Iowa Old Press
Shelby County Republican
May 31, 1888
Panama, Shelby, IA
A report reached this city on Monday that two women were drowned on the evening previous at or near Panama. The report was confirmed, the victims of the accident proving to be Mrs. Hammersback and her daughter Mary, who were on their return from attending services at Westphalia, accompanied by Chas. Lohr, a young farmer residing near Panama.
The accident was caused by the giving away of a bridge crossing a stream about one and a half miles east of the above mentioned place. The young lady and her mother occupied the back seat of the carriage while the gentleman was driving. When they arrived at the fatal bridge Mr. Lohr got out and walked ahead and finding that the bridge was standing and apparently secure drove on, when the stringers, which were unsupported-the piling having been washed out by the flood of the evening-gave way, letting the wagon, horses and occupants down into the water, with the horses on top. Mr. Lohr, being on the front seat, sprang out and was able to save himself from drowning, but was so badly injured as to be unable to render any assistance to his unfortunate companions and was thus compelled to listen to their, piteous appeals, for help without being able to move to their aid. The young lady, it is supposed, was killed by the plunging and kicking of the horses in their efforts to extricate themselves. Mrs. Hemmersbach was drowned.
The husband and father thus left alone with three small children, bereft at once of a loving wife and daughter, is said to be almost distracted. Miss Mary was the betrothed of Mr. Lohr, and her sad death falls with crushing effect upon him.
The bodies of the mother and daughter were taken to Chicago for burial, where their friends reside. The sorrowing father has the deepest sympathy of neighbors and friends in this, the saddest hour of affliction that has ever visited him.
[transcribed by F.S., August 2007]
Iowa Old Press