Earl Wright

Lewiston Morning Tribune
Saturday, July 9, 1932

Earl Wright Sinks In Lochsa Current

Fails To Make Shore After Raft Is Swirled Down Stream - Companions Helpless - Body In Deep Hole.

Earl Wright, 14, son of Mr. and Mrs. Rex Wright, 1519 Prospect avenue, was drowned in the Lochsa river at the mouth of Glade creek, 33 miles east of Kooskia, at 9 o'clock yesterday morning and up to a late hour the body has not been recovered.

Two companions, Gerald Wright, 14, a cousin, son of Mr. and Mrs. Lyle W. Wright, 1511 Prospect avenue, and Harry Hemperly, 16, son of Mr. and Mrs. J. G. Hemperly, 622 Third street, narrowly escaped the same fate when a raft the three were riding got into the rapids a short distance below the mouth of the creek. The improvised craft swirled in the turbulent water and the boys, seeing their danger, attempted to guide it toward the shore, and, failing in this they jumped. Gerald Wright and Harry Hemperly were closest to the shore and managed to land, but their companion jumped into the river some distance from shore and was seen engulfed in the rapids.

Think Body in Hole.

The terror-stricken boys on shore attempted to rescue Earl but in vain. He was carried down the rapids into a hole 30 feet deep and there the body is supposed to be resting.

Forest rangers at the Pete King station, seven miles from where the drowning occurred, were unsuccessful in attempts to recover the body. The search stopped at nightfall and will be resumed this morning. A boat will be taken from Kooskia and several men will accompany to join in the search. Persons accustomed to the river say the body will be found in the deep hole where it plunged.

Leave For Scene.

Mr. and Mrs. Rex Wright and Mr. and Mrs. Lyle Wright left for the scene of the drowning when informed of the tragedy.

In company with their parents the boys left here Saturday for an outing on the Lochsa. Their elders returned July 4.

Earl Wright, who came here with his parents about a year and a half ago from Plains, Mont., was a junior at the Lewiston high school. In addition to the parents, a sister, Shirley, survives.

Lewiston Morning Tribune
Sunday, July 10, 1932

Body Is Recovered From Lochsa River

Waterscope Gets Quick Results In Search For Earl Wright Who Was Drowned Friday Morning.

The body of Earl Wright, 14, son of Mr. and Mrs. Rex Wright of this city, who was drowned Friday morning at 9 o'clock in the Lochsa river, 33 miles east of Kooskia, was recovered at noon yesterday with the aid of a waterscope within a half hour after the instrument was pressed into service.

After jumping from a raft on which Harry Hemperly, 16, of this city, was also riding, the youth was caught in the rapids and carried into a 30-foot hole at the end of the rapids, and there the body was found. Hemperly jumped from the raft when it broke from its mooring and managed to gain the shore in safety. Earl jumped buy was too far from shore and was unable to battle the current, although he could swim.

Story Of Accident.

According to Lyle W. Wright, uncle of the drowned boy, Earl, Harry Hemperly and Gerald Wright, son of Mr. and Mrs. Lyle Wright, had constructed a raft and had attached a rope to it and this was tied around a big rock. While Hemperly and Earl were on the raft the rope became loose and the improvised craft started downstream and hit the rapids. Gerald was on shore.

Forest rangers at the Pete King station about seven miles away learned of the accident Friday and three of them traced the banks of the stream from where they drowning occurred to Kooskia. The waterscope was provided by George W. Trenary, Kooskia merchant. It is capable of penetrating and showing objects in water at a depth of 80 feet.

Funeral Monday

The body was brought to Lewiston last night by the father and uncle. Funeral services will be held tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. at the Brower-Wann chapel. Interment will be in the Vineland cemetery, Clarkston. Besides being a junior at the local high school, Earl was a member of the school band, and members of that organization will be pallbearers.

Contributed by Natalie Huntley

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