Articles posted are in order as they appear in the original book. For the index, click here.
The disappearance of Florence Brown and George H. Evans in
1903 caused the area a sensation of rumors, "who dun it" and gossip
for weeks. Here are a series of articles about the unfortunate deaths of
YOUNG PEOPLE LOST NEAR CANADA LAKE
(August 11, 1903)
George H. Evans
George EVANS of Johnstown and New York Young Lady Missing ----
Their Boat Found But No Trace of its Occupants
There is much consternation at Canada Lake among the friends of George EVANS of Johnstown, and a young lady from New York, whose name is not known here as to the whereabouts and safety of the young people.
Mr. EVANS and the young lady, who are among the summer guests at the resort, left
Fulton's dock with a boat early yesterday morning in search of water lilies. Up to an early hour this morning they had not returned and nothing had been heard of them despite the fact that searching parties did diligent work until a late hour last night.
During the afternoon their boat was found in the vicinity of “Nigger” lake, west of
Fulton’s. In the boat was a sacque, a sweater, and one oar. The other oar was found floating in the lake.
It is surmised that they made a landing and the boat floated away and they became bewildered and are lost in the woods. The lake steamer remained in the neighborhood of where the boat was found up to a late hour last night.
Fulton's Hotel at Canada Lake
LOST YOUNG PEOPLE ARE NOT YET FOUND
No Trace of Miss BROWN or George EVANS
THE LAKE IS TO BE DYNAMITED
Searching Parties Are Still Out and They Offer Little Hope That the Lost Ones Will Be Found,
But Everything That is Possible is Being Done By the Searchers.
The whereabouts of Geo. H. EVANS and Miss Florence BROWN, who were stopping at Canada Lake and who disappeared on Monday are still unknown and despite the continued efforts of searching parties not the first clue as to where they are has been found. The entire woods from
Fulton’s Canada Lake house to Stewart’s dam have been searched again and again by searching parties composed of guides and backwoodsmen who are acquainted with every inch of the forests and yet no discoveries have been made to suggest that they are even in the woods. The prints of a ladies’ shoe were found along the trail to Nigger Lake, and at either end of the trail, but no one can state but that they were made by some one besides the missing young lady.
A rumor was on the street today that the couple had wandered to Lassellsville, but upon investigation it was learned that the report was unfounded.
It is the belief of those who were in the searching parties that they are not in the woods, so thoroughly has the hunt been made. The theory that the couple must have been drowned is now receiving more credence and accordingly men were set at work at 2 o’clock this morning dragging Nigger Lake bay, but nothing has been found up to the present time. It appears now that no one saw the couple land at Nigger Lake bay, but that the couple was only seen rowing in the bay. The theory advanced by some is that either in attempting to land or stepping back into the boat the young lady was thrown out into the water; that the oar was used by EVANS at first to assist the young lady, but is efforts proving fruitless, he jumped into the water to save her and both met their fate. This would account for the oar, which was loose from the boat in the water.
It is understood that the young man was twenty years of age yesterday. Mr. and Mrs. BROWN, of New York, parents of the missing girl, arrived to this city this afternoon, and were taken to Canada Lake.
Just before going to press the Republican communicated with Canada Lake, but no trace of the missing you people had yet been found.
The lake is soon to be dynamited.
Miss Florence Brown
SAW YOUNG EVANS AND MISS BROWN NEAR NEWARK, N.J.
A dispatch to the Morning Herald under the date of New York, August 16, says:
Instead of lying dead at the bottom of Canada Lake or being lost in the Adirondacks woods, George H. EVANS of Johnstown and Miss Florence BROWN of Gloversville, who disappeared a week ago are believed to have eloped.
Detective Sergeant MURPHY of Newark, N. J., has learned that Mrs. W. H. HARPER of Newark and her sister, Mrs. Harry PAXTON, of Johnstown, met EVANS and Miss Brown at Electric Park, Vailsburg, last Wednesday night.
Mrs. PAXTON is a friend of the couple and talked with them for some time. She did not know then of the circumstances that took them to Newark and thought little of the incident until she was informed that they were sought by friends.
The appended letter received in the office of the Morning Herald in Saturday night’s mail, contains practically the same information conveyed in the above dispatch, with the exception that it gives the date that the missing you people were said to have been seen as Friday, August 7th, nearly three days before they disappeared from Canada Lake:
Newark, N. J., Aug. 1, 1903
To Morning Herald, Gloversville, N.Y.:
Seeing your announcement concerning the missing couple, Mr. EVANS and Miss BROWN, I wish to inform you that I without a doubt saw them at Electric Park, at Newark, N. J., Friday last, August 7, 1903.
