William D. Bard, Sr., died attempting to save Elsie Busick from drowning, Benton, Arkansas, July 11, 1915. Bard, 49, wire chief, who was dressed and was a poor swimmer, was wading on a shoal in the Saline River when Elsie, 16, became distressed in deep water 90 feet below the shoal. As Bard started toward her, his 14-year-old son clung to him, begging him not to go to the rescue. The son left him when Bard reached deep water. Bard swam toward Elsie, but when he was within 40 feet of her, he called for help. Persons on the bank were unable to help him, and he sank and was drowned. Elsie sank and was drowned a few seconds later. 15044-1145
15044 – 114515044-1145
When William Dodge Bard, while fishing in the Saline River, near Benton, Ark., heard the cries that called for help for 16-year-old Elsie Busick, who had become exhausted in the water, he plunged into the river and tried to rescue the drowning girl. He did not stop to remove clothing and he had not tried to swim in 15 or 20 years.
All the odds were against him, but he was instant in his effort to save the girl’s life. It was bravery that did not stop to count the odds. It was bravery that sent William Dodge Bard into Saline River, ill prepared as he was for such a struggle He died in the water, as did the young girl whom he tried to save.
He was buried in Oakland Cemetery in Little Rock, Ark.
(Edited fron an obituary in the Arkansas Gazette, July 13, 1915)