Sanders, Henry, Vina, Bertie, Zula and Reynolds, Mary
Creek County Oklahoma Genealogy ~ OKGenWeb
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Updated: 29 Mar 2013

The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Jun 11, 1914  Number: 1


Daughters and Housekeeper of Sapulpa Laborer Are Drowned.


Mystery Surrounds Tragedy;
Coroner's Jury Conducts Probe

SAPULPA, Okla., June 10. (Special) —The finding of four bodies Wednesday morning in Rock Creek, a treacherous stream on the outskirts of Sapulpa, reveal the fact that an entire family with the exception of the father, Henry Sanders, oil field laborer, was wiped out Tuesday afternoon or evening with no clues as to the details of the-tragedy.

The victims were the three daughters of Sanders, Vina, aged 14 years; Zula, 11 and Bertie 9, and Miss Mary Reynolds, 18 years of age, housekeeper for the family. All the bodies were nude, the clothes of ail being found on the banks of the creek.

Many rumors were afloat Wednesday. Foul play is suspected in connection with the deaths and a coroner's Jury empanelled Wednesday evening, after viewing the bodies. adjourned until Thursday, when the testimony of a large number of witness's, subpoenaed Wednesday will to taken.

The bodies of all four of the victims were covered with cuts and bruises and blood had been flowing from their months and noses according to officers. It is the theory of the father that they waded into the creek. got out beyond their depth, and all were drowned attempting to assist each other to get out.

Story of Sanders
Yesterday, Sanders, says, Miss Reynolds took the children for a stroll toward the creek. Being called to the oil fields to work, he says he left a note on the table, saying he would return as soon as relieved.

Wednesday morning white strolling along the banks of the stream, and preparing to cross it at a ford, Sanitary Officer Gray noticed a floating object In the water. Upon investigation he found it to be a human body. Further investigation revealed the clothes of four girls on the bank and soon he found the bodies of two others, both floating. They were Miss Reynolds and the two ...youngest daughters.

Neighbors were summoned, the bodies identified and brought to undertaking Parlors in Sapulpa and the father was notified. He returned to the city and at his home made a search for his oldest daughter. Returning to town with friends he reported that he believed she was at the home of his son-In-law, her best clothes being gone.

But when the clothing of the children found on the bank was shown him, he recognized garments belonging to the oldest child. Another searching Party was organized and the fourth body found near where the others had been taken from their watery graves.

Treacherous Pool In Stream.
The place where the girls were drowned is considered the most treacherous along the stream, shallow wafer descending suddenly into a deep pool ten to twenty feet drop. Should the girls have waded into this pool, being unable to swim they would have had no chance to escape it is believed.

Funeral services for the four will he held Thursday morning in charge of local Salvation Army officers. Many business men subscribed liberally to a fund to aid Sanders In his trouble.

Large crowds viewed the bodies during the day.

Burial was at Old Sapulpa Cemetery.

Reynolds, Mary

Sanders Girls





Complied and transcribed by Zoey Fryhover, 2009.

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