YUBA COUNTY OBITS
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JAMES ED. LEWIS & E. M. SMITH
Appeal Democrat - 9/12/1928, p1 - Ed. Lewis, E. M. Smith Drowned in Almanor - Two Marysville Men Lose Lives; Mrs. Smith is Saved - Ed Lewis, postmaster of Marysville, and E. M. Smith, proprietor of Smith's Package grocery, were drowned last night in Lake Almanor. Mrs. Smith was saved from drowning. - Word of the drowning was received at 2 a.m. today by Keith Kenyon, brother-in-law of Smith. The message came by telephone from Chester and gave no details. - Kenyon and Robert Smith, brother of Smith, left at 4 a.m. by automobile for Lake Almanor. - Lewis, Smith, and Mrs. Smith had gone out fishing in Smith's new steel boat. They were for [far] out in the lake when a sudden storm came up. - The sudden storm upset the boat in the middle of the lake and Smith and Lewis were evidently drowned immediately. Mrs. Smith clung to, first a fish basket, and then to the bow-end of the boat. The heavy outboard motor held the stern under water but the bow of the boat contained an air compartment which held it to the surface. - At 11 p.m. Mrs. Smith was taken from the water, suffering from the cold but not in serious condition. - The bodies of Smith and Lewis were not recovered. Dragging operations began this morning. - A wrist watch on Mrs. Smith stopped at 2:30, indicating the time of the accident. - Frank Poole was at the shore of the lake and probably was the first to phone news of the tragedy to Marysville. He gave first complete details to The Appeal-Democrat in a phone call from Chester. - Troubles with telephone lines in the Lake Almanor region prevented communication early today with Pratteville, a community situated a mile from Lewis' cottage on the southern side of Lake Almanor. - At Chester it was said that a hotel man from Lake Almanor Inn appeared in Chester at 8:30 p.m. yesterday, stating that, at that time, Lewis and Mr. and Mrs. Smith were lost on Lake Almanor in a boat. The hotel man said that a search was being made for them. - James Ed. Lewis, known to everyone in the community as "Postmaster Ed Lewis," was born in Marysville Feb. 9, 1873. - Graduating from the local schools and the Chico state normal school, he entered the employ of J. R. Garrett. He served in the Spanish-American War. During the World War, Lewis acted as a "four-minute man" and took an active part in promoting the various drives promulgated by the government at that time. - Lewis was an honorary member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and a past president of Marysville Parlor No. 6, N.S.G.W. He was prominent in fraternal circles, being a past exalted ruler of the Marysville Lodge of Elks, past council commander of the Woodmen of the World and a member of Corinthian Lodge No. 9, F. & A.M. He was appointed postmaster of Marysville March 14, 1922. - Smith was born at Lake Valley, N. M., Nov. 7, 1881. He spent his early boyhood in St. Joseph, Mo. He attended the University of Oregon after coming to the Pacific coast, and later entered business in Oregon and in San Francisco. - Before the world war Smith conducted a chain of variety department stores in Marysville, Chico and Napa. At the beginning of the war he gave up his business to become a Y.M.C.A. worker in France. He spent 15 months over seas. - In February, 1922, Smith came to Marysville and opened the Smith Package grocery.
