and 350 fathoms in length and drift down the river to be floated back on the flood. It is an important matter with them to know exactly when the tide shall turn.

The Best Fishing Ground

Is close to the bar, and they want to venture no farther. This year the tide table was not to be relied on. The great body of water thrown by the Columbia into the ocean delayed the floods, so that the fishermen were sometimes half an hour and an hour ahead of time. Believing that they were on the last of the ebb, they drifted down and found themselves close to the bar in a tide rushing out at the rate of eight knots an hour. To pull their heavy twenty-four foot boats against such a current was a feat few of them were capable of, and the only course open to the majority was to face death with fortitude. Others perished from the desire of gain. Some fishermen having a heavy boat would venture out on dangerous waters and return with a great catch of fish. Next day, others who had toiled for days, perhaps, with indifferent success, would follow the bad example, to be heard of no more. The majority of the fishermen are old sailors, and with the recklessness of their class, are disposed to

Take Desperate Chances.

This spirit of emulation proved fatal to many. Some fisherman, anxious to display his seamanship and bravery, would venture out farther than was safe. Some other aspirant for a small degree of fame along the wharves at Astoria would go still farther, and so the contest would proceed, until several canneries would be minus boats and nets. The majority, however, perished through fatal mistakes with regard to the tides. The great storm on the 2d of May swelled the list of casualties to an alarming size. Johnson and Ellis happened to be up the stream some distance; McKenna and Beretta were, however, close to the bar. The Italian, after a sharp run for his life, escaped to the shore, but McKenna was swept over the bar. Finding himself in the jaws of death, he seized the only chance left him, and in his open boat, stood straight out to sea. By this means he escaped immediate death, but nearly died of starvation, as he was three days outside the bar without food. He has fished for many years on the Columbia, but he says, "I've done with it; it's too risky for me." He asserts that in that memorable gale,

Sixty Men Were Lost.

"The cannery men," he assured a Chronicle reporter, "never report half the men lost. "All they care for is to get the boats back, and if they do, it's all right. If they don't, what's the good of ever talking about it. It won't get them the boat and it may keep away fishermen next year." This view to the matter is shared by Johnson, Ellis and Beretta. "Of course," said Ellis, "Tom ought to know better than I do how many men were drowned that night on the bar, for he was there, but the talk all along the river was that there were a hundred lost." The estimates of the fishermen may be exaggerated. It is characteristic of this class to treat figures in a very reckless manner, but the evidence is strong that numbers of accidents occurred on the Columbia that were never reported. Even placing the losses at 150, which is far below the lowest estimate furnished by the fishermen, the sacrifice of life is fearful. The cannery people say that they have no interest to subserve in suppressing the reports to accidents, and give all the information asked. Admitting this statement to be perfectly true, it is quite possible for the fishermen's stories to be correct. The official report of 1878-9 gives the number of boats belonging to the canneries at 800. There are over

Fourteen Hundred Boats Engaged

On the Columbia--some say sixteen hundred. Many farmers have several boats; and other parties own their own crafts and supply salmon to the canneries. Of this private fleet, the canneries know little, and are certainly not under any obligations to keep a watchful eye on other people's employes with a view to furnish them to the newspapers. The terrors of poverty, as well as of tide and storm, hung over the unfortunate fishermen this year. Many of them were unable to pay their board bills. Usually they clear a few hundred dollars to fortify them against the winter. The price of a fish is fifty cents, of which the cannery retains one-third for supplying the boat and net, valued at $625. The thirty-five canneries on the Columbia river employ about 4,000 Chinamen in preparing fish for market. It is safe to say that, were the work done by white hands, there would be employment for 2,000 girls and boys labeling cans and other light work. The Chinese get thirty dollars a month, and are growing so independent that they struck several times this year for higher wages, and, on different occasions, offered violence to their employers. They never venture on the river for the fishermen are not the class to tamely submit to such competition. Some years ago a few

Adventurous Mongolians

Joined the fleet, but they disappeared the same night. Their boats were broken to pieces, and their nets cut up and scattered on the beach. The fishermen made no attempt to conceal the fact that they had drowned the intruders, and the authorities never investigated it. The work would have been idle. Since then, the white fishermen have had the field to themselves. As before stated, they explore it with a great net, 300 fathoms or 1,800 feet in length. The top of the net is supported by corks, the bottom weighed down with lead. When no obstuctions are encountered, the net drifts along evenly with the tide, and the moment the fish strike it and ensnare themselves, it is hauled in. The fishermen can tell by the corks where the captives are struggling, and he hauls in that part only. Sometimes, however, a great school of freshly run salmon, mad to reach the headwaters, dash against the whole length of the net, and then comes the tug of war. In dull times when the salmon are scarce the fisherman has his patience sorely tried by the seals who will watch the net as carefully as he does himself, and rob it before his eyes.

The Seal

Has a weakness for the jowl of the salmon, and will offer his epicurean palate only that portion. Having taken one bit of the fish he tosses it contemptuously aside, and in this manner will destroy twenty salmon before the indignant fisherman can intercept him. Having had ample opportunity to observe the habits of the seal family, the Columbia river fishermen confidently denounce the tribe as the arch enemies of the finny race, and laugh at the idea that the sea-lions at the mouth of the harbor are harmless. To the salmon the seals are particularly deadly, for the king of fishes rushes from the sea blind to all obstacles, and falls an easy prey to the wiley phocacean, waiting for him in midwater. Sometimes, retributive justice overtakes the robber, and the fishermen hauling in his share finds the dark corpse of his enemy rolled up in the net. The ponderous and stupid sturgeon is another pest of the patient fisherman. Nodding in his boat, he sees the cork go whizzing under the water, and with great labor drags up the miles of twine and pounds of lead, only to find a worthless monster that has to be cut loose. Sturgeon on the Columbia in the salmon season are not considered worth the trouble of towing ashore. These troubles of the fishermen, are, however but the trivial annoyances that assist in making the sum total of the life that is supported by the sweat of his brow. The great misery of his existence is the fear that any tide may sweep him to destruction, and the foregoing statements of unimpeached witnesses show that this dread is anything but groundless. September 10, 1880 DA [It was the opinion of the editor of the Daily Astorian, at the time, that these numbers were greatly exaggerated.]

The sudden death of Mr. H.T. Dennis of John Day, on Saturday last, is a matter of sincere regret. He was beloved by all. He had been on the streets of the city an hour before his death, in apparent health, and took the mail from the postoffice for Fernhill, and some purchases which he had made at the stores, and started homeward in his boat. The boat was picked up afloat in the bay that evening about nine o'clock, and poor Henry Dennis was found in it a corpse. An examination before the coroner revealed the facts that his death was caused by heart disease. He leaves an aged mother, a sister and a brother, and numerous friends, to mourn his sudden departure. The funeral was attended in this city yesterday. Sept. 24, 1880 DA

Mr. E. C. Jeffers of Prospect hill was caught in all the fury of the storm yesterday forenoon about midway from the mouth of Lewis and Clark and Smith point. He lost sail, sprit, etc., the boat shipped heavy seas, half filled and all together it was a very close call. He says the rain poured down like as if it was a water-spout. We are sincerely grateful that his mishaps were no worse. We dislike to write the obituary notice of such genial friends as him. Sept. 24, 1880 DA

A fisherman's boat capsized in the bay yesterday, but the men hung to the keel and were finally rescued, and the boat towed into safety at upper Astoria. April 6, 1881 DA

The body of a man, supposed to be a fisherman, washed up on the weather beach opposite Skipanon and was found July 4th. No particulars. July 9, 1881 DA

Child Drowned.

My youngest son, four years old, blue eyes, light hair and complexion, fell from the wharf at Clifton on Saturday morning, July 9th, 1881. A liberal reward will be paid for the recovery of his body. VINCENT COOK

Clifton, Oregon, July 10, 1881

A severe, piercing, and bitter grief has overtaken the family of our friend Vin Cook, Esq., at Clifton. Their little son, Ralph Nesmith, was drowned off the wharf there Saturday. Diligent search has been made for the body; the river dragged, giant powder exploded, etc., but still the water refuses to give up its dead. Our tenderest sympathies are expressed for them in their sadness. Mr. Spencer, in a note to THE ASTORIAN, says: "Ralph was four years and four months old. A brighter or more affectionate boy never lived; was all you could wish for a boy of his age; and his loss falls heavily on all of us." July 12, 1881 DA

Body Found.
To the Hon. J.Q.A. Bowlby, Judge of County court of Clatsop county, Oregon.

Having been notified this day of a dead body washed ashore on Clatsop beach, near Mr. P. Condits place, I went to said place and found the dead body of a man of the following description: Height, six feet, fair complexion, light hair and a light mustache. He had four shirts on, one heavy red woolen over-shirt, one check over-shirt, one new white shirt and one blue flannel under-shirt, one pair blue flannel under-shirt, one pair blue flannel drawers, a pair cassimere pants, dark plaid, a pair of No. 9 shoes buckled on the side, and a pair of woolen socks, no marks of any description on the body, and nothing in the pockets of his clothes. I had a coffin made and took the body around up on the sand ridge, back of Mr. West's farm, and buried it, placed a board at the grave and marked it unknown. The expenses incurred are: Coroners fees, $5 00; mileage, six miles and return, $1 20; for coffin, $2 00; for burying, $1 50; for team to haul body up from the beach, $5 00. All of which I respectfully submit to the County court.

Ex Officio Justice of the Peace
And Acting Coroner. July 6, 1881
July 19, 1881 DA

A little child of W. H. Twilight fell off the street into the bay yesterday. It was rescued by Mr. C.W. Stone, just in the nick of time. July 20, 1881 DA

One of the sailors coming down on the Lurline yesterday to join his ship, the Invercargil, fell overboard while passing Columbia city. The steamer immediately turned back and rescued the man none the worse for his ducking. Cause, too much whiskey. There seems to be a special providence for drunken men. Sept. 4, 1881 DA

Last Friday afternoon, Chas. Savage left Knappa in a skiff, where he had been on a hunting expedition, and when almost abreast of Tongue Point and in the middle of the river, his skiff capsized, leaving him struggling in the water. He struck out for the shore when a passing plunger rescued him. He says he never could have reached the shore, as he was becoming numbed and exhausted, but for the timely arrival of the plunger. Oct. 16, 1881 DA

Found Drowned.

As the steamer Willamette Chief was backing from the ship below the O.R. & N. Co.'s dock yesterday noon, the tide being low, the dead body of a man appeared which had been evidently in the water for a long time. The remains were conveyed to Coroner Franklin's undertaking rooms and a jury summoned. The verdict was that the body was that of J. J. Brien, whose mysterious disappearance was noted in this paper about four weeks ago. He was a former resident of this place, but of late had been living in Portland, where he has friends and relatives. They were notified by telegraph last evening. Feb. 25, 1882 DA

Body Found
Skipanon May 19, 1882

I herewith give you an account of a man on Clatsop beach about 8 miles south of Skipanon landing. Said body wore one white shirt, one coarse gray woolen shirt, one pair coarse cotton drawers, one pair blue overalls, 1 pair duck overalls, black vest, faded black beaver coat, southwester and oil skin coat. Personal description about 5 4 inches high [5 feet 4 inches, perhaps], well built, fine black hair, light mustasche. In pocket were found some white rags, a red silk handkerchief with J. Richten marked in one corner, a copy of the DAILY ASTORIAN of April 22, a ring with a small key, a white handled 3 bladed pocket knife, a pocket comb, 1 beer ticket from Ginder, a tide table for April, half dollar U.S. coin., 1 Bavarian 3 kreutzer piece of 1851 vintage, a cannery ticket marked A. Booth, No. 66, April 22d, boat No. 22, No. of fish 4.

