[From a quick record search, I believe his parents were Samuel A. Lewis of Connecticut (1817) and Emily E. Hills of New York (1827). His siblings were Sarah B, born in Connecticut (1850); Charles A, born in Connecticut (1853); and Jerusha M, born in Iowa (1861). Walter’s birth year should be either 1859 or 1860. The above information is taken from the Cass, Jones, Iowa, census of 1870. Please feel free to copy and attach this story to your family tree.]
Drowned–About ten o’clock this forenoon Walter Lewis, son of S. A. Lewis, a deaf mute, was drowned in the mouth of the Buffalo, a few rods west of the cemetery. The boy had run away from school and was bathing in company with several companions. In attempting to cross from this shore to the “point” he was apparently taken with cramp and sunk almost without any demonstration whatever. The alarm was at once given and a large crowd repaired to the scene of the accident. Divers and others armed with rakes, spears and grappling hooks, went out in boats and have been working faithfully to find the body, but, as yet, are unsuccessful. The water in this part of the river is 10 to 16 feet deep, and there is not much variation from this depth until Doan’s dam is reached.
Young Lewis was about sixteen years of age, and his parents reside about a mile north of Anamosa. What makes this event more distressing is the absence of the father, who is peddling in some of the western counties. The probability is that he will not learn of his loss until after the funeral takes place.
P.S.–The body of the drowned boy was found in ten feet of water about four o’clock this afternoon. A line of boats was formed across the river and in less than a half hour Mr. J. D. Walworth struck the leg of the boy with a spear and drew him to the surface. An inquest was held at the residence of W. V. Field and a verdict returned in accordance with the above facts.
June 18, 1874
Anamosa Eureka, 3rd page, 3rd column, midway down