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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Clarence E. Bishop - Tragedy on a Bridge

Watertown Daily Times, Tuesday Afternoon, September 2, 1919

FOUR KILLED, ONE HURT, AS CAR GOES INTO CREEK

Accident Happens on Road About Three Miles South of Adams

CAR PLUNGES OFF 25 FOOT BANK

The Dead Are Mrs. Anna Bannister, Proprietor of Watertown Store; Her Sister, Miss Margaret E. Raymond; Miss Dorothy Elting, All of Watertown, and Mrs. Clarence E. Bishop of Syracuse--Mr. Bishop Badly Hurt.

Four persons ere killed and one badly injured three miles south of Adams at 11:30 Monday night when a Jeffery touring car owned and driven by Mrs. Anna Banniser of this city left the road and crashing through the iron railing of the bridge over Sandy Creek, shot through the air and plunged into the rocky bed of the creek 25 feet below.
The dead are:
Mrs. Anna Bannister, of 210 William street, proprietor of a woman's coat and suit store at No. 9 Public Square.
Miss Margaret E. Raymond, a sister, residing at 310 William Street and associated with Mrs. Bannister's business.
Miss Dorothy Elting, 19, of 314 William street, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Eli Elting.
Mrs. Clarence E. Bishop, 43, of 501 Walnut avenue, Syracuse.
The only survivor of the terrible accident is Clarence E. Bishop, 45 years of age, caddy master of the Bellevue Country Club, Syracuse. He will recover, it is thought, although badly cut about the head and with injuries to his right leg.
The four persons were wither instantly killed by being caught beneath the car or were drowned by the waters of Sandy Creek, two feet in depth at the point where the machine landed.  It is thought that the automobile skidded on account of rain that had fallen a short time before.  The bridge is at the foot of a long curving, but not particularly steep hill.
Was a Careful Driver.
With death sealing the lips of four members of the ill fated party, and with Mr. Bishop unable to narrate only that which happened after the car had taken the plunger through space, an examination, if such a thing is possible, of the car will alone determine whether or not something happened to the steering post as Mr. Bannister approached the bridge.  The woman was always known as a most careful driver, and was perfectly familiar with the road over which the party was traveling on its way from Syracuse to this city.
Mrs. Bannister, accompanied by her sister, Miss Raymond, Miss Elting, and a nephew and niece, Isabel and Charles Clark, 10 and 18 years who had been visiting at the Bannister home, left for Syracuse and Auburn to Medina, their home.
The party left Auburn, returning to Syracuse where they stopped for Mr. and Mrs. Clarence E. Bishop, with whom they were well acquainted and to whom a week before, Mrs. Bannister, while in Syracuse, had promised to bring to this city in order that Mrs. Bishop might appear in a matter in surrogate's court today.
Left Syracuse at 8:30.
At 8:30 the party left Syracuse, stopping at one or two places for candy and gasoline, including the Randall House at Pulaski.  Rain began to fall, making the road slippery in many places.  According to Mr. Bishop, Mrs. Bannister was running at not over 20 miles an hour when the accident occurred.  There had been a moon earlier in the evening, but with the approach of the shower the skies became overcast.  Almost as the crash came, Mrs. Bannister and her friends were talking of the rain and the slippery condition of the roads.
Guard Rails Break.
At the end of the bridge, guard rails had been erected, but these were snapped as though straws as the car and its passengers swerved to the left and took the plunge that cost the lives of four a moment later and left a  *** pinned beneath and in danger of being drowned in the waters that surged about.  The bridge is perhaps 25 feet above the waters of the creek which is filled with jagged rocks.  The car turned over at least once in its headlong flight, shooting through the air 40 or 50 feet before landing in the bottom of the creek.
Struggles to Get Out.
Mr. Bishop, with blood flowing from an ugly gash in the top of his head and with his right leg bruised, managed to extricate himself from the wreckage, after a 20 minute struggle.  Staggering through the water in the darkness, the man made his way to the bank and called for help.  three cars passed without hearing the cries of the injured and frantic man.  The fourth, a car on its way to New York, stopped.
At almost the same time, William Kellar, son of Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Kellar, who live a short distance from the bridge, arrived home from a baseball game at Detoriet, and was attracted to the bridged by the shadowy figures of men and women running about.
Kellar ran to his home calling to his parents to light a lantern, and to his brother, George, to help him.  One of the boys later on ran to Page's farmhouse, a short distance away, and telephoned for Dr. E. E. Douglass of Adams.
The body of Mrs. Bishop, meanwhile had been pulled from beneath the car but there were no signs of life. One of the Kellar boys, with others, pulled off his shoes and waded out to the car.  Another body was dragged from beneath the car as it was partially righted.
"Here's another body," yelled one of the men near the rear end of the car as the machine was slowly raised to its side.
