Ira James Garner, 28, farm implement salesman, died helping to save Franklin W. Thomason, 10 from drowning, Smiths Ferry, Idaho, July 4, 1950. Franklin fell from a bank of the North Fork of the Payette River, was submerged briefly, and drifted in a swift current to water eight feet deep 25 feet from the bank. Garner ran 200 feet along the bank to opposite Franklin and kicked off his boots. Preceded by a man who was a good swimmer, Garner entered the water and waded six feet from the bank. He swam 20 feet cross-current toward Franklin and overtook the other man, who returned to near the bank. Garner continued 10 feet farther to Franklin and took hold of him. They drifted 27 feet, Garner in that distance towing Franklin 10 feet toward the bank. The other man obtained a pole 10 feet long and from wadable water extended it toward Garner, who could make no further progress with Franklin who held to him. Pushing against Garner’s shoulder, Franklin thrust himself to the pole and was pulled to safety. Garner sank and was drowned. 42037-3726
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Ira James Garner, 28, of Parma, Idaho, died July 4, 1950, in Smiths Ferry, Idaho, helping to save a 10-year-old boy from drowning. The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission posthumously awarded him the Carnegie Medal in October 1951.
Garner was born May 18, 1922, in Rupert, Idaho. He moved to Nyssa, Oregon, with his parents in 1938, then to Emmett in 1941.
Garner was buried in Rosedale Memorial Gardens in Payette, Idaho.
(Edited from an obituary published in the Messenger-Index newspaper in Emmett.)