John Robert "Bobbie" Blackmore

Photo courtesy of the Joshua Brackett Eagle Scout Project
Photo courtesy of the Joshua Brackett Eagle Scout Project

(August 20, 1926 - July 20, 1941)


Johnny & Margaret Thon Files
July 24, 1941


Son of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. S. Blackmore Falls from Horse Attempting to Ride Across Dike

Two Companions Unable to Help; Body Recovered

John Robert "Bobbie" Blackmore, 15-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. S. Blackmore of the Royal Valley community south of this city, met with a tragic death shortly before noon last Sunday when he was drowned in a water conservation dam on the Kaan place, about 12 miles south of here. News of the accident spread sorrow over the entire community, for the lad was one of the most popular in the vicinity.

Bobbie, who had joined two companions, John Owens, 17, and Arthur Rice, 15, had stayed overnight at a cabin located on the former Rice place which is now owned by Kaan Brothers. They had ridden over horseback from the Owens ranch to the cabin, several miles west of the Owens place the evening before and had started back Sunday morning when they decided to enjoy a swim in the shallower part of the dike.

After their plunge, they got onto their horses and then decided to ride them across the dike, which is said to be between eight and ten feet deep where the crossing was attempted. Owens took the lead, Rice was next and Bobbie was last of the string to enter the water. Both of the lead youths had encountered difficulty remaining on their horses and had barely reached the opposite side of the dam, said to be about 100 feet wide at this point.

Looking back for the trailing youth, they saw he had left his mount, and was not in sight. The animal, however, went down three or four times, according to the boys, before it was able to reach land. Alarmed, the youths ran to the nearest phone and called for help. A call was relayed to this city and Dr. W. E. Reckling called. Leaving immediately with a crew of volunteers following, the scene of the accident was reached.

Various types of recovery facilities were hastily put into play but because of the uncertainty of location of the body and the handicap of a deep center channel, these proved fruitless in the search. Later a boat was sent out, and several expert swimmers volunteered to dive for the body. Three hours after the youth was last seen, the body was brought to the surface, located by use of a fire department grappling hook. The body was carried about 35 feet from where the boy's companions had seen Bobbie enter the water, and was recovered by his brother, Clyde.

No attempt was made at resuscitation after an examination was made by Dr. Reckling, who declared the youth dead and that no type of treatment could revive him. The remains were brought to this city and placed in care of the Peet mortuary.

Surviving the victim are his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Wm. S. Blackmore, a younger sister, Anna Mae, and ten older brothers: Theron, Clyde and Gene of Lusk; Edward of Washington, D.C.; Harold of Sunnyside, Wash.; Clifford, of Grant's Pass, Ore.; Merlin, of Hayward, Calif., and Guy, Delmar and LeRoy, who are in army service at Fort Lewis, Wash.

Funeral services were conducted from the chapel of the Peet Mortuary at 3:30 o'clock Wednesday afternoon. Rev. Millard H. Marshall, pastor of the Congregational-Christian church of this city, officiating. One vocal selection, "Nearer My God to Thee," was sung by a quartette of Bobbie's schoolmates, Ted Seace, Frank Kuhn, Dick Hahn and Alan Willard; Mrs. Robt. Taylor accompanying at the organ. The mixed quartet, composed of Mrs. J.B. Veirs, Mrs. Abdon DeCastro, J.M. Hungate and Ford B. Kuns, offered "The Old Rugged Cross," and "We Are Going Down the Valley," with accompaniment by Mrs. J.P. Watson.

From the chapel the remains of the deceased were conveyed to the Lusk cemetery, where after a brief graveside service, interment was made. Pall bearers were John Owens, Pete Owens, Donald Hoy, Robert Owens, Cecil and Sterling Kaan.








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