Appeal Democrat - 9/13/1928, p1 - Find Body of Smith Near Place Where Boat Sank; Seek Lewis - Mrs. Smith Tells Of Tragedy On Almanor - Sees Lewis Go Down In Lake And Hears Husband's Last Words As She Clings to Boat - Clinging to the bow of the swamped boat of her husband, Mrs. E. M. Smith saw Ed Lewis, Marysville's postmaster sink in the waters of Lake Almanor. - Through the waters of a wave coursing over the boat, she heard the last words of Smith, "I'm slipping," but did not see him go down. - Still clinging to the boat she saw and heard rescue boats pass within a few yards of her, not hearing her calls for help time and again during the eight or more hours she clung to the boat. - The complete story of the tragedy on Lake Almanor was brought to Marysville Thursday by C. F. Shamberger, employe of Smith who late Wednesday took Sheriff B. B. Manford of Sutter county to the scene of the drowning to aid in efforts to locate the bodies. - Mrs. Smith's concern when rescue was equally divided between her husband and Lewis. - Mrs. Smith Survives Shock - "Those poor men," she moaned repeatedly as she was being taken in the rescue boat to Chester, where she is under the care of an Oakland physician and a trained nurse who chanced to be spending their vacations there. While her condition appears to be all right every precaution is being taken to prevent pneumonia. - The three had been fishing in the upper end of the lake. They were accompanied by Henry Merrill, boathouse owner and guide, in another boat. When the storm came up Merrill suggested that they start for their homes. Telling Smith that he would lead the way, he urged that the party move along the shore to remain out of the rough water near the middle of the lake. - Boats Are Separated - When Smith started his boat, being unused to the new and powerful craft, he allowed the boat to leap away ahead of Merrill's boat. The course decided upon had been near a group of trees, the tops of which raise above the water of the lake. Merrill, following closely behind the Smith boat, swung to the left of this group of trees while the Smith boat passed to the right. Hence Merrill, intent on watching his own course in the rough water, passed the swamped boat only a few yards away without seeing it. - The speed with which the boat started swamped the craft in the water, according to Mrs. Smith. She grasped a fish basket as the boat sank and Smith swam to the boat. Floating on the fish basket, Mrs. Smith made her way to the boat where she grasped the prow. - Try to Throw Rope - Looking back the two saw Lewis struggling in the water. They secured a rope off the boat and endeavored to throw a line to Lewis, but were unsuccessful. Every move they made rocked the boat which was resting on the lake bottom with the prow above the water. - As Mrs. Smith watched him, the postmaster slipped beneath the water, and did not come up again. - Clinging to the boat, Smith pulled off two coats which he was wearing. Mrs. Smith heard her husband say, "I'm slipping." When the wave had passed Smith was gone. Mrs. Smith Hangs On - Mrs. Smith clung to the front of the boat which was bobbing up and down in the water. She managed to pull herself up and sit astride the prow of the boat holding on to a davit at the front of the craft. So firm was her clasp on the projection that when she was rescued her hands were black. - As Smith and his wife clung to the boat and Lewis struggled in the water behind the craft they saw Merrill drive his boat the other side of the clump of trees and within but a few yards of them. They called frantically to him but the roar of his motor drowned their voices. - Mrs. Smith Sees Boat Pass - Merrill had proceeded but a short distance down the lake when he missed the Smith boat. He turned and came back skirting the shore in the belief that the party had gone ashore to build a fire and dry their clothes which had been wet from the rain. Mrs. Smith, sitting on the prow of the boat which was submerged under her weight to the point that only her head was above water, saw him pass within 60 yards of her. - She called to him but Merrill failed to hear the call. After making a circle of the section where he had last seen the Smith boat, Merrill drove his craft at full speed to the boathouse and getting in his car, drove along the shore of the lake looking for the three missing persons there. Not finding them by the time he reached the bay on the lake near Chester, he walked around the bay, a distance of two miles. - Search Is Organized - Merrill then returned to his boat house and got out his own boat and with his two sons commenced a search of the lake. - Running north again he passed this scene of tragedy. Again Mrs. Smith called loudly for help. This time he heard her voice, but believing it to be the call of one of the searchers on the lake shore he turned to shore. Not finding any one there, he again returned to the boathouse and urged every available boat to hunt for the missing trio. - Motor Stalls; Cries Heard - By this time it was after dark and boats were equipped with lights. One more Merrill's boat passed near Mrs. Smith. Again she called but was unheard. Making a circle and heading back again the motor stopped on Merrill's boat. He repaired the motor and started again. Just as he approached the spot where Mrs. Smith was clinging to the sunken craft, the motor stalled again. - Working on the motor, he and his sons heard the sound of a groan across the water. They moved the light slowly in a circle. Its beam fell on the face of Mrs. Smith, just above water. Merrill collapsed in an instant when he saw her as he realized in an instant what had happened. - Rescue is Made - Getting control of himself quickly, the motor was repaired and the boat moved to Mrs. Smith's side. She was taken from the water and wrapped in heavy blankets with an oilskin coat about her and removed to the hotel at Chester. - On the way across the lake she talked continuously, telling of her experience and every now and then paused to exclaim, "those poor men." - At Chester she was placed in bed and a physician called at once. - Water Not Deep - The spot where the drowning occurred was three quarters of a mile from shore in water about 12 feet deep. - But 75 yards away the water was but little over waist deep and had Smith and Lewis known it they might have been able to swim to that point, wade ashore and bring help to Mrs. Smith. - The [unreadable word, ink spot] of the lake at this point is level meadow land with meadow grasses still on the bed of the lake, which was created by a power dam.