Owing to an advanced state of decomposition, it was buried as decently as circumstances would permit.

For the above articles and further information, address
Skipanon, Oregon May 20, 1882 DA

Body Found
Peterson's Point, W.T. [Washington Territory]
September 15, 1882
Ed. Astorian:

To-day there was found on the beach near Gray's Harbor, the body of a man supposed to be the remains of one of the men who were drowned when the Gen. Miles was coming here on the 26th ult. The corpse looked as though it had been in the water two or three weeks. The deceased was six feet in height, large in proportion, had on white shirt, small studs in bosom, dark pants, double-breasted dark vest, nice striped overshirt and blue blanket shirt, large heavy tongue-leather boots, red handkerchief in hip pocket, buckskin money purse in vest pocket containing four silver trade dollars, and one metal watch box. He had a bald head, sandy complexion and heavy sandy moustache. I had as good a box made as could be under the circumstances, and gave the body decent burial on the beach above high water. No doubt the friends of deceased will be glad to know that the body has come ashore.

GLENN PETERSON Sept. 21, 1882 DA

The body of an unknown man was picked up in the river yesterday afternoon, a short distance below Tongue Point, and brought to the coroner's for identification. It is believed to be the body of Peter George who drowned at Clifton about a month ago. May 6, 1883 DA

Drowning of Walter Pohl

At a quarter to three yesterday morning the tug Pioneer was going out the south channel; Captain Bochau was on the bridge, Pilot Campbell on the house just in front, and Walter Pohl at the wheel. The breakers were coming in rough, and the captain told him to hold her with her head to the sea. He turned his back for an instant, and when he looked around Pohl was gone. The supposition is that as the boat struck a heavy sea, the rudder straightened suddenly, causing the wheel to "kick," and throwing the poor fellow over with lightning rapidity. The whole thing happened in less time than it takes to write it, and for some seconds, Capt. Bochau couldn't realize that his nephew, who had but a moment before been standing almost at his side, was hurled to a violent death. To put the tug about was impossible, and the dim light of the moon also made it impossible to distinguish any object in the water. There was no help or hope. The body has not been recovered, nor is it likely it will be. Deceased was in his twenty-second year; a fine hearty young man, the oldest son of Mrs. Pohl, of this city, the sudden death of whose brother, Chas. Bochau, occurred last Tuesday. The double loss of brother and son, by sudden death inside of a week is a terrible blow to the mother who has the sympathy of the entire community.

Yesterday afternoon the flags were at half mast on the tugs, and at the lodge of the I.O.O.F., which order the deceased had joined about three weeks ago. A reward of $50 is offered for the recovery of the body. May 22, 1883 DA

Found Drowned

At an early hour last Sunday morning, the body of John Martin was seen in the water near Jas. Magee's house above Jno. Devlin's cannery. The body was brought ashore and yesterday the coroner held an inquest with the following result.

Coroner's Inquest

In the matter of the inquisition upon the body of John Martin, deceased, we the undersigned jurors summoned to appear before B.B. Franklin, coroner of the precinct of Astoria, county and state aforesaid, at the undertaking rooms in the City of Astoria, Ogn, on the 4th day of June, 1883, to inquire into the cause of the death of the said John Martin, having been duly sworn according to law, and having made such inquisition after inspecting the body and hearing the testimony, adduced upon our oaths, each and all do say that we do find the deceased was named John Martin, was a native of ------ ------ [left blank], aged about 35 years, that he came to his death on the 2nd day of June, 1883, by accidental drowning in the Columbia river near J.A. Devlin 's cannery in this city, while in a state of intoxication. And we further find deceased had on his person the sum of $18.80. All of which we duly certify to by this inquisition in writing. By us signed this 4th day of June, 1883.

CHAS. S. WRIGHT, Foreman
June 5, 1883 DA

Drowning of H.A. Parker

Hazen A. Parker was drowned between the dock and the steamer Clara Parker at one o'clock yesterday morning. Deceased was a native of Vermont, in the 44th year of his age. He was a machinist by trade, but of late had been employed as fireman on the Clara Parker. At the hour mentioned yesterday morning, he started to go aboard the boat, but missing his footing fell into the water. His cries attracted the attention of someone on board who flung him a rope, but being unable to grasp it, he was drowned. Parties were engaged yesterday in grappling for the body, but up to last evening all efforts were unsuccessful. H.B. Parker offers a reward of $25 for the body. June 13, 1883 DA

Drowned in the Walluski
Found Dead Among the Logs

On the Walluski, about six miles from Astoria, and about two miles from where that stream empties into Young's Bay, Frank Johnson and Albert Nash have had a logging camp for some time past, and have been building a boom during the past week. Friday morning Nash went down to the landing to put in a boom stick, and was last seen at 2 o'clock in the afternoon. Not returning that night, some of the employes went to look for the missing man, and at an early hour yesterday morning, the body was found jammed in among the logs and a gash in his right forehead. He had been dead some hours. The body was brought to town yesterday morning, and the circumstances being so clearly stated it was deemed unnecessary to hold an inquest. The funeral will take place this afternoon from Coroner Franklin's undertaking rooms.

Nash was a large powerfully built man weighing 195 pounds, and was well liked by his acquaintances. He came here from California some years ago, and has three sisters living in Missouri, of which state he was a native. He was 33 years of age and unmarried. Nov. 18, 1883 DA

The skies that flush in crimson splendor above the fir-crowned hills were radiant yesterday with the rose and purple tints of May; the white sails of the river fleet glittered in sunshine and dimmed in shadow on the water. Nature in all her pride of pomp and pageantry wore the brightest tinted robes of the joyous spring time, and DeForce began smashing salmon heads at his oil works on Youngs river. May 8, 1884 DMA

The boats that went ashore at Sand Island last Monday were boat 42 of J.W. & V. Cook. Thos. Hunter, the captain was saved by Capt. Al Harris. Fred Randenbaum, the boat puller, aged 19, a native of Lubeck, Germany, was drowned. Boat 22, of J. O. Hanthorn, had in it John Gregor, captain, who was saved and T. Russell, boat puller, who was drowned. The sad death list of the poor fellows who are caught in the breakers is fully up to that of former seasons. May 8, 1884 DMA

Drowned at Upper Astoria

Last Sunday morning, Jas. A. Bell, Jr. with his brother, Thomas, brought their horses to the river beach near their home at upper Astoria. In some way, one of the horses reared, throwing his rider into the water. His brother, Thos., went to his assistance as did Mr. Thomes, but unfortunately, it was found impossible to save him. The body was recovered in a short time and will be buried at Clatsop cemetery to-day. Deceased, had he lived to next February, would have been twenty-one years of age. The funeral services will take place at ten o'clock this morning at the Swedish church at upper Astoria. A steamboat will be at Badollet & Co.'s cannery to carry the friends and acquaintances of the deceased to the cemetery. Friends of the family are invited to attend. August 5, 1884 DMA

The Sol R. Thomas lay alongside Flavel's dock yesterday taking in lumber, Chinamen and supplies for the Bath cannery at Umpqua. The white caps on the green water hissed and broke against the piles, the Chinamen in the stern of the vessel grew pale, and one burned a little punk stick and flung to the wild winds a handful of crimson paper. All sorts of freight, dead and alive, were pushed and hoisted aboard, and the craft swung out to sea. The vessel will be back to-morrow, and on Sunday goes to the Coquille, forty miles further down with ninety Chinamen for the Coquille packing company whose manager, Mr. Getchell, is now in the city. August 8, 1884 DMA

About the 30th of June, THE ASTORIAN had an item regarding the loss of Sam Blair and Jas Craig who were drowned on the bar. Mr. C.L. Watson, cashier of the First National Bank of Pittston, Pennsylvania, writes asking for information about Jas. Craig. Anyone who knows anything about the unfortunate young man will confer a favor on a grief-stricken family by addressing that gentleman or communicating with Mr. P.L. Cherry, British vice consul, at this place. August 8, 1884 DMA

Lost at Sand Island.

Last Wednesday night about eleven o'clock, Otto Schuring and Olaf Knutsen, in one of Hume's boats, were putting out their net, and in some way the boat capsized. Their cries for help were heard, but before assistance could reach them they were gone. Their dead bodies were found on Peacock spit yesterday morning and brought to this city for burial. They were both young men, Schuring being but 22 years of age, and Knutsen 24, and were well liked by their brother members of the A.W.P.U. Schuring will be buried from the residence of his brother, Andrew, at two o'clock this afternoon. At the same hour, Knutsen's funeral will take place from the same place. August 5, 1884 DMA

Frank Surprenant started from Fort Stevens last Wednesday afternoon in a row boat, but one of his oars breaking, he went drifting toward the bar. The crew of the Geo. S. Homer rescued him. It was a narrow escape. February 20, 1885 DA

Yesterday afternoon, the attention of some men were directed to the dead body of a man floating past Flavel's dock. It was brought into the Cass [10th] street dock, and upon examination at Coroner Ross' office was found to be the body of Louis Eckhart. The unfortunate man had been drowned on the 18th of last November, while unloading wood at Hanthorn's cannery. He was a native of Germany, aged 32 years, a member of Castle Lodge, K. of P., No. 62, Red Bluff, California, and will be given decent burial by Astor Lodge, No. 6, K. of P., at 1 o'clock this afternoon. Feb. 27, 1885 DA


Frank and Eddie Pitkin, sons of S.J. Pitkin, aged 14 and 9 years respectively, started from the beach above Trullinger's mill yesterday morning at nine o'clock in a small row boat. The ebb tide caught them and sent the boat broadside on against the piles under Trullinger's wharf. The boat upset and the boys cried loudly for help as they struggled in the water. Before assistance could possibly reach the unfortunate lads, they were swept below the surface and drowned. Boats immediately put out, and all day long strenuous efforts were made to recover the bodies but without avail. Universal sympathy is felt for the sorrowing parents who were so instantly bereaved of their children. March 22, 1885 DA

Sad Accident

About half-past nine last Sunday evening, Waldemer, youngest son of Mrs. Eva Wallman, was playing in the rear of his mother's hotel and in some way fell into the water. Though there were three or four men standing by, not one of them seemed to have presence of mind enough to save the poor little fellow and though he could be seen struggling in the water, he was drowned before assistance reached him. His body was recovered yesterday morning and the funeral will take place from the Germania hotel at four o'clock this afternoon. The bereaved mother has the sympathy of the community in the loss of her darling boy. May 12, 1885 DA

At a late hour last Wednesday night, Fred Holm and his boat puller in boat No. 6 of the Astoria Packing Company were thrown into the water by the upsetting of their boat on Clatsop spit. The boat puller scrambled into the bottom of the boat; Holm instantly disappeared and was seen no more. In two hours, John Peterson, of boat 7 belonging to the same cannery, who was rowing by, heard the boat puller's cries and at considerable personal risk, saved the man; the boat and net went out over the bar. Holm was a Russian Finn, unmarried aged 30 years. July 17, 1885 DA

S.B. Osborn writes from his place at Williamsport that at a late hour on the night of Monday, the 13th, John Bushard left Youngs bay intending to go up Young's river. Nothing was further heard or seen of him, but the following day his boat was found bottom upwards opposite J.G. Nurnburg's; his hat was floating on the water. The presumption is that the unfortunate man is drowned. July 17, 1885 DA

Body Found

It will be remembered that Jno. Bouchard, a man well known in this vicinity, was drowned about nine days ago, while going from J.B. Osborn's place on Young's river, farther east. Yesterday afternoon, F.W. Wass and J.B. Osborn started in a boat to look for the body, and rowing to the spot where his boat and hat had previously been found, they searched among the tules. In a short time, they found the body about sixty yards from the place where he disappeared. Wass came over to town and notified the coroner, who went over last evening to hold an inquest if necessary. July 22, 1885 DMA

Chris. Johnson Found in the River Near Hanthorn's Cannery.

