William D. Harrison saved Royce W. Maxfield, from drowning, Villa Grove, Illinois, December 6, 1940. Royce, 9, broke through mushy ice into water 11 feet deep 20 feet from the bank of a reservoir. He was 15 feet from firm ice. From the bank Harrison, 18, schoolboy, who was heavily clothed and wore rubber boots, walked to a point two feet from Royce. Royce was submerged, and Harrison jumped into the water beside him. Royce rose to the surface; and Harrison with one hand took hold of his clothing at the back, held him at arm’s-length, and stroked with his free arm. Twice Royce tried to get hold of him. Harrison’s boots filled, and he kicked them off. While Harrison pushed him, Royce crawled onto the ice and went to the bank. Harrison tried to climb onto the ice, but it broke off. By repeatedly striking the ice with one arm, Harrison then broke a channel for 13 feet toward the bank. He climbed onto the ice and went to the bank.38751-3204
William D. Harrison, 35, Villa Grove fireman and former fire chief, died at 9:45 a.m. today of injuries received when he fell from a fire truck.
Harrison, riding on the side of the truck was on a practice run with other members of the department when he was struck by a tree branch at Harrison park. He ducked and grabbed a truck ladder which is mounted on springs.
When the ladder gave, Harrison let loose and fell under the truck. The right rear tire passed over his body between the knee and the hip.
He was treated at Villa Grove doctor’s office and then taken to Jarman Hospital where he died this morning of internal injuries.
Harrison had been chief of the department until he moved to Fairland. He resigned his post then, but stayed on as a regular fireman.
He leaves his wife, Eleanor; two children, Linda Lou and Billy; two sisters, Miss Donna Harrison, Villa Grove, and Mrs. Frank Erschen of Pontiac, Mich.; three brothers, Theodore of Arcadia, Wis., Duard of Joliet and Robert of Villa Grove.