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April 29 1953

AAron C Ashworth Feared Drowned Off Dock In Ohio River (27 Apr 1953)

Last Seen When He Stepped Outside From Dock-House About 4 A.M.; No Trace Is Found but Search Goes On


Aaron C (Banty) Ashworth 54, of 512 Pearl street, an employe of the Texas Company at its Mt. Vernon terminal for almost 11 years, disappeared from the vicinity of the loading dock between 4 and 4:15 a.m. today and is believe to have drowned in the Ohio river.


At 3 o'clock this afternoon a widespread search of the shoreline and dragging of the river had brought no trace.


No one saw Ashworth fall or slip into the river.


William B. Goodwin as operator 2, Doyle Austin and Ashworth, operator's helpers, comprised the terminal crew that was engaged in loading gasoline into barges of the Towboat Roy Mechling, of A. L. Mechling Towing Co., Joliet, Ill.  Gasoline is transferred by flexible hose lines from the loading dock to the barge headers which are against the dock.


M. Eugene Rowe, as operater 1 was gauging the loading from the terminal plant.


While a hose line was being drained , Ashworth and Austin had gone into the dock-house and Goodwin informed that his auto at some distance from the dock had a flat tire, went to investigate.  Ashworth left Austin in the dock-house to go outside, Goodwin inquired as to where Ashworth was when he returned to the dock and when no trace of him was found the search began.  Ashworth has left his coat in the dock-house.  No one saw Ashworth after he left the dock-house.


E. Frank Boyle, terminal superintendent, was notified at his home and efforts to trace the missing man were launched on a widespread scale.


Fellow-employes of the missing man using draglines began dragging the river.  The Posey County sheriff's office and Mt. Vernon Fire Department dispatched men to assist in the search.  A boat was employed to "wash-under" the dock but no trace of Ashworth had been found in mid-afternoon.  All river craft and government dams were alerted.


The missing Mt. Vernon-ite had been employed by the Texas Company at its Mt. Vernon terminal since June 23, 1942 - about two years after the terminal was established.



May 8, 1953

Aaron Ashworth Body Recovered At Shawneetown

Ten days after Aaron C. ( Banty) Ashworth, 54, of 512 Pearl street, Mt. Vernon disappeared from the loading dock of the Texas Company terminal at Mt. Vernon where he had been employed for almost 11 years his body was found floating in the Ohio River late yesterday afternoon a half-mile above Shawneetown, Ill.


Lawrence, Litsey, who operated a fish market at Shawneetown, found the body as he was enroute to run his nets.


The body had traveled a distance of 28 miles, eluding searchers who began dragging a short time after Mr. Ashworth disappeared from the dock between 4 and 4:15 a.m. on Monday April 27, and continued their search without interruption until the body was found.


Identification was confirmed by cards in the billfold of the river victim whose spectacles had not been dislodged during the long journey in the water.


The body was brought to the Weisinger Funeral Home in Mt. Vernon last night.


The funeral service will be conducted at 10:30 a.m. Saturday in the Weisinger chapel with burial following in Bellefontaine cemetery.  Dr. Frank R. Greer, minister of First Methodist Church, of which the deceased was a member, will be the officiating clergyman.


Mr. Ashworth, a life-long resident of Mt. Vernon with a reputation of industry, high moral and devotion to his family was a member of Mt. Vernon lodge 49, Independent Order of Odd Fellows; Posey aerie No. 1717, Fraternal Order of Eagles and Local 368 Oil Workers International Union, Local 368 shortly after Mr. Ashworth's disappearance offered a $100 reward for the recovery of the body.


An inquest will be conducted tonight by Gallatin County Coroner, A. C. Cox at Ridgeway, Ill.


The drowning was the third to occur at a Mt. Vernon petroleum terminal on the Ohio river since this city became an oil shipping point, but it was the first of a local terminal employe, the other two being members of boat crews.  The latest victim of the river had been employed by the Texas Company at its Mt. Vernon terminal since Jun 23, 1942 - about two years after the terminal was established..


Surviving the tragedy victim are the wife, nee Mary Crunk; three daughters, Mrs. William Menikheim, St. Louis; Mrs. Merrill Gee, Evansville, and Mrs. Tossie Powell, who has been residing in Detroit but with her family is preparing to re-locate in Mt. Vernon; two grandchildren; two brothers, David H Ashworth, Mt. Vernon, and Louis K. Ashworth, St. Louis, and five sisters, Mrs. Claude C Courtner, Mrs. Dalton Erwin, Mrs. E. A. Trousdale, Mrs. Ivan Yaggi and Mrs. Owen C. Crowe, all of Mt. Vernon.  The deceased's parents were David F. Ashworth and Ella Hanshoe Ashworth.


Burial was in Bellfontaine Cemetery.


Originally submitted by Betty Sellers