The bodies were carried to the sloping bank and laid on the ground, until the fourth found a resting place beside the others, and Bishop, frantic with grief and pain, told the rescuers that there were no others.
Authorities Notified.
Sheriff Michael Gleason and District Attorney Jerome B. Cooper had been notified of the terrible accident within 30 minutes after it had happened, and left almost immediately for the scene.  Mr. Cooper posted two men, including Chief of Police Henderson, at the bridge, with instructions not to permit anyone to remove the car until further orders.  the two officials returned to Watertown, only to be called to Clayton by the report of another automobile accident.  Accompanied by the sheriff and a stenographer,  Mr. Cooper returned to Adams this morning and interrogated a number of persons in an effort to learn the true facts surrounding the affair.
Mr. Bishop had been taken to the residence of Mr. Douglass and his injuries cared for.  The district attorney question Mr. Bishop this morning but was able to learn only a few of the less important facts of the case, such as the time the party left Syracuse, the number of stops that had been made, but as to just what really happened at the bridge, the injured mans was a a loss to know, rather than to hazard a guess that the car had skidded an its driver was unable to stop it until it had plunged through the railing and onto the rocks.
Three Women Drowned.
According to Dr. Alfred Goss of Adams, who made a superficial examination of the bodies as they were taken from beneath the wrecked car, three of the four women met their death by drowning, the fourth through a fractured skull.  Dr. Goss was called to the scene of the accident about 12, and helped remove the bodies which were lying in the water at the time.
An examination of Mrs. Bishop's body shows a fracture of the skull, the head being quite badly crushed and sufficient to have caused death.  There were not other marks on the body.
The bodies of the other three women show no signs of any pronounce fractures and are not disfigured, supporting the statement made by Dr. Goss that death was due to drowning.
The body of Mrs. Bishop will be brought here this evening by Undertaker E. Raymond Hoyland and taken to his parlors on State street where the funeral will be held tomorrow morning, the hour being undecided at 3 o'clock this afternoon.
When Mrs. Bishop was killed that night, she had a purse in which there was approximately $100, and which until this afternoon had not been located.  Two men were wading about the wreckage in an effort to locate the purse and its contents.
Mr. Bishop was brought to the city this afternoon and taken to the home of Earl Seymour, a cousin of Mrs. Bishop, who resides on Boyd street.
Mr Bishop will remain at the Douglass home until such time as he can be moved.  That the man may be suffering from internal injuries was evident from the fact that he vomited blood when his head was raised from the pillow. F. I Bishop of 149 Fitch street, Syracuse, a cousin, accompanied by Mrs. Bishop and Mrs. McDonald, reached Adams at 9 o'clock this morning.
The scene of the accident attracted hundreds of persons today.  District Attorney Cooper and Sheriff Gleason arrived about 9:30 this morning, visiting the place for a second time.
At Mr. Cooper's direction, Chief of Police Henderson fished a woman's pursed from the water a few feet from the car, it belonged to Miss Raymond.  A woman's comb was picked up on the ground, probably having fallen from one of the bodies as is was carried ashore.  A further examination of the wreckage brought forth a candy box, another handbag, a book or tow, the wrenches and other tools being scattered over the creeks bottom.
The front ***one fender of the car was badly smashed where it had struck the iron protecting railing.  It was evident that the car had turned over at least once in the air, landing as it did with the wheels uppermost, the top being crushed and broken.  The tail light was still burning this morning.  The engine itself was but little injured.
As near as Mr. Cooper would ascertain, both from interrogating persons who arrived at the scene of the accident a few minutes after it happened, the car took the fateful plunge about 11:30, the watch on one of the women having stopped at that time, while another stopped at 11:58.
Alexander McMullin, a barber in Adams, told the district attorney this morning that when he reached the scene he found a woman, who later on informed him she was on her way to New York, swinging a lantern.  Bishop was on the bridge receiving first aid treatment, and repeating over and over again, "My God, my wife."  There were about a half dozen person at the accident by that time.
The bodies were carried up the steep embankment and onto the road, being taken to Scott * Undertaker's undertaking parlors in Adams, and later those of Mrs. Bannister, Miss Raymond and Miss Elting were brought to this city.
The body of Mrs. Bishop will be taken to West Martinsburg for interment.  Mrs. Bishop having at the time been a resident of that place.  She is survived by her husband.
Following Mr. Cooper's inquest this morning, the district attorney said that Mrs. Bannister's neck had been broken and that the others had died from either fractured skulls of from being drowned as they were pinned beneath the car.


