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Search for Bodies Continues

Written by Dick Perue

Last week, we reported on the loss of three Upper North Platte River Valley folks during the flood of 1917. This week, the search for the bodies continues. A news item in the June 28, 1917, “Saratoga Sun” reads:

Will Patrol the River

Guards to be Placed on Lookout for Floating Bodies of Men Drowned Above Saratoga Last Week 

Preparations are now in progress for the placing of a close watch on the Platte River between the Day Ranch and Saratoga for the purpose of finding, if possible, the bodies of Robert Day, George Day and Garland Gross, who were drowned at the Day Ranch on Sunday, June 17.

The matter is in the hands of the Commercial Club, which has appointed a committee, with William H. Sowder as chairman, to look after the hiring and placing of men to search for the bodies during the coming week.

It is presumed that the bodies will come to the surface within the next few days in case they are not caught in wire fences, drift piles or other debris, and guards with boats will be placed at various points along the river to keep a sharp watch during the next few days.

Also, a crew of men with a large boat will likely spend several days in making a thorough examination of the various islands below the scene of the accident, it being the opinion of many experienced river men that the bodies are lodged somewhere within a mile below the Day Ranch.

The search went on for several weeks, with the first break in finding the victims reported in the July 26, 1917 issue of “The Sun.”

Tie Drivers Find Body

Remains of George Day Recovered a Mile Below Home, Where He was Drowned on June 17

The body of George Day, ll-year-old son of Mrs. R.A. Day, who, with his father, Robert A. Day, and his cousin, Garland Gross, was drowned at the Day Ranch on the evening of June 17, was found late Saturday afternoon by men employed on the tie drive. The boy’s body was found entangled in the roots of a large cottonwood tree which laid in the river at a point about a mile below the ranch house.

The remains were immediately taken to the home and prepared for burial, interment being made in the Saratoga cemetery Sunday afternoon. The funeral was attended by a large number of friends of the family.

The tie drivers are working slowly and searching the river thoroughly for the bodies of the other drowned men, and they will very likely be recovered before the drive is completed. . . and, the search continues next week.