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ALLEN, Donald Fay 1931-1941


Posted By: K.L. Kittleson
Date: 1/24/2013 at 16:51:39


Donald Allen, 9, Lost;
His Mate, Daniel Yeager,
Grabs Life Preserver.

Nine-year-old Donald Fay Allen, 927½ Commercial Street, was drowned in the Cedar River near Fifth, Street bridge at 6:13 p. m. Saturday only a few moments after he and his companion. Daniel Yeager, 13, of 611 Washington Street, were swept over Fourth Street dam with their oar-less boat

The Yeager boy, rescued by a life preserver which was tossed into his path, said he and the victim jumped from the boat an instant before it went down the apron of the dam.

Firemen, with grappling hooks, patrolled the area above, below and under Fifth Street bridge for hours last, night—vainly trying to locate the Allen boy's body—while thousands of persons stood along the bridge and the west bank of the river, watching and waiting.

Twice during the search firemen hooked the boy's body, once by the suspenders of his overalls about 8:40 p.m., and then by one arm, 20 minutes later. The first time, the strap broke and he sank. The second time the current forced the body free from the hook, 30 feet below Fifth Street bridge.

Firemen halted their search at 1:30 a. m. today, announcing they would resume work at daybreak.

Both lads were homeward bound, said Yeager, from Cedar River Park, where they participated in the annual Easter egg hunt shortly after 2 p.m. Saturday. "We were just playing along the edge of the river, on the west side," Yeager related, "when we spied a boat along the wall. We jumped down into it and it started out toward the dam. "As we got closer and closer," he went on, "I thought we'd better get out quick, rather than go over the dam and get in that fast water below. So just before the boat went over the edge we jumped out. I thought maybe we could swim along the dam over to the wall (on the west bank) and crawl out all right."

"But," he said, "the water was too fast and we went over the dam too. Next thing I remember I saw a white thing (the life preserver) on a rope and grabbed it, just beyond Fifth Street bridge.

"Somebody pulled me toward the bank and helped me out. Firemen look me home."

Aside from fright, he suffered no ill effects from his experience and was in bed at 8 p. m. Saturday. He is the son of Mrs. Hazel Yeager Baldwin, of 611 Washington, and of Daniel Yeager, Sr., of Davenport, Iowa.

Witnesses said the Allen boy came within inches of grabbing the life preserver just after he swept under Fourth Street bridge.

A number of people on the scene were of the belief they had seen his arm above water as he neared Fifth Street bridge, about 75 feet out from the west bank. One or two others told firemen they believed the Allen boy sank shortly after his futile grab for the preserver, just below the Fourth Street.

One of four children in the Percy M. Allen family, Donald was the second to die accidentally.

His sister, Lucille, 9, was fatally injured by a stray bullet in 1930, as she walked along Black Hawk Creek, near the foot of Fletcher Avenue, and was struck by a rife bullet fired by boys who were shooting at cans floating along the stream. She was treated at University Hospital, Iowa City, for the head wound but developed a meningitis and succumbed.

Donald Fay Allen was born July 18, 1931. in Waterloo. He was a pupil at Lowell School, in grade 2-B.

Surviving are his parents, and two brothers, Willis, 18, and Leonard, 16. Fire Capt. W. W. Allen, No. 2 station, is an uncle.

[Waterloo Daily Courier, Sunday, April 13, 1941, Waterloo, Iowa]
See obituaries for his father, Percy Allen, and for his sister, Lucille Allen.


Black Hawk Obituaries maintained by Kermit Kittleson.
WebBBS 4.33 Genealogy Modification Package by WebJourneymen

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