The body of Chris Johnson, a resident of Alderbrook, was found floating in the river near J.O. Hanthorn's cannery yesterday morning. On the 8th he started to Gray's river to look over some land in that section, returning on the Union last Friday. He was last seen alive near Johansen's at upper Astoria, that afternoon. On Monday, his continued absence alarmed his friends and a telegram was sent to Vancouver asking if he was there, to which a reply was received saying that a man answering to the description had been there inquiring about land. This allayed the fears of his family and friends, but yesterday morning at seven o'clock, Messrs. Welcome and Bruen, with R. Johnson, a brother of the missing man, who were at Hanthorn's wharf, saw the drowned body of a man floating in the water between the beach and the roadway. They got a boat and brought the body ashore. The brother recognized it as the body of the missing man.

Coroner Ross held an inquest, the jury finding that the deceased was a native of Denmark, 33 years of age, and came to his death on or about the 11th of September, by accidentally falling into the Columbia river from the roadway at upper Astoria and drowning. Deceased leaves a wife and six children, the youngest being but three days old. The funeral will take place from the Scandinavian church at upper Astoria at one o'clock this afternoon. Sept. 17, 1885 DA

The body of the little girl found below Knappa last week is said to have been identified as the remains of a nine-year-old girl named Anderson, who was drowned on Blind slough, above Knappa about a year ago. Oct. 16, 1885 DA


Jno. Emerson was drowned at upper Astoria about half past five yesterday afternoon under peculiar circumstances. He was standing with three or four other men on the dock of the Fishermen's Packing Co.'s premises when some one called to him that his boat was loose. The boat was only a few yards from shore and the wind was setting it in. There were other boats close by, any one of which could have been apparently used, but he ran to the side of the dock and made a jump, intending to light in his boat and bring it ashore. He missed the boat and fell in the water. He rose and shouted for help, but before assistance could reach him he was drowned. He leaves a wife and two children. Two brothers live in the vicinity of his place near Alderbrook. He was about 35 years of age. The body had not been recovered last evening. Oct. 16, 1885 DA

Came Ashore

Coroner Ross received a telegram last Sunday evening, that a body had come ashore on Clatsop beach. He went down that evening and held an inquest yesterday. The body came ashore near the Seaside house. It was that of a man 38 or 40 years of age; five feet nine inches in height, dark complexion, had on red flannel underwear, gray flannel overshirt and overalls. The verdict was that he was drowned in the ocean. It is believed that he was off the plunger Emma, two others manifestly from that unfortunate craft coming ashore last week. The pockets of the deceased were turned inside out and completely rifled, the goulish cupidity of those first discovering the body destroying any probability of the unfortunate man's identification. The burial will be to-day. Nov. 17, 1885 DA

Fifty Dollars Reward.

I WILL PAY THE ABOVE REWARD for the recovery of the body of E. F. Cochran, drowned at Walker's Island on Wednesday the 4th inst. Fell overboard from the steamer R.R. Thompson; about five feet, four inches in height, dark hair and eyes, and mustache, about 50 years old.

Nov. 25, 1885 DA

Drowned at Upper Astoria

A distressing accident occurred at upper Astoria yesterday afternoon, resulting in the drowning of Beni Bell, the nine-year-old son of Jno. A. Bell. The boy, with his brother and a companion named Barnhart, had gone out in a small skiff, and the skiff overturning, threw the three children into the water. The others were saved by parties who hastened to the rescue, but Benny sank before assistance could reach him. The body was recovered last evening. The funeral will take place at eleven o'clock tomorrow morning. Nov. 27, 1885 DMA

CLATSOP, Nov. 21, 1885

A word in regard to the manner in which dead bodies cast up on Clatsop beach are disposed of, seems to be called for. The bodies of fishermen and sailors who are drowned at the mouth of the Columbia, as well as farther down the coast, frequently come ashore here. It is customary to have them buried in the sand near the spot where they are picked up, often where the high tides may wash over the graves. These graves usually made very shallow, are frequently washed out leaving the bodies uncovered. The loose sand on those out of reach of the water is often blown away, leaving the grave open. In one case at least the box was left entirely exposed, someone pried it open and the bones of the dead were left to be scattered along the beach.

Burial is intended to serve two purposes: to show proper respect to the dead, and to guard against offense to the living. Such burial as this fails in both, just as well let the bodies rot on the beach and be the food of birds. If it is intended to show respect to the dead, the graves ought at least to be put where they will not be violated. If it is intended to put them out of sight of the living, the bodies should be buried so as to remain out of sight. We should suppose that the cemetery was the proper place to bury the dead.

We would respectfully suggest that the coroner, or whoever has charge of this business, see that this evil be remedied. The careless manner in which these stray bodies are disposed of is an offense, and a nuisance, and a crime against the community.

Nov. 27, 1885 DA

Astoria, Nov. 27th, 1885.

I would like to thank H.S. Lyman for his remarks which I fully endorse.

What is the use of a coroner if he does not attend to the duties of his office, and attend to the burial of those bodies?

But at the same time, the coroner cannot do much when some of the people living along the beach take the law into their own hands, as has been done on several occasions, and the coroner was not notified at all. I remember a case about a year ago. There were two men washed off the Willamette while crossing the bar: one of them was a Mason, and the Masonic lodge of Astoria offered a reward of $50 for the recovery of his body. Shortly after, two bodies came ashore on Clatsop beach, and I am satisfied that they were the two men, but instead of notifying the coroner as they should, the finders buried the bodies on the beach, and the coroner knew nothing of it until he saw the account of two bodies being found and buried by some one on Clatsop beach, paying no attention to the published reward, nor caring for the feelings of the friends; not even trying to find out if they had friends or not. I would like to see the law take hold of some of those people.

Another time I know of, a body being found and the coroner being notified; he went to the place with a jury to hold an inquest, and found something over $40 on the body, and then, instead of complying with section 462, chapter 39 of the general laws of Oregon, he caused the body to be buried where it lay, about two feet deep in the sand.

I am very glad some one has called attention to this slack way of doing; it is the duty of every civilized person finding a dead body to report it to the coroner, so that it may be ascertained if possible, who the person was, and all the particulars, so that should the friends, at any future time, wish to claim the remains, they could do so. The county has a piece of ground for the purpose of burying the poor and unknown, and they will not object to the burying of any bodies there that may be found on Clatsop beach. The coroner will always endeavor to do his duty if the people will do their duty in notifying him.

Yours, etc.,
J.C. Ross
Nov. 28, 1885 DA

Fears Expressed as to Their Safety.

Last Monday, four men started from here to go to the Wallicut river--Andrew Barry, Oscar Petersen, and two others, Ericson and Johnson. About 11:30, they were abreast of Kinney's cannery, heading across the river. Since that time, they have not been seen and it is feared they have been drowned. The mate of the Carmaethen Castle which went to sea last Tuesday, reported that that afternoon a boat went drifting by Sand Island bottom upward with two men clinging on, but that it was too rough to lower a boat to go to their assistance. It is also reported that the boat has come ashore at Ilwaco. A search party will start to look for them this morning and it is thought that some definite intelligence as to their fate will be learned to day. Dec. 24, 1885 DA

The four men spoken of in yesterday's issue as having been reported drowned are all right, having arrived at their destination in safety. The question now arises whose boat was it that drifted ashore, bottom upward at Ilwaco? It was that that first made surmise that accident had befallen the party that left here for the Wallicut last Monday. Dec. 25, 1885 DA

Pilot Gunderson reports that while on the Glengaber on Christmas eve, about fifty miles west of Cape Hancock, they passed the wreck of a schooner, bottom upward. She was about fifty feet in length; the rudder was gone. There was nothing about the hull to identify. Dec. 29, 1885 DA

Last Saturday night, A.J. Brune and O. Anderson, while laying out their net in the ship channel near Harrington Point, heard cries of some one in distress, but supposing the sound to be made by seals, they finished laying out, when they concluded to find out from whence the sound came. Leaving their net in charge of a boat near and pulling in the direction of the sound, a skiff was found capsized and a man clinging to the bottom in a very exhausted condition. The man rescued was an Englishman. He stated that he and his companion, a Norwegian, were capsized while crossing the river and his companion attempted to swim ashore, but was probably drowned. The name of either was not learned. Oct. 9, 1886 WA

Two men found the dead body of a man lying on the tide flats near John Day's yesterday morning and brought it to town, notifying coroner Ross, who, upon investigation elicited the following facts: The drowned man was a sailor, a native of Norway, aged 25, named Fred Johnson. He came here on the Balaklava and while in port was taken sick and sent to the hospital where he remained three weeks. After the Balaklava sailed, he recovered and went fishing. On the night of the 2nd inst., while in a boat with his companion near Harrington's point, they started to change places; the boat upset; the other man climbed up on the capsized boat and was rescued by A.J. Brune and O. Anderson. Johnson started to swim ashore, but was drowned, and his body was discovered yesterday. Some wages were due him, but they had been sent to the owners of the Balaklava in London. So he will be buried by the county to-day, as many a poor fellow has been before who has lost his life in the waters of the lower Columbia. Oct. 16, 1886 WA

A terrible accident befell John Keogh, a sailor on board the British bark Dinapore last Monday evening, which may result in his death. He was in the rigging and some way fell headlong into the hatchway, striking on his back, and fracturing the spinal vertebrae between the shoulders. He was conveyed to the hospital and surgical attendance summoned. He is but 19 years of age. His pulse last night was 103, and but slight hopes are entertained of his recovery. Oct. 16, 1886 WA

Capt. A.M. Simpson, who came up from San Francisco on the new tug Traveler, tells of a narrow escape he had at Coos bay. When off Coos bay on the way up, the tug started to put in there. The sea was rough and when on the bar, the tug gave a lurch and threw Capt. Simpson overboard. "Heave me a rope," said he as he rose to the surface. But everything had been lashed fast and there was no line handy. As the boat listed, he made an effort and, swimming alongside, caught the guard of the boat with one hand. One of the men aboard grasped him by the wrist and in a moment, he was pulled on deck, a little shook up, but none the worse for his perilous adventure. It was a close call. Dec. 25, 1886 WA

Thos. S. Brian, nightwatchman on the Ordway, was drowned in the Willamette at Portland on last Saturday evening, while landing at Weidler's mill. His brother, Mike, was drowned off the O.R. & N. dock here about two years ago. The body of the man drowned last Saturday was recovered yesterday evening. Dec. 25, 1886 WA

Last Thursday evening, Chas. Johnson, fishing for the Anglo-American Packing Co., started above Tongue Point to put out his net. A squall coming up, he told the boat puller to take down the sail. While doing so, the boom flew around and hit Johnson, knocking him overboard, and throwing the boatpuller between it and the gunwale of the boat. Before he could recover himself, his unfortunate companion had disappeared. The drowned man was a Russian Finn, unmarried, 28 years of age. His countrymen offer $25 reward for the recovery of the body. April 23, 1887 DA

Two Drowned; One Missing

The sad sight of drowned bodies borne to the undertaker's to be prepared for decent sepulture, was again seen yesterday afternoon, two poor fellows whose troubles on earth are over, being arrayed in the habiliments of the grave.

