"Short History of the Little Nestucca River Valley and Its Early Pioneers" written about South Tillamook County, Oregon

The page below was written by Mrs. Hardy Rock (Alexandria Ley Rock), and published in 1949.  NVMS students have retyped her history so that many may read it.  Although some punctuation errors have been corrected the text remains as written by Mrs. Rock.

Note that Alexandria Ley Rock's "Short History of the Little Nestucca River Valley and Its Early Pioneers" has been republished in book form as of January 2007 and is now being offered for sale by the Tillamook County Historical Society!

p. 21 Drownings

(This page was typed by NVMS 8th grader, Jimmy, during the spring of 2002 and edited by Dean Bones.)

In 1889, Jim Bosley, (son of Pioneer Lewis Bozley), Charley Gage, Jeff Dunn and Mr. Hoakee went out over the Bar in a small fishing boat.  On the return trip the boat capsized.  Jeff Dunn, nearly exhausted, was wading in and would not have succeeded but for the assistance of Marion Penter who pulled Jeff in.  Hoakee swam in unaided.  Jim Bozley was drowned and his body never recovered, although the beaches were thoroughly searched.

In 1889 the little granddaughter of Henry Page drowned in the slough which empties into Hawk Creek.  The baby's body was recovered.

In 1890 Charles _______was drowned in a deep part of Slab Creek, while returning to a camp at Fletcher's Lake from a fishing trip off the rocks at Neskowin.  A companion was driving the buggy while Charles wound up his fish lines.  In deep water, the buggy overturned entangling Charles in the fishing lines and preventing his getting out.  He was a local man.

In 1892 Earl Commons, age 20 years, his uncle Lee Commons, his grandfather Commons and an old Homesteader, Robert Schoo Daley, were in a boat in the Bay duck hunting near the Green Point at the mouth of the Little Nestucca River.  The boat capsized.  All the men could swim except the old man Daley--Lee Commons helped him ashore.  When they looked for Earl, he had disappeared.  He was wearing long rubber boots which presumably filled with water.  His body washed in on the beach south of the Bay.  It was a sad sight seeing his body wrapped in sail cloth on a large sled enroute to the Cemetery with the old man Daley walking slowly behind.  Earl's home was in Portland, Oregon.

Sept. 1896 Marion Penter (son of Pioneer Tom Penter), and Rufus Whiteman, (son of Pioneer Cyrus Whiteman), went out in a boat to go over the bar and then south to Siletz Bay to fish.  Another boat containing Andy Heather, Barney Knoblock, and Frank Atchinson, accompanied the first boat.  They carried fishing supplies with them.  There has been considerable differences about the third man in the second boat.  After lengthy research, I am convinced he was Frank Atchinson of Sandlake.  The two boats reached the mouth of Siletz Bay which is near Taft.  The Bar there was very rough and unsafe but not wishing to spend the night at sea in open boats, they decided to go in.  The boat with the two men capsized and neither of their bodies were ever found.  The other boat got in safely; all three men have since died.  Will Penter and John Whiteman, brothers of the two who were drowned, reached Siletz Bay by going afoot over the Cape between Neskowin and Salmon River.

July 27, 1911, George Fessler and Willis Cox (both inexperienced in Bar fishing) were carried down into the surf about 2:00 a.m. and drowned July 29th.  The body of Fessler was found and buried in our cemetery.  John Redberg notified the father and brother of Fessler at Newberg, both of whom attended the funeral.  Two miles south of Bar on the Beach was found Cox's hat and two oars but the body of Cox was never found.  No one witnessed this drowning.

July 4, 1914, Warren and Jim Johnson (sons of Mrs. Julia Dudley) intended going via Nestucca Bay, Bar and Ocean to land on beach at Neskowin as a thrill for the holiday vacationists.  Both were drowned on the Bar.  The body of Jim was recovered on north spit, also 3 oars, a hat and 2 lead pencils.  July 9th the coat belonging to Warren was found half way between Bar and Slab Creek.  They had phoned an order to Neskowin for chicken dinner.  Ole Redberg is another, made several attempts by blasting to raise the body of Warren.  It was never found.

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