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Obituaries With Warren County Connections
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Beachey Family Obituaries
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Lincoln Beachey (1887-1915)


Strapped to his monoplane, Lincoln Beachey, noted aviator and a native of this city, plunged 2,500 feet and died 40 feet below the surface of San Francisco bay late Saturday. Uncounted thousands of visitors to the Panama-Pacific exposition stood, hushed, terror-stricken, as the machine and its pilot dived unwinged and helpless from the skies to the waters. Beachey lived through the awful plunge and fought until he died in the depths of the bay.

The thousand-pound monoplane struck the water like a meteor from the heavens. The machine dove into the bay tail-first. This saved Beachey from being crushed to death, as his body was protected by the engine, his pilot seat being almost directly in front of it.

An instant before the machine fell into the water a fearful cry rose from the crowds. Many turned their heads. Women were fainting everywhere. The water, which had risen like a geyser at the spot where Beachey and his fateful monoplane had disappeared, now settled itself in peaceful ripples. At that moment Beachey, buried in the mud, was fighting for life in 40 feet of water, attempting to extricate himself from the imprisoning belt that held him to his pilot seat. The autopsy made later by Dr. David E. Stafford showed every evidence of the terrible last moments the great little aviator had experienced. His hands were cut and bruised from his frantic efforts to loose his bonds; his face was purple from the game fight he had made to keep the water from pouring into his lungs. Finally, the great pressure at 40 feet overcame him and he drowned.

So well-protected had Beachey been by his engine that only one of his legs was broken by the crash against the water’s surface. He had plunged in, face to the sky, his engine at his back. Probably no more remarkable sea and sky death ever was enacted.

The fatal accident was due to a collapse of one of the wings of Beachey’s monoplane, a machine which he had just begun to use. He had begun his perpendicular dive with engine stopped, when one wing collapsed. The other also folded up under the strain. As he plunged down near to the bay a cry of distress rose from the mighty throng and the bands stopped playing. There was a great crash when the machine struck the water.

The body was found by a sailor on the battleship Oregon, who made two descents in a diving suit.

Source: “Plunged to Death,” obituary, The Western Star (Lebanon, Ohio), Thursday March 18, 1915
Copy from the Obituary Collection at the Warren County Genealogical Society,

Elks Conduct Funeral Services For Beachey

Mother of Aviator Files Petition to Be Named Administratrix.

By the Associated Press
SAN FRANCISCO, March 17. – The funeral of Lincoln Beachey, the aviator, drowned Sunday when his monoplane collapsed and plunged into San Francisco bay, was conducted today by San Francisco lodge, No. 8, B.P.O.E. Interment took place in Mount Olivet cemetery.

Mrs. Amy Beachey, the aviator’s mother, filed a petition for appointment as administratrix of her son’s estate yesterday. Her attorneys said Beachey’s estate consists of real estate and personal property valued at $25,000. No will has been found.

Beachey is survived by his mother, his father William Beachey, and a brother, Hillary Beachey.

Source: The Associated Press, "Elks Conduct Funeral Services for Beachey," obituary, San Jose (California) Mercury News, 18 March 1915; ( : accessed 4 September 2010), Historical Newspapers.

Arne H Trelvik
4 September 2010

William C. Beachey (c1847-1922)


Spent Greater Part of His Life in Lebanon.

Wm. C. Beachey, 75, a former well known resident of this place, passed away at his late home in Tampa, Florida, early Monday morning. Mr. Beachey had been in failing health for some time, and his death was not wholly a surprise to his many friends.

Mr. Beachey had spent the greater part of his life in and about Lebanon until about two years ago, when he and his wife moved to Florida. He is survived by his wife, formerly Lizzie White, of Lebanon, and one son by a former marriage, Hillary, who is at present located in California. It will also be remembered that he was the father of the famous aviator, Lincoln Beachey, who met an untimely death several years ago in an unfortunate accident over San Francisco.

Mr. Beachey served his country in the Civil War as a musician in Co. G., 183rd Ohio Regiment, at the age of 17, and was ever a faithful member of the local post of the G. A. R. Early in life he met with an accident which eventually cost him the sight of both eyes and his later years were spent in entire darkness.

At the time of this writing no word of funeral arrangements has been received by local friends and relatives, but it is probably that his body will not be sent here for burial.

Source: "William Beachey Dies in Florida," obituary, unnamed newspaper, Thursday July 13, 1922
Copy from the Obituary Collection at the Warren County Genealogical Society,

Arne H Trelvik
4 September 2010




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