The first was the body of Gus. Mattson, a Russian Finn, aged 24, fishing in boat No. 12 of the Cutting Packing Co., who with his boat puller was drowned off Clatsop spit Friday morning. The body was found by A. K. Weir Friday evening, where it had washed ashore on Clatsop beach near the wreck of the Cairnsmuir. The body was wrapped in the net, and the boat, oars, etc., had also come ashore a short distance from the body; the watch in the pocket of the drowned man had stopped at twenty-five minutes past five. It appeared as though he had tried to beach his boat, but unsuccessfully. The boat puller is missing; and was in all probability drowned also; no tidings has yet been received of his body. Deceased was well spoken of as a hard working young man who saved his money and was trying to get on and get a start in the world. He had $26.35 in his pocket, and is said to have had a handsome sum at interest in one of the banks. He was a member of the Columbia river fishermen's protective union, and will be buried by that association at ten o'clock this morning.

The name of the missing boat puller could not be ascertained. Later in the afternoon, G. Compare, fishing Geo. W. Hume's boat No. 9, brought up the body of a drowned man that he had found floating at Scarborough head. It had been in the water for some time and was so decomposed as to be unrecognizable. May 21, 1887


Major Blakeney and Prof. Von Beyer have selected a site for the location of the Point Adams life saving station, subject to the approval of the secretary of the treasury. The spot determined upon is in the cove to the eastward of fort Stevens, at a point about the middle of the donation claim of B.C. Kindred.

It is proposed to provide the new station with a new life boat of greater capacity than any now in the service, as well as a self-righting and self-bailing surf boat. The station will be furnished with the most improved appliances of the life saving service, and will be manned with a trained crew. There will be some necessary delay in commencing the work, but Major Blakeney hopes that representations to the proper authorities will enable a life saving crew to be established at that point in time to render services to unfortunate fishermen or others next season. In the ordinary course of such matters, if everything goes well, the station would probably be ready for efficient service some time about next fall. When the safety of so many lives is concerned, the establishment can be made none too soon, and Major Blakeney and Prof. Von Beyer deserve credit for their endeavors to expedite the location of a life saving crew at the Point Adams station. Nov. 26, 1887 WA

One of Cook's fishermen in his boat yesterday morning near Clifton, while about to shoot a sea lion, accidentally shot himself in the right thigh, the ball shattering the bone. He was brought down to the hospital and given surgical aid. May 3, 1888 AB

A short time ago August Tano and John Heikkila, two young men recently arrived here, bought a net and rented a boat, number five, from the Columbia River Packing company and last Monday started to fish, since which time nothing has been heard of them til yesterday afternoon when one of the cannery boats reports finding near fort Stevens a fragment of the net they had bought. It is feared that both the men have perished. May 27, 1888 DA

A report from below is to the effect that on the 24th inst, Booth's boat No. 20 went into a fish trap at Baker's bay, and that the captain, Abram Kemila, and his boat puller, were both drowned. The boat puller whose name could not be ascertained, leaves a wife and two children in Humboldt, Cal. The boat and net were recovered. May 29, 1888 DA

Mishaps on the river, though not as numerous as in some former years, are still sadly frequent. Henry Matson, whose death outside the bar was previously announced, leaves a wife and three children in Uniontown; nothing has yet been heard further from August Tano and John Heikkila, who are now missing for over a week. The body of Jno. Waydie, who was drowned at Clifton last Saturday evening, was given interment yesterday. May 29, 1888 DA

The body of an unknown drowned man came ashore at Sand island yesterday. Acting coroner Surprenant will go down this morning to see if the remains can be identified. June 5, 1888 DA

Drowned Last Evening

A distressing accident took place at upper Astoria last evening by which a man named Daniel Sullivan lost his life. He was employed on the steamer A.B. Field, now lying at Leinenweber's dock. In some way he slipped and fell into the water, although in ten minutes from the time he fell into the water, the body was recovered and medical aid secured, life was found to be extinct and all efforts to resuscitate him were useless. While in India some years ago, Sullivan received a severe sunstroke and ever since was subject to fainting spells. It is supposed that in this way he lost consciousness and upon striking the water was unable to exert himself or keep afloat, and so drowned. June 7, 1888 DA

Last Tuesday evening Della Gore, the young daughter of C.E. Gore, engineer on the Northern Pacific transfer boat Tacoma, was drowned at Hunter's Point. She was walking along the shore, and stepping on a spot where the water had washed out the bank, her footing gave away and she fell into the river. An hour later the body was recovered. June 7, 1888 DA

The body found on Sand island a few days ago has been identified as that of Abraham Kemila, who was drowned in Baker's bay from one of Booth's fishing boats on the afternoon of May 25th. The funeral will be from F.H. Surprenant & Co.'s undertaking rooms at half-past nine this morning, under the auspices of the Columbia River Fishermen's Protective Union. June 8, 1888 DA

The body of a man with part of the left hand gone was picked up near Knappton yesterday and brought to the coroner here for identification. It is found to be the body of Jacob Brenell [Rinell], which was lost from the Gleaner off Tongue Point, last January. June 11, 1888 DA

Five fishermen were picked up in the outside breakers by the life crew at Cape Hancock last Tuesday morning; one of the tugs is reported to have picked up five more. A large net was found on the weather beach yesterday morning, this side of Tinkers. No loss of life has been reported. June 11, 1888 DA

Geo. T. Myers' boat No. 29 capsized off point Ellice yesterday, the men and net were saved, the boat drifted off and is probably lost. June 15, 1888 DA

Drowned Fisherman Found.

EDITOR ASTORIAN: On Chinook beach, June 11th, found a drowned fisherman; dark complexion, about 5 feet 6 inches in height; about 30 years of age; had been in the water about three weeks. Nothing but a roll of ladies twist tobacco in his pocket; his clothing consisted of blue undershirt, cotton checkered shirt; over that, knitted jersey overshirt, blue cotton jumper and pants; blue flannel drawers; No. 8 gum boots. He was put in a home-made coffin and buried in the grave inside of highest tidewater mark. He wore a piece of leadline around the loins for a belt. Further information may be had as to whereabouts of the grave, etc., of

Justice of the Peace.
Chinook Beach, June 12, 1888.
June 15, 1888 DA

Drowning of John Johansen.--Stormy Weather At The Cape.

A fisherman who was caught in the severe gale Wednesday night had his boat so badly damaged that he was compelled to cast his net overboard to keep the boat afloat; to prevent the net being lost, he tied it to a trap in Baker's Bay; yesterday morning, he, with some other fishermen, went out to get the net; in hauling it in they found entangled another net, and in this net the body of a man, who proved to be John Johansen, a native of Sweden, who has been fishing for the Occident cannery this season; his boat was found bottom side up farther up the bay. When found, he had on but pants and undershirt, having evidently taken off his rubber boots and coat before the boat overturned, the better to battle with the angry waves; he was known to be a powerful swimmer--having saved a man from drowning in San Francisco bay, last year; when his boat capsized, he is supposed to have become entangled in the net, and thus rendered powerless, carried to his untimely end. Nothing has been heard of his boat puller but it is more than likely he also has been drowned. He, Johansen, fished on the Columbia last summer and for the past two winters has been running out from Frisco in coasters. He was about 26 years of age and has no relatives in this country. The secretary of the Sailors' Union in San Francisco will most likely know the address of his parents.

The severe storm for the past four days has caused a great deal of trouble to the railroad company in breaking the booms of piles and preventing the diver from working.

Joe Surprenant has the honor of being the first bather of the season; in securing some piling the other night, his boat was overturned and Joe's manly form was plunged into the angry waters, but aside from a cold bath no damage was done.

Some of the trapmen have not been able to lift their traps for three days on account of the heavy winds. June 16, 1888 DA

Sad Tidings From the Mouth of the River.

Since Wednesday, there has been rough weather at the mouth of the river, and there have been several accidents among the fishing fleet. When the Gen. Canby arrived at 2:30 yesterday afternoon, she had on board the dead body of John Johansen, of boat No. 18, Occident Packing company, who was drowned in Baker's bay night before last. It was also reported that Harry Hendrickson of Elmore & Sanborn's boat No. 18, was drowned yesterday morning, and that three of the boats of the Astoria Packing Co. had capsized, the occupants being rescued. The wind was blowing so strong when the Canby left the cape yesterday that none of the boats in the bay dare venture out. The identity of the body described in yesterday's ASTORIAN has not yet been learned.

LATER.--The steamer Electric arrived in later, and reports trying to get a boat belonging to the Astoria Packing co. that is bottom up on Desdemona sands. The boat could get within 25 yards of the capsized boat, but the breakers were too rough to justify closer approach.

When six boats were off Flavel's Tansy point wharf yesterday morning, four of them were capsized. The occupants were all able to scramble up on the bottoms of the submerged boats from which they were afterwards rescued, except one man in Astoria Packing Co.'s boat No. 17, named John Frederickson, who was drowned. He was aged 23 years and leaves a mother and two sisters.

This makes four reported drowned and it is thought the sad list will be increased two or three more, as a number of boats are still missing.

LATER. Reports from below say that Harry Frederickson is not drowned; he sends word from Sand Island to Fort Stevens that his net is fouled and he is cleaning it.

The following additional report is handed in.

"A boat from Kinney while sailing to town this morning capsized below Smith's point in the channel. The captain, T. Toeikala, was saved, and the boat puller Jakob Nilkula, a native of Finland, aged 38, was drowned."

Capt. McVicar of the tug Donald, while coming up from below, picked up three capsized boats and crews.

