Dixon Evening Telegraph
Monday, November 24, 1952
Body Found Near River; Investigate
Frank Pulver, 81, Stillman Valley, Dies; Question Companion
OREGON-(Special)-Authorities today are attempting to reconstruct the death of an 81-year-old Oregon area man whose body was found along the bank of the Rock river Sunday morning after he had attempted to cross the river in a boat Saturday night with a companion.
The body of Frank Pulver, Stillman Valley, retired farmer, was found along the river about 11 a. m. yesterday about five miles north of Oregon after the sheriff had been notified that Pulver and Walter Swan, 55, also of Stillman Valley, had not been seen since embarking on the river about 8 p.m. Saturday. Searchers found Swan about a half-hour later wandering in a nearby field.
Sheriff James White speculated that Pulver may have died from shock brought on by difficulties in reaching shore after water taken in by the boat threatened to sink the craft.
A statement obtained by Chief Deputy Dallas Twigg from Swan late this morning indicated that Pulver had been alive when left on the bank by Swan the previous night after the two men had experienced boat trouble.
Swan has been suffering from shock and exposure since he was found, White said.
Swan's statement, according to White, revealed that the two ran into trouble when their boat stated to fill with water and the oars were lost.
Swan, in his statement, said he jumped into the water and while swimming pushed the craft with Pulver in it to shore.
He said he "helped" Pulver to the river bank after reaching the shore and chaining the boat to a tree. Searchers found Pulver's body near the boat.
According to the statement, Swan became lost upon going for help and wondered around the area until found yesterday morning, more than 12 hours after they had gone up on the river.
Both Swan and the body of Pulver were found by Carl Schieble, Marion Township supervisor, who had organized a search party after being notified by White about 9 a. m. yesterday that the men were missing.
White also said Swan's statement revealed the pair had left Stillman Valley about 8 p.m. Saturday. They had gone to a "shack" on Pulver's farm, inhabited by Hugh Peterson, who was described as a "fisherman." The farm is along the river.
After stopping to see Peterson for about 10 minutes, according to the statement, Swan and Pulver took the boat out on the river about a quarter-mile farther down.
Peterson, who with a neighbor, Clarence Frye, reported to the sheriff about 9 a. m. Sunday that the pair apparently had not returned, said the two men had intended to check animal traps and fish lines they had along the river. Fred Horner, county coroner, said today that an inquest would be held as soon as Swan is able to testify. Swan is being cared for at his home.
Pulver is survived by his widow and several children, including Mrs. Oscar Johnson, Byron; Mrs. Charles Hazelton and Leonard Pulver, both of Rockford, and Kester Pulver, Capron.
The body is at the Rock of Ages Funeral Home at Byron. Funeral arrangements had not been completed.
Dixon Evening Telegraph
Tuesday November 25, 1952
Delay Inquest In Death of Frank Pulver
OREGON - (Special) - Funeral services for Frank Pulver, 81, who died in a boating accident near here Saturday night, have been scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Friday in a funeral home at Byron.
Pulver was found dead by searchers Sunday morning along the bank of the Rock River, about 5 miles north of here, and his companion, Walter Swan, 55, Stillman Valley, was found wandering in a nearby field suffering from shock and exposure.
The two men apparently had experienced difficulty in reaching shore after their boat had begun filling with water. They reportedly were checking fish lines and animal traps they had along the river.
Meanwhile, an inquest into the death is pending recovery of Swan. He is expected to be able to testify Friday and Saturday, Fred Horner, Ogle county coroner, indicated today.
Pulver, a retired Oregon area farmer, was born in Cherokee, Ia. He had lived in Rockvale Township in Ogle County for the past 60 years.
Surviving are his widow, Bertha; three daughters, Mrs. Ruth Hazelton, Rockford, Mrs. Josephine Johnson, Byron, and Mrs. Marion Bowden, Mascott, Fla.; two sons, Leonard, Rockford, and Kester, Capron, and three grandchildren.
Submitted by Ellen Kennedy
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