I spoke to Miss BROWN and asked her if she wasn’t from Gloversville, N. Y., and she denied it. She said I did not know what I was talking about, but she seemed very nervous and turned red. She and Mr. EVANS would not come near me the rest of the evening. They acted very strange. I could not find out whether they were stopping here or in New York City.
If it could be done I wish you could have their photos sent to a Newark newspaper then I could tell you more about them.
MISS JENNIE WERNER
98 Mulberry St., Newark, N. J.
Miss Jennie WERNER did until a few months ago reside on Second Avenue in this city, but according to her letter she does not know either Mr. EVANS or Miss BROWN lest why should she desire to see their photographs? Did she know either she could identify them without the aid of a photo.
Previous to receiving the Associated Press dispatch last night the Herald office was in communication over the long distance telephone with a newspaper man in Utica who is the local representative of the New York Sun. He called the Herald for the purpose of ascertaining whether Mr. EVANS had any relatives named WERNER residing in Newark, stating that he had received a telegram from the Sun stating that a Miss WERNER, a relative of young EVANS, had seen him and talked with him in Newark while he was in the company of Miss BROWN. Later the Associated Press despatch was received in this office.
There is a bare possibility that Miss WERNER is right; that she did see Mr. EVANS and his companion in Newark, but if she did she must have made a mistake in the date. They could easily have been at Electric Park, Newark, last Wednesday, August 14, but a week previous, Wednesday, August 7, both were at Canada Lake.
The matter will stand investigation however, and the Herald was about to place the letter in its possession in the hands of the missing young man’s uncle, Richard EVANS, of Johnstown who has had the search for his nephew in charge.
Mrs. Harry PAXTON is a resident of Johnstown. Her husband is a table cutter and they formerly lived in Gloversville.
The above story reads like a can (?)ard pure and simple, like the crude attempt of some persons to gain a little notoriety for themselves, but the Herald gives it for what it is worth.
NO TIDINGS OF MISSING COUPLE
Search For Mr. EVANS and Miss BROWN Futile.
DROWNING THEORY IS BELIEVED.
A Large Party of Searchers Were Out All Day Yesterday But Not the Slightest Trace Was Found of the Young People and Many Are Now Led to Believe That They Lost Their Lives in Canada Lake.
There are no new developments this morning in the case of George H. EVANS of Johnstown, and Miss Florence BROWN, of New York, whose strange disappearance from Canada Lake has caused great excitement there and been almost the sole topic of conversation in the glove cities.
The Herald was in communication with parties at Canada Lake at a late hour last night and learned that the searching parties who had been out all day had returned without the slightest trace of the missing young people. There have been circulated and printed in the papers stories that foot prints had been found, but as a matter of fact searchers have found absolutely no clue that would lead to the supposition that they went in this direction of that.
One party of searchers thought that they had discovered traces of foot prints in the woods near Newkirks yesterday and they were followed but came out into the clearing and had it been EVANS and his companion they would have soon gotten their bearing when they reached this clearing which was but a short distance from the settlement.
The prevailing opinion at the lake last night, and it was entertained by many people, was that Mr. EVANS and Miss BROWN had been drowned in the lake and that sooner or later their bodies would come to the surface. The theory was advanced that as the young people went out in search of water lilies, Miss BROWN might have lost her balance in reaching over the side of the boat, fallen into the water and in attempting to rescue her, Mr. EVANS might have jumped into the water and both been drowned.
In this event the bodies would not come to the surface inside of three days unless brought up by something unusual. A severe thunderstorm would do this, but under ordinary circumstances the bodies would not float inside of three days.
The family and relatives of Mr. EVANS discredit any of the sensational stories circulated and printed concerning the disappearance of the young people and they are of the opinion that they are either lost in the woods, or drowned and the futile efforts of the searching parties to find even a trace of them has greatly strengthened the theory that they lost their lives in the lake.
A large number of men, guides, lumbermen, people stopping at the lake and others attracted by the announcement that $50 reward would be offered for any trace of Mr. EVANS or Miss BROWN, searched the woods for miles around Canada Lake yesterday and will continue their efforts again today. Shots were fired and calls were made at intervals during the search in hopes that they might be answered from some source and the missing people might get their bearings. The territory as far south as Caroga Lake was gone over in a thorough manner, but without success.