Experienced fishermen say it was one of the suddenest and severest squalls they ever experienced. With the exception of John Johanson, who was drowned in Baker's Bay, it does not seem that any foresight, or care could have prevented the terrible series of fatal accidents near the mouth of the river during the past two or three days. June 16, 1888 DA

Harry Hendrickson, who was reported drowned, turned up all right yesterday. He says that he would have stayed down where he was engaged in clearing his net, but hearing the report he was drowned, came up to town. June 17, 1888 DA

When Gus. Benjus, fishing for Astoria Packing Co., went down yesterday morning to get his boat, it was gone, but out in the stream hitched to the spar buoy was a boat that looked like his. Going out it was found to be his boat which some thieves had stolen during the night and taking it out to the spar buoy, took the sail, mast, stunsail and net and decamped with the plunder. June 17, 1888 DA

Gus Snugg, fishing for M.J. Kinney, is not in very good luck of late. Last Friday his boat was capsized by a squall, and he narrowly escaped drowning. Yesterday he was putting out in the stream just as the incoming Oregonian was going by, and was again capsized by the steamer. He and his boat puller were rescued, the boat was damaged some and the net was lost. June 19, 1888 DA

The body of an unknown man was found Saturday on the beach near McKinzie's point. The coroner from Ilwaco precinct held an inquest, and the remains, which were in an advanced stage of decomposition, were buried near the place where found. Deceased was about 38 years old, sandy complexion, and about 5 feet 10 inches in height, wore a brown suit and kip leather boots, was evidently a fisherman, but nothing could be found to identify him. June 19, 1888 DA

Two dead bodies found on Sand Island yesterday, sad memories of last week's stormy weather. Thus far they have not been identified, but an effort will be made in that direction to-day. June 20, 1888 DA

The dead body reported in yesterday's ASTORIAN as having been found at McKenzie's head last Saturday, and given temporary burial proves to be the remains of Henry Mattson, who was drowned outside the bar in his fishing boat on the 23rd of last month. The remains will be disinterred, and will be brought over for burial tomorrow. June 20, 1888 DA


The following is furnished by the secretary of the Columbia River Fishermen's Protective Union, and is a corrected list of the fishermen drowned in the Columbia river from May 1st to June 19th, 1888:

John Hekkila, native of Finland, fishing for Sam'l Elmore, drowned May 10th; August Tano, native of Finland, fishing for Sam'l Elmore, drowned May 10th, Abram Kummela, native of Finland, fishing for A. Booth, drowned May 17th (body recovered); Henry Mattson, native of Finland, fishing for Sam'l Elmore, drowned May 21 (body reovered); John Wayde, native of Finland, fishing for J.W. & V. Cook, drowned May 27th (body recovered); Albert Hiltula, native of Finland, fishing for A. Booth, drowned May 27th; Gus Shuit, native of Germany, fishing for Sam'l Elmore, drowned May 27th; Mat Mattson, native of Finland, fishing for Occident Packing Co., drowned June 15; Olof Johnson, native of Finland, fishing for Occident Packing Co. drowned June 15th (body recovered); J. Hendrickson, native of Finland, fishing for Astoria Pkg. Co. drowned June 16th; Frank Fletcher, native of Scotland, fishing for J.W. & V. Cook, drowned June 16th; Chas. Gustinson, and boat puller (name unknown), fishing for Astoria Packing co., drowned June 18th. June 30, 1888 DMA

The dead body found on the beach between the slaughter [house] and the buoy depot last Sunday proves to be the remains of Theodore Sitgass, who was drowned in the Columbia above Tongue Point, about two months ago. Some keys that he had in his pocket which fitted his trunk, and a match safe that Wm. Bock gave him while hunting together, served to identify him. Deceased was a native of Mecklenburg, Germany, and was in the 38th year of his age. He leaves a brother living near Portland. The funeral will be this morning at Clatsop. June 30, 1888 DMA

Accidental Drowning

Last Sunday evening, the steamer Tonquin was passing Jno. A. Devlin's cannery, and was about to tie up to the dock. Jno. Carter, a deck hand, went aft to throw out a line, Not hearing the usual response, the captain followed to see what was the matter and saw Carter struggling in the water astern. He flung him a rope, which the unfortunate man failed to hold; again the captain dropped a line directly on his arms, but he appeared paralyzed and sank without an effort. He was a Canadian, aged 32 years, and a stranger here, not having been on the boat a week. The body has not been recovered. Oct. 20, 1888 DA [A later article, not printed here, suggests that that the captain murdered the Canadian.]

Narrow Escape of a Man from Drowning

Yesterday morning between one and two o'clock, P. Bocasowitch, of fishing boat No. 39 belonging to Geo. Hume, was returning from down towards the bar and, dropping his boat around to the net racks on the roadway, was surprised to hear faint groans proceeding from underneath. After some investigation, he found a man in the last stages of exhaustion in the water under the net racks, sticking in the mud and ooze up to his knees and unable to speak or stir or do more than feebly moan. He was livid with cold.

Boscowitch secured assistance and the man, whose name could not be learned, was removed to a place of shelter, and his life saved. April 6, 1889 DA


One of those dreadful occurrences which shock an entire community, took place in the upper part of town yesterday evening, resulting in the death of little Hazel Hanthorn, aged 6, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J.O. Hanthorn, and Charles Strom, a well known resident of the city.

About 6 o'clock yesterday evening, Mr. Strom was engaged in building a boat in the cannery formerly occupied by W.D. Smith, and little Hazel, the pet and pride of the household was playing around the premises. There were holes in the floor and through one of these traps the poor little thing dropped into the cold dark water beneath.

With a heroism that commands itself to all who admire valor, the man sprang after the child, to rescue her, but only fell to his death. In falling, he must have struck something and become stunned. Just what did happen can not be clearly stated, for unfortunately, the only witness of the accident was a man who could speak no English, and it was a painfully long time, and precious minutes elapsed before he was able to secure assistance or make known the tragedy that was taking place underneath the building.

It was nearly half an hour before assistance arrived. When found, the little girl was on the man's shoulders, her little hands clasped around him in the rigidity of death. Life was evidently extinct in both bodies, and despite the most strenuous efforts on the part of the physicians summoned, it was evident that all attempts at resuscitation were useless.

The grief of the stricken mother of the sunny haired darling and of the wife of the brave man who met his death in an effort to rescue the child was a sight to move the coldest hearted to tears.

Mr. Hanthorn, who was in Portland, was immediately wired, and will be here on the Thompson this morning.

Chas. Strom was a man about 40 years of age, and highly respected by his associates. He was a member of Seaside Lodge A.O.U.W., Astor Lodge K. of P. and Beaver Lodge I.O.O.F. Sept. 9, 1891 DMA


Last Monday evening Coroner Surprenant was visited by a young man named Elliott, from Elliott's landing, who told him that he had just come down from Brownsville (about fifteen miles up the river on the Oregon side), where he had found the dead body of a man lying near a boat.

The coroner chartered the steamer Improvement, and at 1 o'clock yesterday morning, after a pleasant five hours in the storm, he finally found the place on the river shore where the dead man had been brought. He was brought down here yesterday morning. Young Elliott was the only one who had any definite information. The man's name was L.W. Hunt; he was a native of Bangor, Me.; he had been fishing for William Hume at Eagle Cliff, for the last six years. His boat and net are now there. Since the fishing season closed, he has been living in a house near Knappa with a man named Sawyer. Last Saturday, he started in a very small flat-bottomed skiff to go across to an island to hunt ducks. That was the last seen of him alive. When found, the body was in the water under the boat; the boat had lodged between two logs that came together, diagonally. He had started to take off one boot, and socks and the strings of his decoy ducks were wound around his legs. He had evidently fallen overboard Saturday night and perished miserably in the darkness.

Coroner Surprenant received a telegram from Mr. Hume yesterday afternoon, requesting that a decent burial be given the body.

It was deemed unnecessary to hold an inquest. The funeral will be at Greenwood cemetery to-morrow. Nov. 4, 1891 DMA

Jeff Gentry is trying hard to economize these hard times. He was working at the Fishermen's Packing Co. putting in a new foundation when he made up his mind he would save 25 cents, the price of a bath, by falling overboard, which he forthwith proceeded to do. His friends fished him out and laid him on the sunny side of the building. Jeff says he likes water on the side. Apr. 7, 1893 ADB

About 2 o'clock Sunday morning, a man in an intoxicated condition fell off the Main street dock alongside the steamer Manzanita. He was rescued by the watchman and one of the crew of the steamer in a badly demoralized condition. Apr. 10, 1893 ADB

Floating Down the Lewis and Clarke on a Capsized Boat.

J. R. Mathers, wife and son, met with an accident yesterday, which might have ended disastrously to all of them had it not been for the timely assistance of Billy Larsen, the milkman.

Accompanied by his wife and son, Mr. Mathers started in a large fish boat yesterday from Knappa for his homestead on the Lewis and Clark for the purpose of putting his farm in operation, pruning his fruit trees, etc. The wind was quite puffy all the way, but when they reached the Lewis and Clarke, a sudden squall caused some of the lines to come loose from the boom and the next puff capsized the boat, sending her over on her side where she rested on the sail which was lying flat on the water. Away they sailed with the tide, holding on to their seats like grim death, and yelling to attract the attention of some of the people along the banks. They had floated around about an hour when Billy Larsen spied them, and he lost no time getting a boat out to them and saving them from watery graves. He then took them to his residence, supplied them with dry clothing and provided them with every comfort, for which they feel more than thankful to Billy and his estimable wife. The accident was a great misfortune to the family, as they are working people and are not blessed with an abundance of this world's goods. All of Mrs. Mather's clothing was lost, as was all the supplies that they were taking to the farm. Apr. 11, 1893 ADB

Jens Nielson Has Something to Say.

The following item appeared in the BUDGET yesterday, and the statement from Mr. Nielson explains matters more satisfactorily:

Jens Nielsen and his boat puller, fishing for George & Barker's cannery, came very near getting drowned yesterday. When off Chinook point, their boat was capsized in a squall. They succeeded in getting back on top of the boat and were being rapidly carried down the river when a boat put out from shore and rescued them from their perilous position. The boat and net were lost as it was too stormy to try and save them.

Astoria, April 22, 1893

EDITOR BUDGET:--On the 20 inst., in the morning between 6 and 9 o'clock, I left Hungry Harbor or Megler's station where I had been lying from 11 a.m. on the day previous, with many other boats. Some were there when I came and others came afterwards. As everybody started, I thought I would also, as there were several boats together in case of an accident, we could assist one another, but such was not the case. I lifted anchor and pulled out, and before I reached the point, a puff of wind struck the boat and filled her and turned her bottom up. We managed to get on top and saw two boats, one about fifty and the other 100 yards off. I supposed we would be picked up, as I saw the men in the other boats looking at us, and we shouted for them to come; but no, they did not, but sailed off and left us to the mercy of the seas. As I came home at 9 o'clock, the same evening, one man by the name of Emil Ericson, fishing for George & Barker reported having seen the boat turn over and the two men on the bottom, but did not attempt to save them. Another man by the name of Jackson, who I am told was Christ Jackson, also reported seeing us. Fred Bang stated this to Mary G. Haven. She asked him if the men were saved. The answer was no, as long as they could see them, they were on the bottom of the boat going down with a strong ebb tide. I would like to know how such heartless men would feel under such circumstances, sitting on a boat in a heavy sea with water constantly breaking over them, and nobody making any effort to save them? What are such men worth? Have they any feelings for suffering humanity?

I took up my watch to see what time it was; and it was then 20 minutes past 8 o'clock. We drifted down toward Mr. McGowans, being way out in the channel. I stood up and waved my hat, hoping someone might see us as that was the last chance. As good luck had it, the men were out bailing out their boats and they happened to see us. As all the boats were swamped, they got hold of a big trap skiff, which Christ Hauge, Louis Hauffe, R. Pederson and P. Holstein managed to get out to us and took us off and landed us behind Scarborough hill. The men took us up to old man Fannings at 10 o'clock, where we were furnished with dry clothing, where we got warmed up, and when we were able to walk, we went down to McGowan's where we were treated kindly until we left on the steamer Queetrin the evening and were landed in Astoria about 8:45 in the evening.

I wish to extend my heartfelt thanks to those good men who had the courage and manliness to save us, and also to those kind people who treated us so well.


