The Obit For Fred Zahner

25 Jul 1900:  (Jeffersonville) Evening News

Fell Head Foremost Out Of The Boat And Was Drowned Last Evening

Death of Popular Fred Zahner

     Fred Zahner, who was well known in this city, where he had frequently played ball was drowned in the river last evening [July 24] at a point about opposite Ohio avenue.
     Before becoming a ball player Zahner was connected with the P. C. C. & St. L. and made trips to this side every day checking up cars back of the prison.  He had many friends here [Jeffersonville], and, in fact, was popular everywhere he went.  He was 30 years of age and was married.  It was while returning from this city [Jeffersonville] to Louisville that the accident happened.
     Joe Zahner, a brother of the drowned man, is an expert oarsman and belongs to the Pastime Boat Club and has been in the habit of taking Fred Zahner out riding frequently.  Often they would come to this side and spend an hour or so with friends.  In this way Fred Zahner learned to row, but could not swim.  Last evening Fred Zahner wanted to come over to this side but his brother had other things to attend to and another companion, Pierre Marconnat, consented to come along.  They reached this side and remained here until about 6:30 when they went down the hill to return home.  Here a dispute arose as to who should pull the boat.  Zahner said he would not and Marconnat said he could not as he did not know how.
     After considerable squabbling, however, Marconnat took the oars and managed to get out in mid stream below the Big Four bridge.  A storm was coming up, the steamer City of Cincinnati was coming down and the City of Jeffersonville was coming toward this city [Jeffersonville].  This frightened Marconnat, who told Zahner he had better handle the oars.
     Marconnat bent to one side to let him pass.  The skiff tipped far to one side, and Zahner went head first into the water.  He rose once, beating the water wildly and calling for help.  His frightened companion tried to turn the boat to him, but under awkward management it drifted away.  Two fishermen, 60 feet off, stopped running a trot-line to watch the antics of the man in the water.  They thought he had fallen from his boat on purpose and was playing.  In a minute Zahner had sunk.
     His companion pulled to the shore and notified the live savers.  Capt. Devan sent a crew immediately, but nothing could be done on account of darkness and an approaching storm.

26 Jul 1900:  (Jeffersonville) Evening News
     The body of Fred Zahner came up this morning at 6:30 and was sighted by the crew on the Jeffersonville.  A fisherman caught the corpse and it was removed to the late home of the deceased.

27 Jul 1900:  (Jeffersonville) Evening News
     The funeral of Fred Zahner, who was drowned Tuesday evening took place in Louisville this morning.

Obit Transcription Courtesy Of Mr. John Rudnick