E. Hale Elston died attempting to save Eugene C. Burk from drowning, Mason, Illinois, August 28, 1924. While wading in Little Wabash River, Eugene, 15, was carried by the current into a pool 12 feet deep. Elston, 27, teacher, followed by another man, both of whom were on the bank and were clothed, swam 45 feet to the point where Eugene had disappeared. Elston dived for Eugene, and Eugene came to the surface with one arm around Elston’s neck. Eugene got on Elston’s back, and Elston did not reappear. Eugene remained at the surface a moment and then sank. Both drowned. The other man got into distress and also drowned.
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