Mr. Nielson stated that the boat and net was on Chinook beach, and in all probability pretty badly broken up as they ran through one fish trap and broke out twenty-one of the piling and another one and broke out six. April 22, 1893 ADB

Yesterday afternoon, as Charley, the son of C.W. Stone, was riding a bicycle on Flavel's dock, and when near the slip on Cass [10th] street, the machine struck a taut rope, throwing the boy headlong overboard into the river. As the boy could swim a little, he managed to keep on top until rescued by the aid of a rope, none the worse for his involuntary ducking. Apr. 24, 1893 ADB

Four Fishermen Drowned Yesterday

At 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon, 900 fish boats from different canneries on the river had their nets out off Sand island. A few minutes after and without warning, a storm burst over the river, accompanied by a terrible wind and high sea. Some 200 boats managed to get under the lea shore of Sand island and saved themselves. The balance, unable from their position to beat around, made for home. The storm was now at its worst, and two boats from Kinney's cannery and one from the Cutting Packing company were capsized, throwing out the occupants and burying the sails of the boats under the waves. The little steamer Occident, which happened to be near, went to the rescue of the men and luckily saved them, although the boats were allowed to drift to sea. A few minutes after, in plain sight of the docks along the water front, another boat turned bottom up. The next moment two more capsized about 100 feet away from her, and though over thirty of the fishing fleet were sailing around them, no help could be extended to the unfortunate ones. The steamer Electric went to the rescue and picked up four men out of the six, the two that were lost being Nels Hanson and George Raith, fishing for the Cutting Packing company. The rescued men state that both men sank out of sight, calling for assistance. Meanwhile the fury of the storm was playing havoc with the sails of the boats tearing them to ribbons. The steamer Wenona, Capt. Job Lamly, on the way from Knappton, saw a boat capsize and at once made for her, but before the steamer reached her, boat, net, sails and occupants had disappeared. The boat also belonged to the Cutting Packing company. The names of the unfortunate men could not be learned. There is no doubt but they have perished. The balance of the fleet got safely to the canneries. May 12, 1893 ADB

Yesterday afternoon about 4 o'clock, H.O. Hendrickson and his boat puller, Victor Aleene, were fishing on Clatsop spit, close to the jetty, with boat No. 133 of Kinney's cannery, when without a moment's warning a tremendous breaker broke over them, capsizing the boat and throwing the men out. Hendrickson managed to climb on the upturned boat, but Aleene was sucked under by the breakers and before help could be rendered, the unfortunate man drowned and his body was carried out to sea. Hendrickson was rescued by the occupants of another boat which was lying near by. The boat and net were also saved, the rigging and gear lost. Aleene was a single man, a native of Finland, aged about 31 years. He leaves two sisters in Portland and one in San Francisco. One of his sisters now living in Portland is the wife of Wm. Anderson, until lately living in this city. The deceased was a member of the C.R.F.P.U. May 24, 1893 ADB

The captain of the life-saving crew at Cape Hancock is very much dissatisfied with the boat in which their duties so often compel them to embark on stormy waters. Unlike the boat used by the crew at Point Adams, it is not a self-righter and has to be bailed out by hand. In addition to this disadvantage, it is not considered staunch enough for the rough seas with which it has to contend. May 26, 1893 ADB


Mr. Ole B. Olsen, one of the sufferers in yesterday's accident to a fishing boat near Sand Island, called at the office to-day with an introductory note from our esteemed friend, Mr. Sofus Jensen, secretary of the Fishermen's union, and kindly gave us an account of the affair. About 2 o'clock yesterday, he and his partner, Anton Sumstad, who own their own boat and fish for the Point Adams Packing company, were lying with their boat just below the old wreck of the Great Republic, their net out. It was not very rough at the time and they apprehended no danger, when suddenly a great breaker loomed up with a menacing crest close upon them. There was no time to get the boat bow on and in another moment the rushing avalanche of water struck them. Both of the men were hurled from the boat, Olsen much further away than his companion, who soon regained the boat and held on. Olsen saw his only chance and swam to the net. He soon gathered together a number of the net's buoys, which kept him afloat, but his sufferings were intense and his peril supreme, as the breakers repeatedly swept over and submerged him, so that he was completely exhausted and more than half dead when both of them were gallantly rescued by the life-saving crew from Cape Hancock. Then the captain and crew of the life boat stripped the nearly inanimate form of Olsen and gave him a vigorous rubbing. When he had sufficiently recovered, they clothed him with contributions from their own stores. The imperiled fishermen are loud in their praise of the life crew for the noble treatment they received at the scene of the accident and on shore. James Nelson also did a generous act for them. He was fishing below them and went to the rescue, losing part of his own net to save theirs. May 26, 1893 ADB

Yesterday morning, the body of Ole Straud, who was fishing for George & Barker, was picked up at Sand Island by Richard Welcome and brought to this city and turned over to Coroner Pohl. Straud was fishing in boat No. 14 and on Tuesday, May 16th during the heavy blow, capsized. The boat puller, whose name could not be learned, was also drowned. The deceased was aged 29 years, a native of Norway, and has an uncle who is fishing somewhere on the river. May 31, 1893 ADB

Word was received from Seaside this morning that the body of a man had been picked up on the beach near there. Coroner Pohl will send over some person to bring up the body. June 1, 1893 ADB

Deputy Coroner R M Stuart returned from Clatsop this morning where he had been to view the body that was picked up there yesterday. It was so badly decomposed that it was utterly impossible to recognize the features. The body was buried where found. June 2, 1893 ADB

During slack water, the only time when fishing is possible near the mouth of the river, there is always a boat from the Canby life-saving station lying off the south side of Peacock spit, all manned and ready to pull to the relief of any fisherman whose boat may be swamped. This place is the main drift for fishermen, and this precaution on the part of the Canby crew is wholly voluntary, as they are not required to look after the fishermen. The latter should provide an adequate life-saving station at this point of their own. June 3, 1893 ADB

Yesterday afternoon while Peter Nelson, who was fishing for M.J. Kinney, was leisurely sailing his boat up the river past Booth's cannery; he suddenly fell overboard, and before he could be rescued, was drowned. The body was recovered a short time after the accident and taken to Coroner Pohl's undertaking establishment. An inquest was held this morning, and after hearing the testimony, the jury brought in the following verdict: "We, the undersigned jurors, find that the deceased was named Peter Nelson, was about 42 years of age, and a native of Denmark; that he came to his death June 11, 1893, by falling overboard from his fishing boat while intoxicated, opposite Upper Astoria, Oregon, in the Columbia river, and that no one else is to blame for the same." June 12, 1893 ADB

While the tug Columbia was coming up from the bar yesterday afternoon, Capt. Mathews saw a fishing boat drifting onto the edge of Peacock spit. He immediately went to the rescue and was just in time to save the occupants of boat No. 15, belonging to J.G. Megler's cannery, from a watery grave, although he did it at the risk of losing the tug, it being necessary to go so close to the spit. The men were very thankful to Capt. Matthews for his timely aid. June 15, 1893 ADB

Nicholas Vlahutin, a Slavonian, working in the stone quarry at Fisher's landing, was drowned in the Columbia river last Wednesday evening. July14, 1893 ADB

The body of Herman Lourilla, the fisherman of the Occident Packing Co. who was drowned on Clatsop spit during the storm of a week ago yesterday, was picked up on Sand island yesterday. Coroner Pohl this morning sent down a coffin, and the deceased was buried at Ilwaco this afternoon. July 25, 1893 ADB

Coroner Pohl and R.M. Stuart went down to the beach near Gearhart park this morning and exhumed the body of John Rasmussen, a fisherman who was drowned about two months ago and buried the body where found and brought it up this evening for burial at Greenwood. Aug 8, 1893 ADB

Over One Hundred Lives Lost This Summer.

The summer fishing season for the year 1893 closed at 12 o'clock last night. Though the catch was behind that of other years, we ought to be satisfied that it was no worse, all things considered.

Ever since the industry was established, it has been conducted with a reckless indifference to its permanent growth and prosperity that has been nothing less than suicidal. The fish have been attacked with a savage greed that has already almost ruined the business. In addition to gill-nets, seines and wheels have been used, and a forest of fish-trap poles in all the bays and on all the shoals has made it well nigh impossible for even a few fish to run the gauntlet and proceed to their spawning grounds.

It is only recently, too, that there was any real attempt to give the fish one free day in the week when they could continue their way up the river unmolested. Well, we are now to pay the penalty of blind, sordid zeal. We have crippled the industry, and should be thankful that the situation is no worse than it is.

But while we consider the commercial and industrial aspects of the business, it is well, too, that we now give some thought to the sentimental and human side. Somehow we have from time to time received the accounts of the disasters to fishing boats in the dangerous region beyond the Desdemona Sands and the consequent loss of life during the season, with little emotion, seemingly accepting these untoward events as a matter of course.

When now, however, we come to look at these calamities in the aggregate and find that one hundred bold and hardy fishermen who sailed down in the beauty of the summer evenings for those perilous fishing grounds and never returned alive, we begin to realize that there is a plaint of breaking and broken hearts in the wait [?] of the waves that kneel and sob on the low shores of Sand Island.

Only the names of those who belonged to the fishermen's union are known and when their bodies were recovered, they were accorded decent burial. As for the others, who they were or whence they came no one knows. It is only certain that such a number of unknown fishermen were lost, and beyond and before that all is mystery. Somewhere, rude and unlettered as they may have been, there are fond hearts waiting and watching for the coming that death delays and will never know the story of their tragic fate.

Most of the members of the fishermen's union who were drowned, about 60 in all, had families and homes here. Is it not time that something should be done to stay this terrible loss of life in the fishing season?

The government life-station crews have done a noble and heroic work in saving life down at the mouth of the river, but they should not be depended upon entirely.

The cannerymen and the Columbia River Fishermen's Union should join issues and establish a life-saving station of their own at Sand Island by the time another fishing season begins. Such a fearful loss of life as that of the season which has just closed should never occur again. August 11, 1893 ADB


Yesterday (Sunday) afternoon about 5 o'clock, Dr. Walker received a brief dispatch from L.N. Mitchell, of Knappa, to come to that place immediately, that his son Fred was drowned, but that he thought there was some hope of restoring life. The doctor at once secured a launch and started for Knappa with all possible speed, but when he reached there, he found that the young man's condition was beyond the reach of medical science or human ingenuity. He was dead, and had been for several hours.

The circumstances of young Mitchell's death is substantially as follows: About 10:30 yesterday morning, in company with a young friend, he went to Knappa slough to go in bathing, and after they had been in the water for about an hour, his companion heard Fred crying for help; and then saw him disappear under the water. It was some time before his body was recovered, but still his parents labored under the impression that there was still life in the lifeless body, but they were hoping against fate. Young Mitchell could not swim, and had waded out to where the water was too deep.

The sad ending of the young man cast a gloom over the entire community where he was well-known and highly esteemed, and the shock was a severe one to his parents, brothers and sisters. He was twenty-one years of age. August 28, 1893 ADB

Coroner Pohl returned from Knappa last evening, where he had been for the body of Frank Nelson, who was supposed to have been drowned. An inquest was held last evening. The accident was caused by Nelson breaking a blood vessel and falling out of his boat. The deceased was 35 years of age and a single man. Sept. 19, 1893 ADB


The Columbia claimed two victims yesterday, the second being Harry Banquist, a fisherman in the employ of the Scandinavian cannery. The accident occurred about 7 o'clock last evening. From what could be learned last night, Banquist had been fishing on the river and was returning home. All went well till the boat arrived off the Scandinavian cannery, when, in attempting to come about, the boat was struck by a heavy squall. The boom swung around so quickly that Banquist had not time to get out of the way, and he was struck a terrific blow on the head, knocking him into the icy water. He was probably rendered unconscious and sank before assistance could reach him. The body has not been recovered. The weather was very rough all day yesterday and the unfortunate man chanced to be a victim. It could not be learned last night whether or not Banquist had a family. He was an old-time fisherman. Feb. 16, 1894 ADB

Yesterday afternoon, Peter Anderson, who is fishing for the Astoria Packing Company, was on his way home with his little stock of fish, when his boat capsized through the jibbing of his sail. Anderson and his boat puller managed to climb onto the bottom of the upturned boat, but were soon rescued from their perilous position by two brother fishermen. Apr. 28, 1894 ADB

A boat containing two men was capsized on the spit near the Republic wreck on Monday last. A boat pulled to their assistance, but the breakers were rolling too high, and it failed to reach them, and it was with difficulty they saved themselves from being capsized. Both men were drowned. Pacific Journal. May 7, 1894 ADB

It was a terror of a night at Sand Island last night, and for several hours, the fishermen down there didn't know whether they were a foot or on horseback. The wind blew and howled, the water roared and splashed, and the gravel flew in every direction, almost pelting the eyes out of the poor fellows who were trying to save life and property. When daylight came, it was found to be necessary to cut adrift from various boats large pieces of nets in order to escape the dangerous tide rips. Tom Quinn's scow was severely damaged, one side being completely blown out... A number of boats were piled high and dry on the island, but no lives were lost. The piles of two condemned traps just below the old wreck of the Republic were completely wound round with lost pieces of nets. The only wonder is that no lives were lost. May 8, 1894 ADB [Quinn was jokingly called the "mayor of Sand Island."]

