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Obituary of ALVIN McILVAIN
Drowns in the Garfield Pool
A. McIlvain, Well Known Citizen,
Succumbs Trying to Rescue Nephew
Russell Miller, 13, Saved by Herman
Balkey, After Latter Had Tried
To Rescue Mr. McIlvain

Alvin McIlvain, 48 years of age, was drowned in the Garfield sand-pit swimming pool, just west of the Arkansas River bridge, Tuesday afternoon about 4 o’clock, when he plunged fully dressed into the water to rescue his nephew, Russell Miller who was struggling in the water beyond his depth.

Balkey Tried To Save Both
Mr. McIlvain had been sitting on the sandy beach chatting with Harry Miller, the father of thirteen-year-old Russell Miller. Suddenly, Mr. Miller noticed that his son was drowning and being unable to swim himself, he called for help. Without a moment’s hesitation, Mr. McIlvain courageously leaped into the water and swam to the center of the pool where the young lad was struggling in water about twelve feet deep. The boy clung to his uncle, around the neck and both were near drowning, when Herman Balkey of St. Louis, a harvest hand in the employ of Mr. Miller, came to the rescue. He towed Mr. McIlvain to shallow water and returned for the boy, who was brought safely to the bank.
Herman Balkey is being accorded the highest praise for his heroic work in rescuing the drowning boy and his attempted rescue of Mr. McIlvain.

McIlvain In Water Only 3 Minutes
In the meantime, Harold Carden, son of Bob Carden and Wayne West, of Ottawa, carried Mr. McIlvain out of the shallow water and every known means of emergency treatment was given him, to no avail, as he never regained consciousness. Dr. A. E. Reed of Larned was called as soon as possible, but as the pool is some distance from a telephone, it was perhaps one half hour before he reached the scene of the tragedy. It was plainly evident to him that Mr. McIlvan met death by drowning, although it is estimated that he had not been in the water for more than three minutes.
Mr. McIlvain is survived by his wife and two children, a boy of twelve and a girl of ten. His mother and one brother live in Augusta and came to Garfield Wednesday. Two sisters also survive, one lives in Chicago and one in St. Louis. Funeral arrangements have not been made, but interment will be in the Garfield cemetery.
Mr. McIlvain had lived in Garfield for twenty years. For ten years of this time he had been in the hardware business but retired the first of the year and moved to his farm two miles northwest of Garfield. His tragic death came as a climax to a series of recent misfortunes. The first crop on his farm was hailed out. Not long ago his hand was mangled in a combine. Scarcely three weeks ago, he returned from Augusta, where he attended the funeral of his brother.

Numbers From Larned Use Pool
Every unsupervised swimming pool must sooner or later be given a human sacrifice and this will continue as long as swimming pools are not supervised by capable efficient lifesavers.
During the past few weeks hundreds of Larned people have visited the pool and have enjoyed the crystal clear waters of an improvised bathing beach. This is the first fatality.
Funeral services will be held this afternoon at the Garfield Congregational Church at 2:30 conducted by the Rev. W. B. Summers of Garfield. Mr. McIlvain had been a member of the Larned Masonic and Knight Templar lodges for a long time and both organizations will go in a body to attend the funeral which will be conducted by the Larned Blue lodge and the Knight Templars will form an escort.

Additional Obituary

Transcribed and Contributed by Richard Schwartzkopf

Last Updated:  Friday, November 25, 2005 18:28:55

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