|Birth: ||May 9, 1932|
|Death: ||Jun. 13, 1940|
EIGHT-YEAR-OLD BOY DROWNS IN COUNTY QUARRY
Recover Body of Sterling Lentz Near Myerstown
Is Third Drowning Fatality of Year
Lebanon County's third drowning fatality of 1940 occurred late Thursday afternoon at the water-filled Millard quarries at Millardsville, east of Myerstown when Sterling Lentz, eight-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Iram Lentz, of Richland, drowned in a small offset of the main quarry.
The tragedy was revealed at 11 o'clock this morning when the boy's rigid body was hauled to the surface of the water by Amos Hartman, a member of the Lebanon Fire Department's Safety and First Aid Patrol and a qualified member of the American Red Cross Life-Saving Corps.
Hartman recovered the body of the youthful victim at a point about ten feet off the concrete bridge separating the smaller body of water from the main quarry midway between the two banks.
The body was discovered in approximately sixty feet of water when hooks, imbedded in a grappling iron devised by Hartman, became caught in the clothing worn by the youthful drowning victim.
At the time of the discovery of the body, Hartman was being rowed about the place in a rowboat manned by State Policeman J. A. McGrew, of the local station.
McGrew was one of the local state police officers who kept up a continuous search for the body since last evening under the direction of Sergeant C. A. Lipp, in charge of the local station.
Hartman aided in the work of dragging the quarry bottom until about 3 o'clock this morning and had returned to the scene only about an hour before his gruesome discovery.
With the recovery of the body, the worst fears were finally realized although it was generally accepted that they boy had been a drowning victim when a long and exhaustive search of the entire region had proven fruitless.
Until the last, however, some members of the family held out slender hopes that some other explanation for the lad's disappearance might be learned inasmuch as there were no known witnesses to the drowning.
The lad apparently had fallen into the smaller body of water sometime late yesterday afternoon, as he had been last seen playing about the bank and on a concrete bridge that separated the offset from the large body of water in the main quarry. He had accompanied his older sisters, Evelyn, aged 13, and Lela, aged 9 to the quarry early on Thursday afternoon when his father had driven the children, and several of their Richland playmates to the scene so the older children could enjoy swimming at a part of the dam prepared for juvenile bathers
The youthful victim of the tragic accident, unable to swim did not accompany his sisters and their companions to the swimming beach, but amused himself playing about the place.
Sometime during the afternoon Ruth Showaker, of Richland R. D. 1, one of the girl bathers, told of having seen the lad playing about several large rocks on the bank of the smaller body of water as she was leaving the place. She also told of warning the youngster to stay away from the water and added that he did retreat from what she deemed a precarious place at the time.
Still later, according to report heard, several other girls saw the lad playing about the bridge that separates the tragic spot from the vast body of water in the abandoned quarries, but the time could not be definitely fixed.
Upon finishing their swimming, the boy's sisters and their companions took their departure and when they failed to see the lad assumed that he had already left for their home as he has done frequently in the past.
It was only when the family assembled for the customary evening meal that the lad was missed by his mother and family and his disappearance gave cause for misgivings, and some alarm.
Members of the family first began a search of the premises surrounding the Millard quarries and when a widespread search joined in by friends and neighbors failed to produce any information as to the lad's whereabouts, the Lebanon state motor police was notified.
Privates Jay Reese and E. V. Muidowney, local state police Sergeant Lipp and officers, promptly went to the scene, as did members of the local fire department's safety and first-aid patrol, which ultimately recovered the boy's body. Private McGrew joined his fellow officers early this morning.
Inasmuch as there were no witnesses in the tragedy, searchers were compelled to engage in more or less of a "fishing" expedition in an effort to locate the body in water estimated to be sixty or more feet deep in many sectors.
Until water flooded the vast workings, limestone had been quarried from the place for a number of years and the quarries were quite deep. From the small offset where they boy's body was located, stone cars were run on rails under the bridge to the main workings, according to former workmen at the scene this morning.
Searchlights were played about the place during the nocturnal search after the Liberty Fire Company's first aid squad wagon arrived at the place last evening.
When the persistent search and continued grappling failed to bring results, there were many who felt that they boy had not drowned but a general alarm spread rapidly to attract hundreds of people to the scene this morning.
When the grappling hook brought the boy's body to the surface this morning, the search was ended. The boy was clad in a pair of khaki shorts, a striped sports sweater and shoes when the fatal mishap befell him some time yesterday.
His father, a signal tower operator employed by the Reading Company in this city, and also a preacher in Richland Brethren Church, stood stoically on the banks when his youngest son's lifeless body was brought to the surface of the waters. He quickly stiffed his grief to inform the boy's grief-stricken mother who awaited word of the search while seated in the family auto a short distance from the scene.
Sergeant Lipp, officer in charge of the case, immediately notified Coroner J. D. Boger, of this city, after the recovery of the body, and after issuing a certificate of accidental drowning, the corner ordered the body released to an undertaker.
The victim of the tragic mishap is survived by his parents, two sisters, Lela and Evelyn, and two brothers, Arthur, a Pen State College student, and Elwood, of Womeladorf.
Lebanon Daily News, June 14, 1940, Page 1
15 June 1940: In Richland, on the 13th inst., Sterling N. Lentz, aged 8 years, 1 month and 4 days. Funeral on Sunday afternoon at 3 o'clock standard time, from home of his parents, Rev. and Mrs. Iram Lentz. Services at Richland Church of the Brethren. Interment at Royer's Tulpehocken Brethren Cemetery. Relatives and friends are invited to attend without further notice. Friends may call this evening, 7 to 9, at the residence. [Lebanon Daily News]
Lebanon Daily News
Iram Jacob Lentz (1894 - 1972)
Sadie Eliza Hertzler Lentz (1895 - 1977)
Elwood Iram Lentz (1915 - 2007)*
Arthur Stanley Lentz (1919 - 1980)*
Ruth E Lentz (1922 - 1923)*
Sterling Hertzler Lentz (1932 - 1940)
Royers Meeting House Cemetery
Created by: Bonnie Huish
Record added: Nov 28, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 81131874