The Journal and Republican, Lowville, N. Y., Thursday, September 4, 1919


FOUR KILLED, ONE HURT, AS AUTO GOES INTO CREEK

Mrs. Inez Seymour Bishop, formerly of Lowville, One of Victims, and Her Husband Seriously Injured - Others Killed Are Mrs. Anna Bannister, Her Sister, Miss Margaret E. Raymond and Miss Dorothy Elting, of Watertown.

Four persons were killed and one badly injured three miles south of Adams at 11:39 Monday night when a Jeffrey touring car owned and driven by Mrs Anna Bannister, of Watertown, left the road and crashing through the iron railing of the bridge over Sandy creek, shot through the air and plunged into the rocky bed of the creek 25 feet below.  The dead are:...
Mrs. Anna Bannister, 62, proprietor of a woman's coat and suit store at No. 9 Public Square, Watertown.
Miss Margaret E. Raymond, 40, a sister and associated with Mrs. Bannister, in the business.
Miss Dorothy Elting, 19, daughter of Mr. and rs. Eli Elting, of Watertown.
Mrs. Clarence E. Bishop, 43, of 601 Walnut avenue, Syracuse.
The only survivor of the terrible accident is Clarence E. Bishop, 45 years of age, caddy master of the Bellevue Country Club, Syracuse.  He will recover, it is thought, although badly cut about the head and with injuries to his right leg.
Mrs. Bishop was formerly Miss Inez Seymour, daughter of the late Wilbur Seymour, of West Martinsburg.  She was married to Mr. Bishop, fifteen years ago, and for some time they had conducted the Walton house at Lyons Falls.
The four persons were either instantly killed by being caught beneath the car or were drowned by the waters of Sandy Creek tow fee in depth at the point where the machine landed.  It is thought that the automobile skidded on account of rain that had fallen a short time before.  The bridge is at the foot of a long curving, but not particularly steep hill.  The party left Syracuse for Watertown at 8:30 p.m.
At the end of the bridge, guard rails had been erected, but they were snapped as though straws as the car and its passengers swerved to the left and took the plunge that cost the lives of four a moment inter and left a fifth pinned beneath and in danger of being drowned in the waters that surged about.  The bridge is perhaps twenty-five feet above the waters of the creek which is filled with jagged rocks.  The car turned over at least once in the headlong flight, shooting through the air forty or fifty feet before landing in the bottom of the creek.
Three Women Drowned.
According to Dr. Alfred Goss of Adams, show made a superficial examination of the bodies as they were taken from beneath the wrecked car, three of the four women met their death by drowning, the fourth through a fractured skull.  Dr. Goss was called to the scene of the accident about 12 o'clock, and helped remove the bodies which were lying in the water at the time.
An examination of Mrs. Bishop's body showed a fracture of the skull, the head being quite badly crushed and sufficient to have caused death.  There were no other marks on the body.
the bodies of the other three women showed no signs of any pronounced fractures and are not disfigured, supporting the statement made by Dr. Goss that death was due to drowning.
Mr. Bishop was brought to Watertown Tuesday afternoon and taken to the home of Earl Seymour, a cousin of Mrs. Bishop.
The funeral services of Mr.s Bishop were held at Watertown yesterday and interment was made at the West Martinsburg cemetery.

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