Miss BROWN went to Canada Lake with her sister, Mrs. BIERING of New York, and it was their first visit to that resort. They reside at No. 169 Eighth Avenue, New York, and Mrs. BIERING’S husband is an electrician at Proctor’s theater. Miss BROWN is about eighteen years of age.
Mr. EVANS is a son of the late Robert J. EVANS of Johnstown, and his mother Mrs. Mary EVANS, who is stopping at the lake, is quite overcome. Mrs. BEIRING is also deeply affected and declines to say anything for publication.
There is still a possibility that the young people wandered too
far into the woods and lost their bearings.
NOW DYNAMITING AT CANADA LAKE
Last Attempt to Recover Bodies of Missing Couple
DROWNING THEORY IS ACCEPTED
The Lake Has Been Dragged In Vain, So the Dynamiting Has Been Begun in the Hope of Making the Bodies Rise to the Surface, if the Young People Are Drowned.
After three days and four nights’ hunting and scouring the woods in the vicinity of Canada Lake, the search for George H. EVANS and Florence BROWN has been practically abandoned. Every spot where the missing couple could possibly have gone has been traversed until the Adirondack guides, the backs-woodsmen and all who have had any experience in searching for people have given up all hopes of finding the young people in the woods. An admission was made to-day by Mrs. BIERING, the sister of Miss BROWN, which also makes it more probable that the young people have been swallowed in the depths of the lake. With some reluctance she stated that her sister was subject to fits and it is now generally believed that the young couple was drowned. Whether they had made a landing at Nigger Lake bay and were again pushing out, or whether they were rowing about in the bay cannot be determined, but in all probability the girl was attacked with a fit and threw herself into the water. The oar which may have been used could have been of no service in her condition and Mr. EVANS probably jumped into the water to save her with the fatal result.
Nigger Lake bay was dragged all day yesterday and again today, but with no results. The bottom of this body of water is soft and would be difficult to accomplish anything there. Today dynamite was used to raise the bodies from the bottom, but without success. The dynamiting will be continued however.
The theory is also advanced by some that the couple may have perished in a bog on the shore of Nigger Lake. Here in some places a mossy growth extends over the water and if a weak spot were stepped on a person might easily meet death in this manner. The dragging and dynamiting of Nigger Lake bay will be continued for the present, with the hope of recovering the bodies.
HAVE GIVEN UP HOPE
Of Finding The Young People Who Disappeared From Canada Lake.
In conversation with Landlord FULTON at Canada Lake over the telephone late last night, he stated that the friends of George H. EVANS of Johnstown and Miss Florence BROWN of New York, had about given up hope of finding them and that the brother and sister of Miss BROWN would leave today for New York.
The lake will be dynamited again today in a final attempt to recover the bodies, if they were in the lake.
Yesterday the lake in the vicinity of “Nigger” bay was dynamited and dragged, but without result. The searching parties in the woods have been called in and in all probability will not be sent out again as the territory has been completely covered and the ground thoroughly searched.
One theory that seemed to be prevalent yesterday was that they had become entangled in the bog and could not extricate themselves. Not the slightest clue has been found.
Unless young EVANS is heard form of puts in an appearance by Monday, when he becomes of age and comes into possession of the money left him by his father, it can reasonably be supposed that he and his companion have either lost their lives in the woods or been drowned.
It is probable that the relatives of Mr. EVANS will prosecute their search until every recourse has been exhausted and to this end not a stone will be left unturned that might possibly lead to a solution of the present mystery.
Mrs. EVANS, the mother of the young man, is nearly heartbroken in her grief and fears are entertained that the terrible suspense she is suffering will undermine her health. The affair has cast a great gloom over affairs at Canada Lake and the social events of the season have suddenly terminated.
DROWNED, LOST OR ELOPED?
WHERE ARE GEORGE H. EVANS AND FLORENCE BROWN?
The First Mentioned Theory in the Case of the Couple Who Disappeared From Canada Lake
Now Has the Most Supporters – A Fruitless Search.
