Cleveland, OH Launch BUTTERFLY Sinking, Sept 1904
Five Men Lost In Lake Erie
Launch Overturned and It is Thought All Were Drowned.
Butterfly Drifted Ashore Upside Down Near Edgewater Park.
Party Left Cleveland Yacht Club for Rocky River on Cruise.
Engine Was Out Of Order
Prominent Young Clevelanders in Party-Those Supposed to be Lost Are John D. Begley, Albert G. Trieber, Paul Hurtig and Max and Julius Hertig-Life Saving Crew Patrolled Beach With No Result Because of High Waves.
There is a chance that some of the party escaped with their lives. There were three life preservers on the boat and only one has been found. One of the oars was picked up near Edgewater and the other oar was found fastened in its locker on the boat. The fact that one oar was found in the locker is taken as partial evidence that the engine did not go entirely out of use.
Five men, possibly more, are believed to have lost their lives through the overturning of a gasoline launch in the lake near Edgewater park yesterday evening. The man are John D. Begley, an employee of the Cuyahoga Abstract Co., living at No. 551 Scovill avenue; Albert G. Treiber, also employed by the abstract company living at No. 28 Avondale street Glenville; Paul Heitner, who is said to live on Root street, and two brothers, Max and Julius Hertig, the former a traveling man of New York City and the latter a draughtsman in the employ of the Garry Steel & Iron Co.
The men formed a party on their way to Vermillion to spend Sunday in attendance upon the races to be run there today by the Lakewood Yacht Club.
The party was suggested by the Hertig brothers, who with Clarence B. Lovejoy, No. 1127 Cedar avenue, own the launch, known as the “Butterfly.” They left the Cleveland yacht clubhouse about 6 o’clock.
About 7 p.m. Charles Thoma and wife of 142 W. Trenton street were sitting on the beach near Hugh McEachern’s boat hour, a short distance from Edgewater park. They saw the launch with the men in it pass. A strong wind was blowing at the time, and believing that the boat was in trouble Thoma waved to them. His signal was unanswered and Thoma then ran along the shore, yelling to those in the boat. He received no answer.
An hour later Thoma and his wife heard calls for help from the lake. L. Deed’s, No. 106 Guthrie Street, John Hoban, park policeman, who lives at No. 57 Waverly avenue, John Walters, No. 26 Scott alley and several other people in Edgewater park also heard the calls for help.
They continued for several minutes and were followed by wild screams. All of the men who heard the shouts and screams ran to the shore, but could see nothing. There was a strong wind blowing at the time. Half an hour later the men along the shore found three cushions, an oar and a five-gallon can of gasoline washed ashore.
Immediately upon making this find they notified the life saving crew, who hurried to the scene. Thoma attempted to take a boat out into the water, but the sea was too strong and he was compelled to desist.
The life saving crew was quickly upon the scene. They made a thorough search, but in the inky darkness were unable to locate either boat or bodies.
They had hardly left the beach, however, before another and two more cushions were found. These were located some fifty feet west of the boathouse.
A few minutes later, in a corner of the shore protection of the park, and about 300 or 400 feet east of the boathouse a gasoline launch, stripped of everything, was foundling, pounding against the rocks. There was a large hole in her side and she was badly wrecked. Her painter was caught in the wheel, having the effect of turning the boat broadside to the waves when she was in the water.
On her stern was painted the name “Butterfly.”