Same issue, same page - Body Found in 12 Feet Water By Searchers - The body of E. M. Smith, Marysville business man, was taken from Lake Almanor Wednesday afternoon, and efforts were still being made Thursday to recover the body of Postmaster Ed Lewis, drowned with Smith when the latter's motor boat was capsized by a storm on the lake Tuesday. - Dragging of the lake for Lewis' body was resumed at 6 a.m. Thursday. Among the searchers is Sheriff B. B. Manford of Sutter county. - Smith's body was found near the point where the accident befell the boat, three-quarters of a mile from shore. - The water in that part of Lake Almanor is 12 feet deep. With the bow held up by an air compartment, the stern of the boat had rested on the bed of the lake after the accident and had not drifted. It was found in his position by rescuers of Mrs. Smith who clung to the floating portion of the craft for more than eight hours. - While the lake was being dragged for Smith and Lewis Wednesday, pieces of canvas, magazines and other articles spilled from the boat were brought to the surface. Two coats which Smith removed as the boat was sinking also were brought up. - The finding of these articles led the searchers to believe that Lewis' body must be nearby. - Smith's body was brought to Marysville Thursday morning by Frank M. Lipp, coroner of Yuba county, and Deputy Coroner Jerry Sullivan. Funeral arrangements will be made after the return of Mrs. Smith to her home here.
Same issue, same page - Near Tragedy Is Recalled - The drowning of Postmaster Ed Lewis and E. M. Smith in Lake Almanor recalls an experience through which Lewis passed on the same lake two years ago, when he was lost in a motor boat all night. - With Lewis on that occasion, were Mat Arnoldy and Attorney W. H. Carlin, now dead. - Lewis, Arnoldy and Carlin were in a motor boat fishing on the lake. The craft was disabled when it struck a tree growing out of the water, and they were left marooned. - Searching parties set out, but the Marysville men were not found until morning.
Appeal Democrat - 9/14/1928, p1 - Strong Winds On Lake Prevent Finding Lewis; Smith Rites Monday - Strong winds sweeping across Lake Almanor, and churning its surface into high, choppy waves have interfered with efforts to recover the body of Postmaster Ed Lewis, drowned with E. M. Smith, Tuesday. - After having spent Thursday in a vain attempt to find the body, the searchers resumed their work Friday. - Sheriff Ben Manford of Sutter county, who assisted in the search, has returned to Yuba City. According to Manford, five boats were engaged in dragging for Lewis' body Thursday, but a wind blowing from the north made the lake so rough that the efforts of the searchers were greatly hampered. - Almost all the vicinity of the scene of the swamping of Smith's motor boat was dragged without a trace of Lewis. - The wind storm in which the boat capsized came from the south, and Manford believes that it may have caused Lewis' body to drift toward the northern side of the lake. - Merrill Aids Search - Accompanying Manford as he dragged for the body Thursday was Henry Merrill, boat house owner and guide, who was fishing near Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Lewis before the accident. Manford concentrated his search north of the point where Smith's boat was wrecked and Smith's body found Wednesday. - Manford does not believe that Lewis swam any distance from the swamped boat. He attributes the failure to recover the body near Smith's to the force of Tuesday's storm, which he presumes carried it away. According to Manford, Lake Almanor for a wide area around the scene of the accident is between 12 and 15 feet deep. He does not believe that Lewis' body could have been carried into deeper water. - The bottom of the lake in the region being searched is free from trees and debris which might interfere with the dragging operations. The area was a meadow before the large artificial lake was formed, and Manford says that grass from this meadow often was brought up by the drag lines. - Smith Rites Monday - All articles that were spilled from the motor boat as it sank were brought to the surface Wednesday, the day Smith's body was recovered, according to Manford. They included blankets, magazines, coats which Smith had worn, and newspapers. One newspaper, Manford said, was not thoroughly wet. - While the search for Lewis' body continued Friday, arrangements were made for funeral services for Smith and Mrs. Smith, rescued after she had clung to the swamped boat for mor [sic] than eight hours, was expected to return to her home in Marysville. - Funeral services for Smith will be held in the chapel of Lipp and Sullivan at 10 a.m. Monday. Entombment will take place in the mausaloeum [sic] at Yuba City. - Plan Memorial Service - A memorial service for Lewis and Smith will be held at the Presbyterian church Sunday morning. "The Meaning of Disaster" will be the sermon topic of Rev. B. F. Butts at 11 a.m. "In Memorium," by Sir Alfred Tennyson, will be read by Mrs. L. L. Freeman, and Mrs. Margaret Klier Payton, soprano, will sing "Thy Will Abide With Me." The vested chorus choir will sing "Benediction," by Hamblen. Miss Vashti Prentiss, organist, will play "In Memory," by Nearing.