Johnstown, August 14. – The shades of another August night will soon be falling on the silent Adirondack forest and the silvery moon will shed its light upon the waters of Canada Lake, where tireless, hope bereft searchers have not yet abandoned the hunt for missing George H. EVANS, of Johnstown, and Florence BROWN, of New York. More than 100 hours have elapsed since they left
Fulton’s Hotel at Canada Lake together and thousands of square yards of woods have been tramped over in the effort to find them but without avail. Dragnets and dynamite have been employed in the hunt through many acres of watery surface but the effort there has been as fruitless as on shore. There seems no reasonable escape from the conclusion that the young folks are drowned. If lost in the woods they must be in a distressing condition. There is but one other possible avenue into which they could have wandered – desertion of their loved ones here; but no one is ready to believe that they could be heartless enough to keep the latter under this terrible suspense, even had they deceived them by running away and getting married. Anxiety is growing into despair and those most interested in them think with trepidation of what the morrow may bring forth.
George EVANS’ father was the late Robert J. EVANS, of Johnstown, one of the prominent Fulton County glove manufacturers and a man of considerable wealth. The young man has lived with his mother and sister and had no control over the large sum of money left him when his father died. His uncle, Richard EVANS, as his guardian, had charge of it, but within a few days, he would be of age and the money would pass into his hands. The fortune coming to him amounts to over $100,000. This has given and added interest to the case and opened up a new field for speculation. Could there have been foul play? If so, for what purpose? There was nothing to indicate foul play and this theory was speedily dismissed by the few to whose minds it came.
EVANS was an athlete at Harvard where he belonged to the class of ’06. He was a conspicuous figure at the summer resort, as he was at Johnstown. He was a handsome youth with pleasant features, and his habits were always good. The young man had of late paid considerable attention to Miss WERTH, an attractive young lady whose home is in Pittsburg, and who arrived at Canada Lake Monday night.
It was for this reason that the young man’s mother remonstrated with him when she noticed his apparent infatuation for Miss Florence BROWN, of New York, who was a guest at the resort with her sister, Mrs. BIERING, of the same city. For 10 days, the two young people had been almost constantly in each other’s company. Miss BROWN is an amiable young woman of 20 and Mrs. EVANS had no objection to the young couple being together, except that she feared for her son’s happiness if his affection became divided between two. Hence her protest, the last time that she spoke with George about the matter being Monday morning. When they parted EVANS was
in an angry mood.
Shortly thereafter he and Miss BROWN left the hotel where they were stopping and set out in a row boat, ostensibly in search of water lilies, which abound that section of Canada Lake known as “Nigger Lake.” It was about 11o’clock when they started out and a little while later they were seen by Mr. Saltzman of Dolgeville, landing at “Nigger Lake Bay.” That was the last seen of them. Late in the afternoon their boat was found adrift in the lake by a rowing party. Some distance from the boat a loose oar was drifting and the sweater of the young EVANS and the girl’s sacque were lying in the bottom of the boat.
The Drifting Boat
A plausible theory seemed to be that the young people, on leaving the boat. These articles and the fact that there was no water in the boat were at first taken as evidence that the boat had not tipped over and that the couple were not drowned. That they failed to fasten it securely and that when they had gone it drifted out into the lake. When they returned from their stroll into the woods and the boat was gone they must have started – so some of the theorists said – to find a trail leading back to the hotel and neither of them being familiar with the forest paths they became lost in the woods. This theory found the most supporters, though some suggested that there had been an elopement and it was even rumored that the couple had been seen outside the woods since their disappearance; that they were in Utica and other places the day after they left the hotel. These suggested clues were quickly run down and found to be false.
Searching The Woods.
Meanwhile a search of the woods was begun. The Kanaughta went up the lake with a searching party Monday night, but they returned without having made a discovery. A system of signals made a discovery. A system of signals was arranged between the boat and parties on shore, shots were fired and the clear Adirondack air rang with the shouts of the searchers. Once they fancied they heard a woman’s cry, but it may have been a beast of the forest giving utterance to fear over the unusual sounds. A woman’s tracks were found in the woods, but no one was positive that they would fit Miss BROWN’s shoes.
All along the shores of the lake and deep into the forests of fragrant, so plentiful in this region, up the bank of creeks, where ordinarily pleasure trout are the only objects of sear and on the wooded mountain sit bands of cottagers kept up the hunt for the lost ones. Rockets were fired and bonfires built to guide them should they hear the searchers. For more than __ hours the search was practically ceaseless, for somewhere or other somebody was endeavoring to find a trace of the missing youth and girl. The dreaded possibility of drowning was not dismissed and while the forest was being traversed the water was not forgotten. Out on the lake were men dragging, anxious to find the bodies if they were in the water, yet hopeful that the search was in the wrong direction. Now was the fear of drowning wholly removed when several days’ dragging failed to reveal the presence of bodies. The bottom of the lake is a soft, stick mud and there was reason to think that the bodies might be lodged therein.
