July 17, 1909


Playmate, in Swimming With the
Younger Lad, Makes Heroic
Struggle to Rescue Him, but
Becomes Exhausted.

Starr Allison, the 9-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. J. L. Allison, 3532 Windsor avenue, was drowned about 2 o'clock yesterday afternoon in a slough immediately west of the entrance to the Milwaukee bridge on the Missouri river.

Clyde Perkins, 13 years old, made a most heroic effort to save his playmate. Twice he was dragged beneath the eddying waters, but becoming exhausted himself, he was forced to release his grasp on the drowning lad to save his own life. The drowned boy's body has not yet been found. Young Perkins is a stepson of K. L. Perkins, a druggist at 3600 St. John avenue.

W. H. Jackson, 3011 East Twenty-third street, was fishing about 100 yards south of where the boys were swimming. Hearing repeated cries for help he looked toward the slough and saw Perkins struggling in the eddy with his little friend. Perkins is said to be an excellent swimmer for a boy his age.

"The Perkins boy was holding to the Allison boy, and at the same time trying to master the swiftly rushing eddy and get his companion to a place of safety," said Jackson. "I believe it was he who made the outcry. While running along the steep embankment of the railroad to get near enough to go in I saw the boys sink twice. The next I saw, Perkins was alone swimming toward the bank just beneath the bridge."

The Perkins boy, after gallant fight to save a human life, was almost exhausted when he reached the bank. Johnson supported him until he was rested. He had swallowed a quantity of water. After a time the two secured little Starr's clothing, and, realizing what the shock would be to the mother, left them with a neighbor next door.

J. L. Allison, father of the drowned boy, is connected with the Allison-Richey Land Company at the Union depot.

"Star went down to Kanoky, as the boys call the place, with some other boys the other day and they all went bathing in the shallow pond," Mr. Allison said. "He was greatly delighted over the new venture, but his mother and I cautioned them.

"This morning when he asked to go down there again with Clyde, his mother refused her consent until he had secured mine. He called me up at my office, but I was out. He begged his mother until she consented after he had promised not to go in the water. We understand the Perkins boy told Starr to stay out, and he certainly made an effort to save our boy."

"Star wanted to go in when we got there," said Clyde Perkins, "but I would not let him. After a short time he went behind some tall weeds and the next I saw he was in the water. Then I told him to stay close to the bank, where it was shallow. While swimming later I saw him wading out from the bank. There is a step off, made by the eddy, and he went down. Then I swam and caught hold of him.

"He was excited and struggled hard or I believe I could have gotten him to shore. After he had dragged me under twice I became so exhausted that I had to release him and make for the bank myself. It seemed to me that I barely made it, too."

W. H. Harrison, former license inspector, Herman Robrock, and Dr. C. O. Teach, neighbors of Mr. Allison, with three men from the latter's firm, went to the slough shortly after the drowning to make a search for the body. Most of the men are expert swimmers. Until 10 o'clock last night they took turns diving from different points in search of the dead boy. Grappling hooks were used and drags made. The men will return to the scene early this morning and renew their search.

Where the eddy swirls about, it has formed a whirlpool, and it is the opinion of some that the whirling waters may keep the body from floating out into the open river.