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News: The Drowning of Frank Kyte (1877)


Posted By: Melissa Mayhew Grandt (email)
Date: 5/20/2009 at 07:40:19

[Transcriber's note: This obituary was very difficult to read, owing to its age. Information should be cross-referenced with other sources, if possible.]

The Dubuque Herald, Dubuque (Dubuque Co.), Iowa, 10 July 1877.

The Drowning of Frank Kyte, the Treasurer of Howard County, in the Mississippi Near Pictured Rocks.

Particulars of the Terrible Tragedy,
Special Correspondence of the Dubuque Herald.

MCGREGOR, July 9. -- On Saturday, at 10 o'clock p.m., Frank Kyte, the treasurer of Howard county, was drowned in the Mississippi river near Pictured Rocks, while in bathing.

Mr. Kyte had been ill for some weeks, suffering from rheumatism, and had been at Prairie du Chien taking Turkish baths in artesian well water at the Remedial Institute there. In company with Mr. Le Grand, of the Mondell house, he started in a skiff down the river, to Pictured Rocks to enjoy a bath in the river and view the beauties of that romantic place. During his exercises in the water Mr. Kyte proposed to Le Grande to swim the river, which was agreed to, and they both struck out for the island. Mr. Le Grand had only gone about five rods, when he backed out and said he could swim no further, and returned to shore, and when just pulling his shirt over his head he heard a scream, and looking toward Mr. Kyte saw only his hands sticking above the water. This was the last he saw of the drowned man, and with great haste Mr. Le Grand rowed his boat to Prairie du Chien and gave the alarm. The ferryboat City of McGregor was chartered, and fully 200 people went down the river to the place of drowning, and every effort was made to find the body. Bread with quicksilver in it was floated round in the water; drag hooks were employed, and a diligent search made to find Mr. Kyte until night came on and the effort was abandoned. A reward of $50 is offered for the body, and at this writing men in skiffs are scouring the river in the hope of finding him.

This terrible accident has produced an unwanted sensation in the city, and cast a deep gloom over many hearts who loved Mr. Kyte in life. He was a good man, has been twice elected treasurer of Howard county, (his term of office expiring the 1st of January next) and leaves a wife and two children to mourn his untimely death. On Monday he was intending to leave for home, and was gratified over the prospect of renewed health.

Up to a late hour Sunday evening the news had not been sent to Mrs. Kyte at Cresco, owing to the failure to get the operator there. It is now feared that the body will drift so far down the channel of the river that it cannot be found until it comes to the surface. Our cannon will be used if occasion seems to require it.


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