Some fishermen up from down near the bar this morning report that a floater was sighted last night, going out on the ebb tide which was running very fast at the time. It was too near the breakers when noticed to get hold of. May 12, 1894

Yesterday evening, a fisherman, who was drifting abreast of Cathlamet, picked up a neatly finished table which he found floating close by him. June 6, 1894 ADB

A gentleman who came down from Portland this morning, said that he saw a funny thing in the river yesterday in front of St. Helens. A huge big log came floating along, on one end of which sat a man with his feet curled up under him smoking a T. [?]. pipe, and on the other end sat a large white dog taking observations as cool as a steamboat pilot. June 6, 1894 ADB

W.D. Smith came down from Vancouver yesterday and exhumed the remains of his son, whose body was picked up on the Washington shores last week. They have been buried by Coroner Pohl at Clatsop. The body will be reinterred at Vancouver today. June 6, 1894 ADB

George Caboth [Kaboth] met with bad mishap yesterday morning. His fishing house on the seining ground above Tongue Point was washed away by high water and went out over the bar. The loss is considerable. June 7, 1894 ADB

The body of a man was picked up at Fort Stevens yesterday, and Coroner Pohl notified. The remains were identified as the sailor of the British ship Holywood, who was drowned last March. Coroner Pohl buried the body today, according to the instructions from the Captain of the ship. June 8, 1894 ADB

Sinks Beneath the Water Before the Eyes of His Friends.

Dave Beasley, a young man well-known in this city, and who has been fishing with his father since the season opened, met his death this morning by drowning in the channel opposite Kinney's cannery.

It seems that one of Kinney's plungers arrived up from Sand Island about 9 o 'clock this morning, and there being insufficient wind to run close in to the cannery, anchor was dropped in the channel, about 200 feet distant from the dock. Sai Get, the Chinese contractor, sent young Beasley out in a skiff for the purpose of bringing in a line from the plunger, with which to pull it to the wharf, and he had just turned back with the line, when Martin Anderson, the plunger's captain, sprang into the frail skiff, which went over like a flash, dumping both men into the turbulent waters. Beasley was considered a remarkably good swimmer, and his friends who saw the accident from the docks felt but little concern, until they saw him making frantic efforts to retain his hold on the upturned skiff. A boat was manned as quickly as possible, but before the rescuers could get to him, he sank beneath the muddy waters and was lost sight of.

In the meantime, Anderson managed to keep afloat until a boat reached him, which was some distance below the scene of the accident. When picked up, he was exhausted.

The deceased was a son of ex-policeman Wm. Beasley, and was aged about 19 years. He was known as an exemplary young man and of great assistance to his father in providing for a large family. The body has not been recovered and it is thought, on account of the swift current in the river, it will never be found. June 8, 1894 ADB

Last evening when the bar tug came in they reported seeing a boat bottom side up with two men clinging to it, in the choppy water just outside the end of the jetty. It was impossible for the tug to lend any assistance, as the water was too shallow for them to get in. Several fishing boats were seen going to the assistance of the unfortunate fishermen. It is not known whether the men were rescued or not. The boat belonged to either the Hapgood cannery or to the Cutting Packing Co. June 20, 1894 ADB


Captain Albert Larsen and boatpuller of Hapgood's boat, No 13, did a brave act yesterday which resulted in saving the lives of two fishermen, together with their boat and gear. Yesterday morning, Otto Kaski and boat puller, fishing in Columbia River Packing Co's boat No. 28, got into the boiling waters on Desdemona Sands, and before they could clear themselves, their boat went over. They managed to hold on to the upturned boat for some time, but the choppy waves knocked them off several times. Larsen and his boatpuller, who were near when the accident occurred, at once headed for the two unfortunate men, and without hesitation went directly into the dangerous and swirling waters and alongside the capsized boat. It did not take long to get the two men, who were by this time nearly exhausted, into their boat, and without delay secured the boat and net. They took great risk in rescuing the two men, as it was almost impossible for a boat to live in the waters, which were rushing over the sands at the time. The boat and net, together with their owners, were landed at the C.R.P. Co's cannery during the afternoon. June 20, 1894 ADB

Two fishermen got to skylarking in their boats in front of the city this morning and one of the boats got upset and the contents, including four big salmon, a lunch bucket, and other "ictas," dumped out. They should not play during business hours. June 21, 1894 ADB "Ictas" refers to fish; ichthyology is the branch of zoology dealing with fish.]

Most of the Fishermen Favor Driving Them From the River.

There is no possible excuse for whiskey scows. They are nuisances in every sense of the word. They have been more detrimental to many fishermen than any other one thing on the river. That they have been the direct cause of many fisherman finding watery graves goes without saying, and that they have been the indirect cause of murder and plunder, many believe.

More than twenty times this fishing season, the BUDGET has been urged by the better class of fishermen of the Columbia river to advocate the removal of these demoralizing and life destroying arks from the river. Two gentlemen who fish at Sand Island stated to a reporter last evening that a whiskey scow in that locality was the cause of the drowning of Anderson, who fell out of his boat while intoxicated last week. These gentlemen say there will be serious trouble unless the scow moves away from that locality.

Many fishermen who are addicted to drinking bad whiskey spend most of their time and all of their money in these floating man-traps, where they barter their good fish for the vilest kind of rot-gut while their wives and children are at home in need of the actual necessities of life. This is wrong, and steps should at once be taken to expel them from the river. It remains with the fishermen themselves. June 27, 1894 ADB


Olof Turnberg and Chris Schneider, while fishing in Smith's channel, opposite Tanzy point, yesterday forenoon, were startled to see the remains of a man float up against the cork line of their fishing net. They were taken into the boat and brought to the morgue, where they were identified as the remains of David Beasly, son of William Beasly, who lost his life by accidental drowning on the 8th of last month. The body was badly decomposed, almost beyond recognition. The recovery of the remains, however, is a great satisfaction to his parents, brothers and sisters, who have anxiously waited, almost against hope, for him to be found.

A coroner's jury was held on the case today, for what reason the public would like to ascertain, as there was no doubt about the cause of his death. July 5, 1894 ADB

Eddie Hall had a Close Call From Death
He was Saved by Thoughtful Persons Who Were Near By.

About 2:15 this afternoon while Eddie Hill, the 10 year old son of Mr. and Mrs. George Hill, was playing in a skiff near Kinney's burnt cannery, the skiff capsized and the little fellow went out into the water and after a short struggle went down. Capt. Al. Beard, who heard of the accident rushed to the scene, got a long pole with a hook on the end and pulled the boy out of the water more dead than alive. In fact those who saw him believed that life was extinct. When he was landed, John Ossenberger was thoughtful enough to get a barrel and roll the boy over it for a while, and succeeded no doubt in getting much of the water out of him. After this siege, he was carried to his home, physicians summoned and restoratives applied, and it was not long until Eddie let his anxious parents know that he was worth a good many dead boys. He was in the water about 10 minutes before he was rescued and the wonder is that he was not drowned.

George and Mrs. Hill express their heartfelt thanks to the kind people who so kindly assisted and did all in their power to save their son. July 19, 1894 ADB

Several small lads were paddling around this forenoon in an old dilapidated skiff in Scow Bay, when all of a sudden, the old tub began to sink. They all managed to reach shore but little Willie Elmer, a six-year-old. He went down and would have been drowned only for the timely arrival of Tom Olsen and Peter Hansen, two fishermen, who ran out into the water and carried the little fellow out and took him home. Sept. 9, 1894 ADB

Fred Peterson and Geo Kauri, two fishermen in the employ of the Astoria Packing Co., were capsized off Peacock spit yesterday morning and it was reported both were drowned. It is now learned, however, that Peterson had clung to the boat and was found by the life saving crew floating about on the keel of the boat. He was nearly exhausted and it was several hours before he was resuscitated. The other man perished.

A fisherman who witnessed the capsize of the boat yesterday at Peacock spit, which resulted in the death of one man, George Kauri, and almost drowning of Fred Peterson, severely condemns the life saving crew at Fort Canby for not attending to business. Had they been on the alert, as they are paid to be, these men could have been rescued easily enough. A gun was fired from the cape but the fisherman says it was over two hours before he saw anything of the life saving crew at all. This is surely cause for complaint, particularly this season of the year, when fishing is going on, too much care cannot be taken by these paid watchers. The Budget can give its authority if necessary for this statement. May 9, 1896 AB


A lone boat drifting down stream yesterday afternoon with a strong ebb tide, without an occupant, suggested to those on the O.R. and N. dock that perhaps some one was in distress or had been foully dealt with. Investigation proved that in all probability Captain "Charlie" Swanson, of the schooner Jessie, had been drowned while attempting to go aboard from his small boat yesterday afternoon.

Sunday afternoon the pilot schooner Jessie, in charge of Pilot Malcolm, with Captain Swanson and crew, came into the harbor and anchored just above the O.R. and N. dock in the main channel; it being the schooner San Jose's turn to go outside. Yesterday morning at 11 o'clock, the crew were paid off in full, and the captain, according to custom, drew his wages and prepared to return on board as he is the watchman of the vessel while she is in port. At 1 o'clock, he went down to the dock, and started in one of the small boats of the Jessie for his vessel. As he passed the San Jose, he hailed the captain and asked him to go out with him and look at his trim little ship. The San Jose's skipper replied that he could not just then, to which Swanson answered that he would return in half an hour. That was the last heard of Capt. Swanson, as he was soon to go on towards the Jessie.

Only a few minutes after this, the small white boat of the Jessie was seen floating down the main channel in a direct line with the Jessie, but no one in it. O.R. and N. Watchman Erickson at once lowered his boat and went to capture the runaway. By hard work he succeeded in getting around the dock into the channel and despite the swift ebb tide caught the painter of the Jessie's boat and rowed her to the end of the dock. There it was discovered that the runaway boat had no water in her, and that the rowlocks had been taken down and the oars placed on the seats -- all ship-shape. An investigating force was at once organized and towed the small boat back to the Jessie, where it was soon found that no captain, or watchman was aboard.

When seen last night, Captain Carruthers, owner of the Jessie, said that he only knew his skipper and watchman by the name of "Charlie," and could only account for his disappearance upon the theory that after leaving the San Jose, he proceeded to the Jessie, got alongside, took down his row-locks, placed his oars inside; took the painter in his hand and, in attempting to climb over the rail onto the deck of the Jessie, lost his hold by the rolling of the boat in the gale and slipped into the swift current of the river.