Dynamiting the Lake
Dynamite The Lake.
Hence the suggestion to dynamite the lake. This was carried out and at seven points on Canada Lake Thursday there were terrific explosions which sent the water high in the air and even brought up mud from the bottom, but no trace of the bodies were discovered. This left some hope that they might yet turn up alive, but as the hours pass and no word comes from them, when if they are civilized parts they must know that their absence has caused a sensation and that Mrs. EVANS and MRS. BIERING are prostrated with grief and anxiety for belief that they may be eventually found alive is fast dying away.
Other searching parties have now set out from Rockwood and Dolgeville and the suggestion is made that bloodhounds be put on the trail, but this meets with little favor as the rains have destroyed the scent before now.
Whether swallowed up by the waters of the lake, or lost in the almost interminable and ever bewildering forest, or enjoying the stolen sweets of a romantic elopement, the disappearance of George EVANS and Florence BROWN is one of the greatest mysteries the Adirondacks have ever afforded.
Further evidence against any theory of elopement is that EVANS had no money on him and wore only heavy shoes, trousers and jersey. He had also left his watch at the hotel and everything in his room was left undisturbed.
Mrs. BIERING has stated that her sister was subject to fits. She thinks it likely that the girl fell overboard and that EVANS, jumping in after her, lost his life in effort to save her.
Monday is the 21st birthday of young EVANS, and if he is alive then he will come into possession of his inheritance.
What May Have Happened at Canada Lake
A Popular Theory.
Another theory and one which finds favor with the lake men at the Canada Lake resort, is that EVANS and Miss BROWN were drowned in the following manner:
While EVANS was rowing back to the hotel from the “Nigger Lake” inlet Miss BROWN, for some reason, may have stood up in the boat and, losing her balance, have fallen into the lake. EVANS immediately unshipped an oar and extending it to the young lady endeavored to assist her back into the boat. Failing in this he leaped into the water to go to her aid. Those who know young EVANS say that he is not a strong swimmer and no doubt in his efforts to regain the boat with his companion both were drowned. The fact that the boat had not shipped any water does not prove that its occupants did not fall or jump from it. Many held that it would have been impossible for Miss BROWN to fall from the boat without overturning it. The boat is what is known as a White Hill model with a keel bottom. Lakemen say that this style rowboat will tip to the water’s edge without capsizing, and this last theory is the one which is not most generally accepted.
PERHAPS FLORENCE BROWN JUMPED INTO THE WATER
Wished to Bluff EVANS Into Proposal
EVANS TRIED IN VAIN TO SAVE HER
Then Both Drowned – Plausible Theory to Explain the Disappearance of the Couple
– Theory Founded Upon What is Known of Actions of Miss BROWN and Mrs. BIERING.
The Canada Lake mystery in connection with the sudden disappearance of George H. EVANS and Miss Florence BROWN of New York still remains unsolved, although the theory that the couple was drowned prevails so strongly as to amount almost to a certainty. This theory is supported by recent investigations made by the Republican which give a new aspect to the entire situation. That EVANS had paid the girl considerable attention is not denied by anyone at the lake, but the suggestion that he was infatuated with her to any extent is scouted by those who were acquainted with the young people and had watched their movements. Mrs. BIERING had been stopping at FULTON’s for nearly two months before the arrival of her sister, Miss BROWN, and it had become among the guests quite a general topic of comment that she was not altogether discreet in her actions, as she spent many hours on the lake with young men while she left a three or four year old child at the cottage to shift for herself, and in the attitude of Miss BROWN toward EVANS the impression was also formed that she had her net out for the young man and would resort to almost any course to win his good graces. Upon numerous occasions it was noted that she had thrown herself in the way of him, which course was assisted by Mrs. BIERING, and on a number of occasions young EVANS had left Miss BROWN unceremoniously, which tended to show that she was not making very rapid progress. This was further shown by the fact that EVANS had refused to participate in the dances until the arrival of Miss WERT from Pittsburg, the young lady to whom he was engaged, and his references to the latter were such as to indicate that he was most devoted to her.
