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El Reno American

Thursday, June 11, 1914

Young Man Drowned in Bellamy Lake--RAY E. BAGGS

Companions tried to rescue him but efforts did not avail anything.  A gloom was cast over this city late last evening and this morning when news of the untimely death of Ray E. Baggs, the only son of John C. Baggs, was made known, which occurred about 9:30 last evening at Bellamy's Lake.  

He, with six other young men, of the city went to the lake to enjoy a swim last evening, and after half an hour in the lake some of the swimmers went ashore and began dressing.  Young Mr. Baggs was about two hundred feet from shore when the boys heard him shout "help".  Claude Cherry, who was not a great distance, swam to the unfortunate young man, but he was unable to keep the young man afloat, though he fought manfully to save him.  

Young Cherry was taken under two or three times by the drowning young man, before the others reached him.  Two or three of the others managed to reach the drowning man, but they were almost exhausted and were unable to swim ashore with him, though they managed to keep the body afloat and took it about fifteen feet towards shore.  

Mr. Baggs never made a struggle after the three men reached him.  They did all in the bounds of their power to save him, but gave up in despair after being taken under a couple of times.  As soon as news of the drowning reached the city, people began going to the lake, and diving parties began searching for the young man.  Fully one hundred persons were at the lake  trying to aid the divers.  

The body was located about 12:30 this morning by Jack Adams, who was swimming about using a fourteen foot pole. As soon as he found the body, a professional diver by the name of E. L. Regan, of Romulus, Okla., who came here yesterday, brought the body to the surface of the lake and assisted in getting it ashore.  

Ray Baggs was an exemplary young man, and is the son of Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Baggs.  If he had lived until today he would have been nineteen years of age.  The funeral services will be held tomorrow afternoon at 3:00 o'clock, at the First Baptist church, under the auspices of the M.W.A. of which order the young man was a member.  The funeral discourse will be delivered by Rev. Bullard, interment will be made in the El Reno cemetery.  

The parents and other relatives of the young man have the sympathy of all during their sad hour.