"Charlie" Swanson was a well known and popular pilot, having hosts of friends in Astoria. For years he was in the employ of the O.R. and N. Co. on the San Jose, and last night Agent Lounsberry said he was one of the most faithful and skillful men they had ever had. His friends are still hopeful that there is some mistake and that he will yet be found somewhere ashore, but up to a late hour no further tidings had been received. Feb. 16, 1897 DA


At 8 o'clock yesterday morning, Geo. Beckman discovered the remains of Henry Palmquist, the fisherman who was drowned Monday night on the beach about 100 rods this side of Tongue Point buoy depot.

At the coroner's inquest, held yesterday, after examination of the remains, Dr. J.A. Fulton testified that there were bruises on the head of the deceased, over the eyes and on the left temple. He gave it as his opinion that the bruises were inflicted before death, and that none of them would have caused death, but that death probably was caused by drowning.

Carl Niendorf, another witness, identified the body as that of Palmquist, and stated that he had known the deceased for more than a year, that he was forty six years old, and to the best of his knowledge, was unmarried. He said that he saw him at 3 o'clock Monday afternoon at the Eagle cannery, and that the deceased was then in a perfectly sober condition. Witness stated that about 5:45 p.m. on Monday, he went with the deceased in his boat, both intending to go home, on the other side of Tongue Point, both being perfectly sober. Palmquist steered the boat, and witness was forward, looking after the sail. It was blowing hard, and witness said that Palmquist told him to keep a sharp lookout for the net racks, and let him know in time so as to take down sail. "I was forward when the sail was lowered, and immediately afterwards a squall struck us. He was hauling in the sheet, but the sail jibed, and I heard him hallo twice for help. Before I could get the boom in and get to him, it was too late. I did not see him again. Afterwards, I got help and took the boat around the point to the other side."

George Beckman then testified that he found the remains of Palmquist, whom he recognized, about 8 o'clock yesterday morning, one hundred rods this side of the United States buoy depot at Tongue Point.

After a short deliberation the jury rendered a verdict, finding that Henry Palmquist had come to his death by the boom of his boat striking him and knocking him overboard, causing drowning, on the evening of February 16th. February 17, 1897 ADB


Early yesterday morning, John Hendrickson, one of the Columbia Cannery Company's fishermen, was drowned on Clatsop Spit. The boat was turned over in a heavy swell. The boat puller was saved by the fishermen who were near by, but Hendrickson went down before they could reach him. Full particulars have not yet been received. The Fort Stevens life saving crew did all they could to save his life, but could only reach the spot in time to bring the boat puller to shore.

Hendrickson was a Russian Finn, about 35 years old, and leaves no family.

It was also reported that several other boats were capsized in the same swell, and yesterday afternoon, one of Kinney's boats and a net were found capsized on North Shore, but the number of the boat could not be learned, nor were its occupants known up to a late hour. One of the other boats said to be in trouble is supposed to belong to the Cutting Packing Co. May 1, 1897 ADB


Another fisherman was drowned yesterday, making the fifth casualty of the season. While sailing off buoy No. 12, Issak Halo, a well known fisherman, who was in the employ of the new fishermen's cannery, was struck on the head by the boom and knocked overboard. The blow rendered the man unconscious and he never came to the surface. May 25, 1897 DMA

It was reported yesterday that William Lucas, boat puller for Joseph Barnard, fell overboard from his boat yesterday morning near Scarborough Head, and was drowned. No particulars have been learned. July 27, 1897 DA

Eric Baso, a fisherman, found the body of a man floating in the river opposite the Fishermen's Co-operative cannery this morning. He brought the body to shore and notified Coroner Pohl who took possession of it and buried it this afternoon in the new Clatsop cemetery. The body was hardly in a condition for identification but it answers the description of the man Engwell, of the scow Hustler who fell overboard from the Ninth street dock some weeks ago. The only relative that he is known to have had in this vicinity was Louis Ellingson a half brother who works at the Youngs river pulp mill. He has been notified of the finding of the body. There was a reward of $25 offered for the recovery of the body which Baso will be entitled to. April 15, 1898 ADB

Victor, the 8-year-old son of Victor Rost, the jeweler, was drowned on Saturday evening by falling into the river from the rear of the Central Hotel. He had been fishing in company with little Albert Porter in the basement of the Central Hotel and while Albert left him for a few minutes he disappeared. It was some time before an effort was made to recover his body and when it was brought ashore, life was extinct. From the discoloration around the boy's eyes, it was at first believed that in falling, he had struck his head, but Coroner Pohl could find no marks on it. From laving on his face, the blood settled in and around his eyes. His funeral will take place tomorrow afternoon. June 6, 1898 ADB

It was reported last evening that one or two fishermen had been drowned near the mouth of the river by their boat capsizing. Inquiry among the cannerymen and fishermen this morning fails to corroborate the story, although all the lower fishing stations have not been heard from. June 10, 1898 ADB

John Anderson, a fisherman, was drowned about 11 o'clock last night from the fish racks of the Fishermen's Co-operative cannery. In some way, he tripped and fell and went headlong overboard. His body was recovered in a few minutes and every effort was made to resuscitate it but without success. Dr. Estes, who examined the body believes that his neck was broken in the fall. He was a resident of Portland where he had a family but had engaged in fishing in the lower river for a number of years. He was a member of Industry lodge N. 8, A. O.U.W., of Portland, and it is probable that his body will be shipped there for interment. June 17, 1898 ADB

About three o'clock this morning, Booth's fish boat No. 2 in charge of M. Roos, capsized near the Peacock spit, with the net out and was drawn into the breakers. Roos and his boat puller got on the bottom of the boat but were washed off several times and were about exhausted when Booth's boat No. 40, Captain Christensen, came along and stood clear into the breakers and took them off at the risk of their own lives. The boat and net were subsequently recovered by Stanglund, one of George & Barker's fishermen. June 28, 1898 ADB

An unfortunate accident happened near Eagle Cliff Sunday evening by which Bessie Waithorp, aged eight years, was drowned. Her father is a fisherman for the Eureka cannery and lives on a scow anchored some distance from the shore. His wife was away on a visit and he went out on the river to make a drift leaving the little girl and her ten-year-old brother on the scow alone. In some way, the little girl fell overboard and her brother jumped after her although he could not swim. He had trouble in getting back to the scow himself but could not bring his sister with him although he had hold of her once. The body was recovered when the father returned from fishing. June 28, 1898 ADB

James Keating had a very narrow escape from a watery grave yesterday and if a fish boat had not opportunely come along, the Astoria Meat Company would have had a man missing. He had gone down the river in the launch Star to meet the incoming ships and in returning over the bar, the machinery of the launch became out of order. The boat drifted hopelessly in the breakers for half an hour and Keating was about ready to make a swim for his life when a fish boat came along and towed the launch out of danger. Launches and Jim will part company in the future. Sept. 15, 1898 ADB

The three year old son of Matt Furney was drowned yesterday afternoon by falling into the river from the net racks near the Astoria Iron Works. The water was but 5 feet deep and several made immediate efforts to recover the body but it was some time before it could be found and brought ashore. A persistent but unavailing attempt was made to resuscitate it. The funeral will take place tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock from the residence of his parents on Water street. The interment will be in Ocean View cemetery. Sept. 17, 1898 ADB

There is danger that three Astorians met with a serious accident of some kind yesterday and probably they were drowned. Yesterday morning William Ray, a boiler maker in the employ of the Columbia Iron Works, Knute Thompson, the sailmaker, and another man whose name is not known, borrowed Billy Humble's boat to go fishing down the river for the day. They have not been heard from since in any way and their friends are very much alarmed about them. Oct. 17, 1898 ADB

Fred Johnson, the milkman, accidently saved the life of a fellow milkman yesterday afternoon while on his way home across Youngs bay. The wind was blowing hard and the water rough at the time, and in addition, it was raining in bucketsfull. He noticed something that looked like an overturned boat but paid no attention to it as he was in trouble himself, until he saw that there was a man on top of it. He then brought his boat about and picked the man up. The man was almost unconscious and could not have held on to the boat much longer. He proved to be Abraham Junna, one of the Young's river milkmen, who was returning home with his milk cans when a squall turned his boat over. Nov. 23, 1898 ADB

Harry Twilight took an involuntary bath in the river this morning. He was on the train that came down early this morning and after its arrival, it pulled down to the open trestle back of the O.R.& N. dock. It was still dark and he did not notice that the train had shifted its position and stepped off into the river thirty feet below. Fortunately, he struck nothing in his fall and being a good swimmer, was soon able to get out none the worse for the mishap. Nov. 28, 1898 ADB

Alexander Hanson, a fisherman who lived above Tongue Point, was drowned last evening by the overturning of his skiff near shore opposite Uppertown. He was seen by some men who were on a net rack as he rowed under it when suddenly the skiff turned over and Hanson was thrown in not over three feet of water. He had an oar in his hand but made no effort to wade or swim ashore. He lay on the water with his face down and ropes were thrown across him but he made no attempt to grasp them. A boat was procured and hurried to his assistance, but he was dead, past recusitation, before he could be got ashore. Coroner Pohl was notified and he took possession of the body and after learning the circumstances decided that an inquest would be unnecessary. Hanson was about 50 years of age and leaves a widow and several children. Dec. 7, 1898 ADB

The tug Samson, with a barge of rock in tow, went down to the mouth of the river this morning with the intention of going to Grays Harbor. The wind was blowing at the rate of 60 miles per hour at the time so she turned back. One of the crew of the Samson said that on the bar he could see the waves pick the sand up from the bottom and throw it up in the air. Jan. 13, 1899 ADB

The disappearance of Louis Love, the Bailey Gatzert fireman, is no longer a mystery. The body was found yesterday under the wharf of the Astoria Wood Company and everything indicated that Love had missed his footing in attempting to reach the steamer which lay at the Can Company's dock and fell into the bay. So certain are the authorities that his drowning was purely accidental that no inquest was deemed necessary. The body will be shipped to Vancouver where Love's parents live. Dec. 8, 1899 MA

The Dangerous Experience of a County Surveyor.

We often hear people talking about a bad half hour which they have spent at some period of their lives, and who has not passed one at some time, remarks the Skamokawa Eagle, but few are fated to pass a more dangerous half hour than did Richard Strait, county surveyor of Wahkiakum county, one day last week.

Mr. Strait was on his way from Skamokawa to Grays River. He was sailing before a squally East wind, there was considerable sea running and the boat rolled down, the foot of the sail caught under water and the boat, which was small and heavily ballasted, swamped and sank stern first. He climbed up the boat's mast as it went down and at last, pushed out of sight under the water, the boat sinking in seven fathoms. Then commenced a struggle for life.

He was then opposite Chris K. Henry's place and the tide was ebbing quite fast, the water was icy cold and he was weighted down with heavy clothes. He knew he could not make the shore at Henry's so he struck out with the current for Elliott's point, keeping well clear of the eddies. Arriving off Elliott's, the current took him off shore, but here his cries for help attracted the attention of the people on shore and a boat put off to his assistance.

He was well nigh exhausted when George Elliott pulled him into his boat and took him ashore, but he met with the kindest of treatment from the people of Elliott's landing and by next morning, he had recovered sufficiently to resume his journey. He lost his boat and gear but fortunately his valuable surveying outfit was not in the boat at the time of the accident. Dec. 16, 1899 DMA

Not the end - See the early Astoria newspapers for many more mishaps.......

© Liisa Penner

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