Gerald "Jerry" Dewain Orr
TWO SMALL BOYS DROWN NEAR LUSK TUESDAY
Two little boys, Lowell Haworth, 8, of Lusk, and Gerald Orr, 9, of Lance Creek, were drowned Tuesday afternoon in a dam backwater of the Niobrara river just at the west edge of Lusk.
Lowell was the son of Harry Haworth and Naomi Haworth, divorced, and Gerald was the son of Dewaine and Dorothy Orr of Lance Creek, divorced.
The Lance Creek boy had been visiting Lowell since Saturday, the mothers being close friends. The boys left the Haworth home in the west part of Lusk about 1:30, according to Mrs. L. E. Hill, sister-in-law of Mrs. Haworth, who was at home. Mrs. Haworth has worked as checker at the Safeway since September and was at work at the time.
With the boys went Lowell's faithful little short-haired white dog, Jackson, and it was learned later that the dog returned to the home nearby of Mrs. Haworths's brother, Pat Hall, about 3:00 o'clock, and lay on the steps and whined. The Halls, not knowing the boys were away, attached no significance to the dog at the time, but it is believed now that the dog came home soon after the boys drowned.
Search for the boys was not started until Mrs. Haworth got off work about 6:30. She was driven out to the creek by Joe Vaughn, accompanied by Ray Lauck, who is working on the highway project near here.
Shoes of the boys, and a pair of overalls, were found on the bank, and Mrs. Haworth expressed her fears immediately. She had pulled her younger son from a stock tank in time to save him several years ago.
A picnic group of the Roy Chamberlain and Gerald Bardo families had previously gone by and noticed the shoes and overalls, and when the other people came on the search, they helded. However reluctant to face the facts of the shoes on the bank, the group first searched upstream, thinking the boys may have hiked away, and on the hills and mine shafts. Mrs. Haworth went home to check up twice, but by 8:00 o'clock, officials had been informed and a search was organized.
Meanwhile Sam Gorman and Harris Coen, who were horseback riding in the vicinity, got flashlights and made thorough search of the mine shafts on the hill in which many boys play and explore.
The fire truck was brought to the scene and the dam broken to lower the water some, but men grew restless at waiting, and Ray Taylor, Ski Glenn, Cy Bonner and Harry Fernau stripped down and waded into the water near where the shoes and overalls had been found. The boys were soon found close together in about 5 feet of water.
Since Gerald had taken off his overalls, it is believed he went in first, possibly got into difficulty as he found the water deeper than expected, and Lowell tried to help him. Lowell still wore his short overalls. Dr. Walter E. Reckling, who had been called to the scene, said the boys had been dead several hours.
Apparently no one saw the incident or was near when the drowning occurred. Several boys were said to have been swimming there later in the afternoon, noticing the shoes. W. J. Tooley, who built the dam, and who supervises the land, was also out late in the afternoon and noticed the shoes, he told officers.
The dam was constructed with the State's permission, to provide stock water for the Tooley land and adjoining land. The land is deeded to Mr. Tooley's son. Many boys have been playing and swimming there this spring.
GERALD DEWAIN ORR
Gerald Dewain Orr was born December 29, 1936 at Fort Collins, Colo. and was 9 years old. The family moved to Lance Creek six years ago. "Jerry", as he was known, had completed the foourth grade at East Lance Creek School. He was a Cub Scout and his mother was active in the same program as a den mother.
Besides his mother and father, a sister, Diane, 8, and a brother, Jimmy, 4, survive. The paternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. A. E. Orr live at Lance Creek, and the maternal grandfather, W. W. Sandy at Lake Wood, Ohio. The father works for Frank Gorman at Lance Creek and was returning from Meeteetse at the time of the accident.
The funeral for the two boys will be at 3:00 p.m. Friday at the Peet Mortuary with the Rev. Lawrence Juell officiating. Lowell will be buried at the Lusk cemetery and Gerald will be buried at Loveland, Colo.
Two Pairs of Shoes on Pond Bank Told the Story, But We Feared Reality
By Gerald Bardo
It is strange how people hesitate to face the truth - what they believe to be inevitable.
So it was with me out there at "Tooley's Dam" Tuesday evening. I was in the little family group that went out there for a picnic, and we noticed the two pairs of shoes and the pair of overalls on the bank.
At first we were on the lookout for some naked kids in swimming, and then we thought, "just careless kids left their clothes there," but I know each of us wondered.
Then Mrs. Haworth and two others drove up looking for the boys. She was afraid. We joined the search in a rather half-hearted way, going up the creek, and on the mining hill, looking into the old mine shafts. We kept away from looking into the water near those shoes and overalls, though we doubted that barefoot boys would go far on that rocky hill or into those tunnels barefoot.
My daughter, who was in the same grade with one of the boys, and I walked to the top of a hill to look around, and I shushed her when she asked, "Daddy, did they drown?" The countryside was so beautiful and peaceful in the evening I didn't want to think of her question.
Even as the crowd gathered and men undressed, it was not hard to persuade that it would be better to lower the water by breaking the dam and pumping with the fire truck.
And so the fire truck was secured, but as men stood there watching the water, they knew - and three dads of boys and one veteran of Africa and Italy and France and Germany - stripped again and with hands together started out in front of where those little shoes and the pair of overalls lay.
It took only a few minutes to reveal what some of us might have discovered an hour and a half earlier, had we dared to face reality.
The Lusk Herald
June 13, 1946
Sympathy Extended to Orr Families
The sympathy of all of Lance Creek goes out to the Orr families in their recent bereavement, and to the Haworth family as well. Jerry was such an independent little fellow and a capable Scout. No one ever thought of him meeting an accidental death. Members of Jerry's Cub Scout organization attended his last rites in a body. Many of Mr. and Mrs. Orr's relatives from a distance came also, and a large number from the field were present at the double funeral ceremony.
The Lusk Herald
June 13, 1946
Large Crowd at Services for Two Drowned Boys
An exceptionally large crowd, drawn from the Lusk, Lance Creek and Harrison regions, attended the funeral of Gerald Orr and Lowell Haworth Friday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. The funeral services were held at the Peet Mortuary, and the Reverend Lawrence Juell officiated.
So great was the crowd that the Peet Chapel overflowed with those attending the last rites of the two small boys who drowned near Lusk June 4.
A choir composed of young children who were called the Junior Choir of the Congregational church sang two songs, which were: "When He Cometh," and "Safe in the Arms of Jesus."
Those participating in this mixed choirus were Mary Agnes Laverty, Juanita Cork, Veverly Stallman, Berdena Butler, Ruth Taylor, Jerry Sturman, James Miller, Dale Kobbe, Charles Pfeiffer and Bobby Brettell.
Boy Scouts from Lance Creek appeared in uniform at the funeral and acted as pall bearers for Gerald Orr. These boys were Duane Christensen, Dean Linville, Galen Linville, Donald Frosheiser, Eddie Strube and Lyman Glenn.
The boys from Lusk who were pall bearers for Lowell Haworth were Tony Torkelson, Dick Carlisle, Glen Erlewine, Stanton Baker, Kenneth Klemke and Jerry Sturman.
Lowell Haworth was interred at the cemetery at Lusk, and Gerald Orr was taken to Loveland, Colorado for interment.
Images & Attachments
|Obituary||Orr, Alexander (11/02/1891 - 08/18/1978)||View Record||Obituary||Orr, Florence (11/30/1889 - 06/03/1961)||View Record|