March 12, 1874 (Anamosa Eureka, 3rd page, near top)
DROWNED.–We learn through Mr. G. W. Lathrop that Darwin Silver, aged 14 years, a nephew of Anthony Courtright, of Oxford Mills, was drowned in the Wapsie last Sunday. The deceased was in company with two little boys of Milo Lathrop, and appears to have been leading the way across a bayou or side stream near the main channel. The ice had formed with comparative solidity the night before, but it proved too weak and Silver broke in, the water at that point being between five and six feet deep. The lad held to the ice and his companions ran in different directions for help. Only an old gentleman and some women could be found and these quickly repaired to the spot but were unable to do anything. The old gentleman remained to encourage the boy and the women started off for further aid. Five minutes before assistance arrived the boy’s strength gave out and he sunk to a watery grave, having held to the margin of the ice for one long hour in vain! A boat was procured and after an hour’s search the body was found. Dr. M. N. Graves was present and restoratives were applied, but the body had been too long in the icy grip of death and was beyond the reach of human aid.
The parents of the deceased reside north of Strawberry Point, and the corpse was taken home last Monday by Mr. Courtright. It is a sorrowful blow indeed to the parents and to Mr. Courtright. The latter has lost three boys of his own, the first, one year old; the second by drowning at T*onto twelve years ago at the age of ten years; the third by spinal disease four years ago; and now this nephew, who had been living as one of the family for a year, has been suddenly taken away. The sad event occurred a half mile below Oxford Mills, and has cast a gloom over the entire community. How true it is that “in the midst of life we are in death.”
[This story has been attached to Anthony Courtright, ID number L7FS-Q47, on familysearch.org here. I have not identified Darwin Silver. Of note, George Lathrop lived with the Courtrights on the 1860 census and was a clerk in Mr. Courtright’s store.]