Posted By:Kenenth Madl
Subject:Re: Seibold, Otto M., Oshkosh, 1892-1910
Post Date:October 18, 2012 at 14:48:49
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Forum:Winnebago County, WI Genealogy Forum
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Otto M. Seibold died in June 1941. It was his namesake son who died in 1909:

Oshkosh Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin), 14-17 July 1909

Otto Seibold, son of Otto M. Seibold, a bicycle dealer with a shop on Division street and living at 377 Ohio street, corner of Twelfth, met death this afternoon while swimming in the canal west of the Wisconsin Central bridge on the south side of the river. He was about eleven years of age. Boy companions missed him about 2:30 o'clock. His body was recovered at 3:15 o'clock by Officer Steinfort. His clothing was on the bank of the canal.

Distressing scenes accompanied the dragging for the body of Otto Seibold, the lad who was drowned Wednesday afternoon in the canal west of the approach to the Wisconsin Central railway bridge, and on the south side of the Fox river.

As was stated in The Northwestern Wednenday afternoon, the lad lost his life about 2:30 o'clock, and the body was recovered at 3:15 o'clock. Officer Janke, rowing slowly from south to north, enabled Detective Steinfort to hook the body at a point twelve feet east of the went bank of the canal, where it widens into the river. The water is about six feet deep over the spot where the drowned boy lay.

First word of the accident came from companions of Otto Seibold. The bridge tender on the Wisconsin Central railway bridge was alarmed by the cries of many lads who ran over the ties of the structure shouting, "A boy is drowned".

The bridge tender telephoned the agent at the south side station of the road, and this man quickly relayed the message to the police department. A few minutes later Mr. Seibold, the boy's father, received a telephone message rrom the neighborhood of the canal saying that a boy, supposedly his son, was drowned.

At 2:45 o'clock, fifteen minutes after the first shouts of danger, both banks of the canal were lined with frightened people. Mr. Selbold appeared quickly in a small launch. A detachment of police officers were on the water in a few minutes, going over the canal with drag hooks. Mr. Selbold also dragged the water, and John Shea Jr., with two boys in a row boat, joined the search.

Scores of mothers came to the canal banks. Some of them ran with all their strength to the scene of the dragging, weeping in fear that it was one of their children who was drowned. It was not definitely known at the time that Otto Selbold was the boy, although from the reports of tho unnerved playmates of the lad, the police were quite certain it was he.

Mrs. Selbold, the lads mother, came to the west bank of the canal. She was given passage through a sympathetic crowd of women. For a few minutes she stood in the shade of a freight car, watching the dragging. Each cast of the hooks and every upward pull seemed to fasten the grasp of fear and despair upon the mother, until finally she cried out in anguish and fainted, falling to the ground.

Neighbors of the sorrow-broken woman bore her up and took her to her home. She had collapsed completely, and required the closest attention and the services of a physician to restore her. Today Mrs. Seibold is quiet, but quite undone. The shock was a severe one for her to bear.

Hardly had the lad's mother been taken from the site of his death, when his grandmother broke down in pitiable sobbing. She, however, would not leave the canal bank, but stood her ground, alternately looking out upon the water where the men worked and then burying her face in her hands, to weep violently.

The mother and the grandmother of the lad were not the only women affected, for until the body wns recovered the fear was general that any one of a dozen boys might have been drowned.

Dozens of women who live in the neighborhood lined the bank holding in their arms young babies. Many of them had little children of tender years clinging helplessly to their mother's skirts.

Three o'clock came and still the body was not recovered. The little pile of clothes, the boy's short pants, his undershirt, and his dark play shirt these were the garment's that lay as mute testimony to the tragedy.

In the canal, where the water was shallow, the weeds made dragging difficult. In the river end of the canal the weeds were not as thick and the water was deeper. Without a word the father of the lad would drop his line, pull it up at every weight, and with a deepening of the lines on his face return it to the water for another try.

When Detective Steinfort brought the lad to the surface there was a choked cry, "They've got him. The police have got him".

Mr. Seiboid's boat was beside the officers' boat in a moment. The body came up and was lifted over the side of the row boat. One glance showed Mr. Seibold that his fears were realized. With the same silent courage that marked his searching, the father helped get the body to the bank of the canal.

Although a physician had been sent for none came, and Mr. Selbold took charge of the efforts at resuscitation. However, the work did not avail, as the boy had been too long in the water.

In explaining the drowning, the lads who were nearest the canal said Otto Selbeld went in swimming alone. The lad had told his parents and his playmates that he could swim. The boys say he was able to swim a short distance. He undressed on the west side of the cnnnl and went into the water. Several of his friends were playing in the empty freight cars at the time, and they thought it nothing unusual for one of their number to go into the water. The vicinity of the cana1 is a playground the neigbhorhood lads have taken.

It was the cry of little Leonard Pollack, so older boys said afterward, that alarmed them. They immediately saw Otto's little heap of clothing and failed to see him. So they ran for help, shouting all the while, "A boy is drowned. A boy is drowned in the canal", or "Otto's drowned."

Mr. Seibold said this morning that from what he could learn, his son was overheated when he went into the water. He had been playing vigorouslsy. It is the father's belief that a cramp may have seized his son while in the water, rendering him helpless.

The place where the boy was found would indicate also that Otto got in beyond his depth. The bottom of the canal slopes suddenly to the deeper river, and twelve feet out water changes from waist depth to six feet. The lad may have waded out too far, and being surprised, found himself unable to swim. As the father believes, he may have been taken with a cramp, thus becoming helpless altogether.

There are three other children in the family, all younger, Isabella, the next in age, is eight years, Caroline is seven, and Clarence five years of age.

17 July 1909

There were a large attendance at the funeral services this morning of the late Otto Siebold, the lad who was drowned Wednesday. The services were held at St. Vincent's church, Rev. Father Wibbert officiated. The remains were taken to Riverside cemetery.