Perhaps Florence BROWN jumped into the water.
The last day for Miss BROWN to accomplish her purpose had arrived. Miss WERT was expected and on the Monday morning on which EVANS and Miss BROWN started from the Canada Lake House, he was heard to remark that this was the last day he would grant her request to go out on the lake with her. What really happened in the rowing trip to Nigger Lake bay can only be surmised, but the theory is strongly instilled in the minds of those who were best acquainted with the circumstances of the case, that after receiving no encouragement from EVANS to continue her devotion, as a last resort she threatened to drown herself and threw herself into the water, believing that EVANS could rescue her and the incident
Would perhaps bring about her desired ends. EVANS, who was not an expert swimmer, it is believed, first reached out the oar but being unable to accomplish anything he jumped into the water to save her and the two were drowned. While it is hard to credit the young lady with taking the above part, the circumstances which led up to the couple’s disappearance strongly point in that direction and it seems to be the most plausible explanation of the mystery.
Miss WERT, who was accompanied to the lake by her mother and sister and who is a young lady of charming personality, made a most favorable impression upon those who met her and has the heartfelt sympathy of all.
The dragging and dynamiting of the lake was continued yesterday afternoon and today but without results.
An inquiry from Albany yesterday led some to believe that the missing couple was there but on investigation it was learned that the Albany couple did not answer the description.
THE REMAINS OF GEORGE H. EVANS
Taken to His Home in Johnstown ---
Funeral Will be Held Today --- Miss BROWN’s Body Not Found.
The remains of George H. EVANS, who drowned in Canada Lake, were taken to Johnstown last evening. At the undertaking parlors the body was prepared to take to his home, this being done later in the evening.
The funeral will be held at his late home in South William Street today at 2:30., where a prayer service will be conducted, and from St. John’s Episcopal Church at three o’clock. The Rev. C. B. PERRY of Cambridge, a former rector of St. John’s, will officiate.
Miss WERT of Pittsburg, to whom Mr. EVANS was engaged, her mother, Miss Annie YOUNGLOVE and James I. YOUNGLOVE arrived in Johnstown from Canada Lake last evening.
Mr. EVANS had been missing nearly one week to the hour of the time his body was found floating in Canada Lake by Max ERNST yesterday morning. The body was recovered about three hundred feet from the east shore of the lake and the head and one arm projected above the water. The body was towed to the shore by some men in boats and was removed to FULTON’s hotel, where Coroners PODVIN of Johnstown and PALMER of Gloversville, both of whom were at the lake, took charge of the remains later turning them over to Undertaker
Max Arnst, left and William Arnst, right
The body was bloated to nearly twice its normal size and was in a state of decomposition. There were no marks of violence to be seen to prove that there had been a struggle of any kind with his companion, Miss BROWN, whose body has not yet been recovered.
The most plausible explanation to the accident is that Miss BROWN either fell or jumped from the boat and young EVANS went down with her while trying to rescue her.
Undertaker WASSUNG received a telegram from Miss BROWN’s relatives in New York yesterday instructing him to take charge of the young woman’s remains should they be recovered. The deceased, who was one of Johnstown’s best and most popular young men, was a member of the first year class at Harvard University. He had a promising career before him and his untimely death is regretted by a large circle of acquaintances.
The deceased is survived by his mother, Mrs. Mary B. EVANS, one brother, Rev. Robert Y. EVANS, of Evanston, Wyoming; also one sister, Miss Lillian. The bereaved family have the sincere sympathy of the entire community.
BOTH WERE DROWNED!
Bodies of George H. EVANS and Miss Florence BROWN
Recovered From Canada Lake –
EVANS Bravely Sacrificed His Own Life Trying To Save That of His Companion.
Gloversville, August 20. – The finding, Monday, of the body of George H. EVANS in Canada Lake completely dissipated the absurd rumors and false press reports to the effect that the young man and Miss Florence BROWN the young lady with whom he went out rowing on that fateful day nearly two weeks ago, had eloped. Intimate friends of young EVANS refused to accept the theory of elopement and the sad discovery this week proved that they were right in their estimate of the young man’s character.
A Mother’s Weary Vigil.
