Obituary Details

Stanley James Cook

(02/19/1940 - 05/29/1941)
Courtesy of Johnny & Margaret Thon Files, 05/29/1941


Thon Book 9

Heart-breaking tragedy stalked at the ranch of Mrs. Christina Strube this (Thursday) afternoon, when her grandson, 15-months-old Stanley James, son of Mr. and Mrs. Edmond Cook drowned in a stock tank while playing about the place. The lifeless body of the tiny tot was discovered by his mother, when she left the house to look for the child, who a few moments before had been playing with his older brother, Edmond, Jr., and his father.

Screaming when she saw the tiny form floating in the tank, Mrs. Cook brought her husband hurriedly from the barn, about 100 feet from the tank, where he had been repairing some harness. Artificial respiration under the hands of Beecher Strube, the child's uncle, and Floyd Richardson, ranch employee, was applied while a call was rushed to this city for Dr. W. E. Reckling, but this treatment failed to revive the little victim.

An examination by the physician disclosed that the baby was evidently dead when removed from the water. Both of the men who administered the artificial respiration have had training and experience in this type of resuscitation, but their efforts proved fruitless.

The Cooks, who now reside at Lance Creek, where the father is employed, had driven to the Stube ranch, about 18 miles northeast of this city, for the day. Mr. Cook is a son of Mrs. Strube. At the place when the accident occurred, were Mr. and Mrs. Cook and children, Beecher Strube, Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Richardson, and Jim Hughes, ranch employee. Mrs. Strube, owner of the ranch and her daughter, Helen, wife of Beecher Strube, were in town for the afternoon.

According to an account of the tragedy, as taken by Dr. Reckling from those present on the place at the time, the father had been working in the blacksmith shop, and the little child had been playing near him. He was learning to ride a tricycle and the father had been pushing him about on the vehicle for a time before he went to the barn, some distance from the blacksmith shop. Leaving him to play with his older brother, Mr. Cook went to the barn and was working on some harness. He had closed the gate to the barn lot in order to keep the children away from the animals, and as he approached the building, Richardson asked him about the time. It was then 3:45 p.m.

In the house, Mrs. Cook was working and visiting with Mrs. Richardson and Beecher Strube, when she remarked: "I'd better go out and see what my wandering boy is doing." The stock tank is located about 60 feet west from the house, and about 100 feet east of the barn. Calling to Mr. Cook, who told her that the baby was not with him, Mrs. Cook proceeded toward the tank when she discovered the body floating on the water. She screamed at the sight and almost collapsed when she learned that the child was dead.

It was 3:55 when the body was found - just ten minutes after the child was last seen alive by its father and Richardson. It is believed that the baby toddled up to the rim of the tank on the north side, where dirt had blown to about one-half the depth of the 30-inch tank, and in some manner had leaned over the rim and fallen in. The water is said to have been about 18 inches deep.

The remains of the child were brought to this city by Dr. Reckling, who, accompanied by Miss Kitty Browder, nurse, had rushed to the scene of the accident in record time. In view of the statement obtained by the physician, from those present at the ranch when the drowning occurred, it was decided by County Coroner George Earl Peet that no inquest would be held. The statement indicated clearly that the child's death had been accidental.

Funeral services will be held from the chapel of the Peet mortuary at 2:30 o'clock Saturday afternoon, and burial will be made in the Lusk cemetery. Other arrangements are yet incomplete.

Images & Attachments

Photo courtesy of the Joshua Brackett Eagle Scout Project

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