Appeal Democrat - 9/15/1928, p1 - City To Halt Affairs In Smith's Honor At Rites Monday Morn - The American flag which E. M. Smith served during the world war will stand at the head of the casket, and the colors of the American Legion at the foot, as funeral services are held at 10 a.m. Monday in the chapel of Lipp & Sullivan for the Marysville merchant who was drowned with the city's postmaster Tuesday in Lake Almanor. - The entire city will pay its respects to Smith, Monday. With stores closed business will come practically to a standstill during the hour of the funeral, from 10 to 11 a.m. Closing of places of business has been requested by the Marysville Merchants' Association. - Butts Conducts Services - Besides a vast concourse of local citizens, many of Smith's friends from distant points will assemble at the services which will be ocnducted [sic] by Rev. Benjamin Franklin Butts, minister of the Presbyterian church. - Sacred selections will be sung by Walton Langdon, with Mrs. E. E. Monson playing the piano accompaniment. - The casketbearers will be R. W. Foile of San Francisco, H. P. B. Carden, W. P. Rich, W. E. Langdon, R. D. Moncur, T. P. Coates Jr., Peter F. Kelly and A. H. Boulton. - After the rites in the chapel, the body will be entombed in the mausoleum in the Yuba City cemetery. - Smith's body now lies in state in the funeral chapel. Banked about the casket is a profusion of flowers, sent by fraternal and civic organizations and individuals who prized Smith's friendship. - Fail to Find Lewis - At the head of the casket on a staff is the flag of the United States. Smith was a member of the American Legion and the colors of that organization hang from another staff at the foot of the casket. - Searchers had failed Saturday to recover Postmaster Lewis' body. Information regarding the search was brought to Marysville Friday night by Lewis' brother, A. Walter Lewis, when he returned to his home here. - The widows of the two victims of the motor boat accident also came to their homes in Marysville Friday. Mrs. Lewis had remained at Lake Almanor in the hopes that the search for her husband's body would be successful. - Test Undercurrents - Mrs. Smith has recovered from the effects of the exposure from which she suffered as she clung for more than eight hours to the bow of her husband's motor boat after it had been swamped by a sudden storm. - According to A. Walter Lewis, calm weather prevailed at Lake Almanor Friday, in contrast to the heavy wind which whipped the surface into high waves Thursday and hampered the work of the men dragging for Postmaster Lewis' body. - It was possible Friday to search the bottom of the lake thoroughly in a radius of 300 yards of the point where the boat was sunk, yet no trace of the body was found. - It was planned Saturday to test under currents in the vicinity of the accident to determine in which direction the body might have been carried. - Wind May Shift Body - Sheriff B. B. Manford of Sutter county, who spent Wednesday and Thursday at Lake Almanor aiding in the search, said Saturday that he will return to the lake Monday if the body has not been recovered. - Manford believes that, owing to the low temperature of the water in the lake, it may be 11 or 12 days before the body will float. It is also possible that the high altitude may prevent the body from rising to the surface. - A theory held by Manford is that the body was carried northerly from the scene of the accident by Tuesday's storm. He says that this area has not been thoroughly searched. Manford points out that the storm threshed waves, rolling almost to the bottom of the lake where it is from 12 to 15 feet deep, could wash the body northward, the direction in which the gale that caused the wrecking of the motorboat blew. - A representative of an insurance company in which Lewis was insured has arrived in Marysville with a check in payment of the policy. He pointed out that payment will have to be held up, however until the body is recovered.
Appeal Democrat - 9/17/1928, p1 - Smith Rites Held - Business of City Halted As Throngs Pay Last Respects - Business in Marysville was suspended for an hour, and the largest concourse of mourners seen at a funeral in the twin cities in a long time gathered at the chapel of Lipp and Sullivan in Fifth street Marysville Monday morning when services for the late E. M. Smith, one of the victims of the Lake Almanor drowning, were held. - The chapel was lined with floral pieces sent by organizations and individual friends of Smith and of his widow. Prominent pieces bore the names of the Marysville Lodge of Elks, the Butte Lodge Outing Club, the Achaean Club, the Rotary club and employes of the store Smith conducted. - Rev. Butts Presides - Rev. B. F. Butts of the Presbyterian church, with which Smith was identified, was unable to control his emotions and his discourse was that of a friend speaking of one most dear to him. He dwelt upon the high character of the departed and held out consolation for the bereaved relatives and the other friends. - Walton Langdon was the soloist singing several selections appropriate to the occasion. Mrs. E. E. Monson was the organist. - The chapel was not large enough to accommodate more than half those who appeared, and it required some time for the numerous friends to file past the bier for a parting glance at the dead. - The body was placed in a niche in the Yuba City mausoleum. - Pall bearers were R. W. Foile of San Francisco, H. B. P. Carden, W. P. Rich, W. E. Langdon, R. D. Moncur, T. P. Coats, P. F. Kelly and A. H. Boulton.