To one broken-hearted woman the discovery of the young man’s body brought at least partial relief. To his mother it meant that a week of agony and suspense had ended. Day after day she had sat with tear-dimmed eyes and aching heart gazing out across the lake, the cruel waters of which had snatched from her all that she held dearest on earth. What a week of suffering it must have been for this mother! Waiting anxiously for some tidings of her loved one, yet dreading to hear the sad statement, which was the days wore on she realized could be the only one brought to her.
Night after night as the weary searchers came out from the great woods or stepped from their boats after a long day’s fruitless search about the lake, they were confronted with a woman in whose white, drawn face they saw such a look of suffering that they could not find it in their hearts to tell her that they had given up all hope. Despite their own forebodings they tried to reassure her, repeating “tomorrow, tomorrow we will be successful. Never fear,” and thus the week passed away.
EVAN’S Body Found.
And at last the men who had been searching for young EVANS and Miss BROWN were successful, but with the reward of their long search came the confirmation of their worst fears – the couple had been drowned. Yet to EVAN’S mother and his friends the finding of the young man’s body should be a source of relief. Bruised and broken it had come back as it were from the grave, a silent refutation of the slanders which had been cast upon the young man’s name since his disappearance. It proved that to the last he was honorable and brave; that in the crucial moment when he was called upon to make the greatest of all sacrifices, he was not found wanting – he had laid down his life for a friend.
EVAN’S body was found about 300 yards from Nigger Lake cove, which lies a short two miles west of the Canada Lake House, where EVANS and Miss BROWN had been stopping. On Monday morning, August 10, the two young people went for a row, saying that they were going to the other end of the lake in search of pond lilies. Later they were seen at the entrance to Nigger Lake and when several hours afterward their boat was found drifting on the water their friends surmised that they had lost their way in the woods.
Owing to young EVAN’S apparent infatuation for Miss Brown, whom he had only known a little over a week, and the fact that he was engaged to another young lady, there arose wild rumors that the young people had planned and carried out a romantic elopement.
As the days passed, however, without trace of the young couple being discovered, it became the generally accepted theory that they had been drowned. All last week Canada Lake in the section surrounding Nigger Lake cove, was dynamited daily. Monday the head and shoulders of the young man appeared above the water for a moment. Immediately a fleet of rowboats and launches were attracted to the spot and the search continued. A little later Fred HOWGATE saw the body and Max and William ARNST, who were in a rowboat nearby, picked it up. The remains were towed to the shore. There they were placed in a rowboat and taken to the foot of the lake and the coroner notified. Later the body was taken to Johnstown and the funeral was held from the EVANS home.
He Laid Down His Life For A Friend.
The finding of the body of young EVANS in the vicinity of Nigger Lake cove shows clearly that the young man had sacrificed his life in an attempt to save Miss BROWN’S. The young people, after their visit to the inlet had started to return to the hotel, EVANS rowing. Miss BROWN, in all probability had stood up in the boat for some reason and, losing her balance, was precipitated into the water. Immediately EVANS unshipped an oar end, extending it to the struggling girl, endeavored to draw her back to the boat in that manner. Failing in this he saw that there was but one chance of saving her and that was to leap into the water after the drowning girl. To a strong swimmer this plan might not have been impossible, but to EVANS, who was but an indifferent swimmer, the task seemed beyond him. Yet he never hesitated. Although knowing well that he was in all probability going to his death, he sprang into the water beside Miss BROWN.
What must have been the young man’s thoughts as he struggled desperately to regain the boat, with the burden upon his arm, which was dragging him down to a watery grave? Did it flash into his mind that all his life still lay before him? In a week he would become possessed of a fortune and the pleasures of the world would lay within his reach. Anxiously, perhaps, he scanned the lake, but no help was near. Then for a moment the tempter whispered to him. “Let your companion drown, save yourself.” But he would not listen and redoubled his efforts to regain the boat. Then he felt himself sinking and with mad energy buffeted the waters and prayed to God to save them. But the waters laughed mockingly in his ears and reached up with cold, clammy fingers to grasp him. Upon the younger man’s hearing there fell the sound of mighty engines puffing and grinding; he had difficulty in breathing, and then before this mental visions groups of friends and acquaintances passed him by. How happy they seemed; did they know he was drowning? Laughingly they stretched out their hands to him, vainly he struggled to reach them and then all was dark.
The search for the body of Miss BROWN was continued, when this morning, it came to the surface of the water and was placed in a boat by the anxious searchers and taken to the hotel where she was stopping before the fatal ride.