125 years ago in 1897
Taken directly from the pages of The Youngstown Vindicator:
“A brave act, two lads saved from drowning by the heroic actions of young men. Ventured on thin ice. Charles Sunderland, with a rope around him, rescues them.
“By heroic measures, Joseph and Walter Turba, two brothers, were saved from a watery grave Monday afternoon at about 5 o’clock. The boys are aged 6 and 7 years, respectively, and at the time of the accident, were on the ice watching a number of skaters.
“Suddenly, a scream for help arose and thrilled the many spectators on the Spring Common bridge above and the skaters below. Two lads had fallen through the ice, which was not very thick where the boys had ventured.
“The brothers had gone too far. They bantered each other and at last the ice cracked and suddenly screams for help were heard.
“Ropes were at once secured by Frank Trigg and Harry Lewis, and were brought to the scene. A cord was tied around Charles Sunderland and he heroically went to the scene, reaching the lads in time to save them from horrible deaths. Joseph, the elder of the two boys, had gone down once. Rising again, he was caught by the hair and pulled out.
“Walter, in the meanwhile, was battling fiercely and bravely with the water. He held up his hands and occasionally gagged with the water. He managed to keep near his brother and above water, frequently grabbing the ice which was very thin. He was soon rescued.
“The lads were taken to John Myer’s house, close by, and given ginger ale and whiskey. They were then carried to a store on Spring Common, conducted by a Greek. Here, they were stripped and thoroughly warmed and furnished with blankets.
“A short while afterward, the urchins were taken to their parents’ home on Clark Street.
“James Burnside and Jim Sanders deserve much credit. They held the rope to which Sunderland was tied. When the lads were reached, a cry of approval rang through the air.
“The boys wore new rubber boots and had carelessly wandered on the thin ice.
“For the information of the public, it is stated that ropes and planks are kept at the marble works of the Trig Bros., on Mill Street, for use in case of accident.”
• Compiled from the Youngstown Vindicator by Traci Manning, Mahoning Valley Historical Society curator of education.