Appeal Democrat - 9/17/1928, p1 - Find No Trace Of Lewis' Body - The search for Postmaster Ed Lewis' body continued at Lake Almanor Monday, but late in the afternoon no trace of it had been found. - With only slight delays occasioned by weather conditions, the search has been continuous since the drowning of Lewis and E. M. Smith last Tuesday. The searchers now believe that the body was carried way from the scene of the accident to Smith's motor boat by under currents.
Appeal Democrat - 9/19/1928, p1 - Lewis' Body Is Recovered From Lake - Dragline Set By Companion On Fatal Trip Is A Success - The body of Postmaster Ed Lewis was recovered from Lake Almanor Wednesday, eight days after he and E. M. Smith were drowned when Smith's motor boat capsized in a storm. - The body was taken from the lake just as arrangements were completed to post a reward for its recovery. Posting of the reward was to have been announced Wednesday by Mrs. Lewis and the Marysville Lodge of Elks. - 8-Day Hunt Succeeds - Henry Merrill, Lake Almanor boathouse owner, who had traveled in his own boat on the fatal fishing trip across the lake with Lewis and Smith, notified A. Walter Lewis, brother of the postmaster, that the body was found. Merrill had kept up a continuous search of the lake since Sept. 11, the day of the drowning. - The body was found at 9 a.m. It had caught on a set line placed in the lake by Merrill. The body was two miles from the scene of the accident. - Funeral Plans Uncompleted - Lipp and Sullivan sent a hearse to Lake Almanor Wednesday to obtain the body. - Funeral arrangements will be made after the body is brought to the funeral chapel. It is probable that interment will be made in the Elks' plot in the Sierra View cemetery, south of Marysville, the burial to be the first in the new cemetery. - The set line by which the body was recovered was submerged about four feet, indicating that the body had begun to float when it came in contact with the line. - A funeral vault had been held in readiness at the lake for the body. - Elks Planned Search - Failure to find the body after a week had resulted in plans to bring about a more exacting search. The Elks lodge had arranged to send O. W. Holland and Jack Wallace, experienced in dragging for drowned persons, to Lake Almanor Wednesday. The reward also had been planned as an inducement to a more intensive search. - Efforts of A. Sollender to locate the body by diving proved unsuccessful Tuesday. Sollender, using an under water outfit furnished by the Yuba Consolidated Gold Fields at Hammonton, made trips to the bottom of the lake during the day. - Sollender returned to Marysville Tuesday night. - Merrill, after the recovery of the body Wednesday morning, took it to his home on the southeastern side of the lake. It was held there for the arrival of the funeral directors and of the coroner of Plumas county to conduct an inquest.
Appeal Democrat - 9/20/1928, p1 - Ed Lewis Laid To Rest In New Cemetery - With only members of his family attending, funeral services were held at 4 p.m. Thursday for Postmaster Ed Lewis. Rev. Halsey Werlein Jr., rector of St. John's Episcopal church, conducted the services which were held in the Sierra View cemetery. - Interment was made under the direction of Lipp & Sullivan in the Elks' Rest, and was the first in the new cemetery. There were no pallbearers. - The casket and grave were banked with flowers. Gifts of flowers were sent by fraternal and civic organizations of which Lewis was a member, and by friends. One floral piece was from the California Association of Postmasters, of which Lewis was vice-president. - Lewis' body was recovered Wednesday from Lake Almanor, where he and E. M. Smith were drowned Sept. 11. - After more than a week's search the body was found a mile and a half from the scene of the motor boat accident by Hery [sic] Merrill, Lake Almanor boat house owner, who had searched the lake daily since the drowning.
Appeal Democrat - 1/23/1960 F-4 - James Edwin Lewis, a native of Marysville born Feb. 9, 1873, was a member of the State Legislature in 1918 who resigned to become Marysville postmaster March 14, 1922. He was drowned in a boating accident on Lake Almanor, Sept. 11, 1928. A companion, Edwin M. Smith, a merchant who had come here in 1922, also died in the accident. Smith was a native of New Mexico, born Nov. 7, 1881. His wife, Hazel Hoke Smith, Marysville, member of a Sutter County pioneer family, who was with the men on the fatal trip, was rescued after clinging to the overturned boat for hours.
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