Bernice Elizabeth "Bay" Taylor, Comanche County, Kansas Hosted by RootsWeb, the oldest & largest FREE genealogical site. Click here to visit RootsWeb.
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The Western Star, July 21, 1922.

Sad Death of Bay Taylor on Last Sunday

Was Drowned While Bathing in a Pond on the Geo. Hackney Farm
Ardinell McGauley, Her Companion, Narrowly Escaped Similar Fate
Happiness Soon Turned into Mourning

This community was greatly shocked on last Sunday afternoon about 3:30 o'clock when the news was telephoned from the Coy neighborhood 28 miles south of this city that Miss Bernice Elizabeth (familiarly known as "Bay") Taylor, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. P. Taylor of this city, had lost her life by drowning in a pond on the Geo. Hackney farm a few miles southeast of Coy.

On Sunday morning Bay had gone with R. E. McGauley and family to the Hackney home for a visit. Mr. Hackney, Mrs. McGauley's father, had been staying in town, and he accompanied them to his home. A fine dinner was enjoyed, then during the afternoon all went to the grove, where ice cream was served.

About 300 yards from the grove is an artificial pond, a portion of which contained water to the depth of eight or nine feet. Some of the boys had been swimming in the pond, and later during the afternoon the girls, Bay Taylor and Ardinell McGauley, concluded to go into the water. Bay could swim a little, but Ardinell not at all. One of the smaller boys showed them where the shallow water was by wading across the pond, and at the same time pointed out where the deep water was. The girls having a lot of fun wading about, but as they waded, with their arms about each other, they found themselves suddenly slipping as if over a bank into a deep hole where the water was considerably over their heads. Both screamed and sank, and on coming to the surface Bay made an attempt to swim, but a wave struck her in the mouth and caused her to strangle and to lose control of herself. Both went down the second time, and when they again came to the surface, Walter, Harry and A. J. (Tant) Hackney, Ardinell's uncles, had arrived at the scene and immediately plunged in, in an effort to rescue the drowning girls,

Walter, who reached the pond first, succeeded in reaching Ardinell in time to grab her by the collar and hair, and thus brought her to shore. He placed her on the ground and finding that she showed signs of life he at once turned his attention toward helping his brothers rescue Bay, who was farther from the bank, her body having already gone down for the third time. Harry first dived twice for Bay and came out exhausted, then Tant dived three times, and the third time, while feeling about on the bottom of the pond, and just as he himself was about exhausted, felt one of her feet which he grabbed and immediately brought the body to the surface and to shore, but it was apparent from the first, that life was extinct. Every means possible was employed to resuscitate the body.

A physician from Coldwater had been promptly summoned, and he arrived within less than an hour, but all the aid that he could give also proved unavailing in restoring life. It certainly was a narrow escape for Ardinell. Had Walter been a few seconds later in reaching her, she too, would have gone down the third time and probably met the same fate as did her companion. The boys did noble work in their efforts at rescue. The relatives were at the pond almost immediately after the screams of the girls were heard, but it was then too late to help, except as already stated.

Soon after the general phone alarm was sounded, a large number of neighbors were at the scene of the drowning. Bay's parents were notified and were soon on their way to the Hackney home. The body was brought to Coldwater Sunday night and was taken to the home of her grandmother, Mrs. Wm. Taylor.

Funeral services were conducted from the Methodist Episcopal church at 3 o'clock p.m. on Tuesday, the pastor, Rev. W. M. Austin, being in charge. The church was crowded with neighbors and friends of the deceased who knew Bay so well. A profusion of beautiful flowers attested to the thoughtfulness and love of many friends. The floral decorations were beautiful. The brief talk by Rev. Austin and the two songs by Rev. Johnson were appropriate and impressive. Rev. Austin spoke from the text, "Be ye therefore ready for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of Man cometh." Rev. Johnson sang, "In the Garden" and "Crossing the Bar."

Six young ladies and six young men, all of whom but one were classmates of Bay, acted as pall-bearers. They were: Pauline Haydock, Edith Sunderland, Louise Korff, Norma McIntyre, Grace Nokes, Pearl Reynolds, Taylor Kirby, Wade Marley, Hunter Overstreet, Junior Doig, Harold Lewis and Chester Brown, the latter of Caldwell, Kansas.

Deceased was born in Protection-tp., this county, on September 11, 1903. At the time of her death she lacked but one month and 26 days of being 19 years of age. The greater part of her life was spent in this city, and here she had won a host of friends among the young people. She was a member of the M. E. church and Sunday school and of the Christian Endeavor of the Presbyterian church and took an active part in religious work. She will be greatly missed, not only in the home where she was the only daughter, but also among her school and Sunday school associates. For a young life so full of hope and promise as was hers to be ended as far as earthly ties and activities are concerned, seems indeed sad, but there is solace in the assurance that "god doeth all things well," and that "All things work together for good to them that love God." There will be sorrowing and bereaved hearts, but an abiding faith and trust in the goodness and love of God will help to heal and to comfort. To those who are bereaved and who mourn, the sympathy of all is extended.

Besides her parents, deceased is survived by four brothers - Spencer, Merlin (Jack), Phillip and Gordon. All were present at the funeral except Spencer, who is in the West and could not be reached.


Bernice Elizabeth "Bay" Taylor is buried in Crown Hill Cemetery near Coldwater, Kansas.


Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news article to this web site!

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