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Bessie H Brumm
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Birth: Oct., 1892
Illinois, USA
Death: Aug. 5, 1904
Madison County
Illinois, USA

Bessie Brumm was the seventh child in the family of Philip and Mary Elizabeth "Lizzie" (Rohlfing) Brumm. She and her younger sister, Marie E. Brumm, died when they and five others drowned in the Mississippi River at Alton, Illinois, August 5, 1904.


The Le Mars Semi-Weekly Sentinel, page 2, August 9, 1904; Le Mars, Plymouth County, Iowa:

Eight Wade to Death
Man and Seven Little Girls Drown at Alton, Ill.

They All Join Hands and In the Darkness Step From Sandbar Into Deep Water -- One Child Who Was in the Party is Rescued.

Alton (IL), August 6. -- While bathing in the Mississippi river, Michael Riley, his daughter, and six of the latter's little girl friends were drowned. One child, who was in the party, was rescued. Riley lived near the river in the southern part of the city and was accustomed to bathe on the beach in front of his home after his return from work. Last night his little daughter begged to go with him and Riley took her and seven of her little girl friends to the beach with him.

When they entered the water Riley bade the children join hands and they all waded into the river and walked along a sand bar which stretches out into the stream at that point. They had gone some distance from the shore, when suddenly the whole party disappeared beneath the water, having in the darkness stepped from the sand bar into the deep channel.

The dead: Michael Riley, Elizabeth Riley, Allie Syner, Lucia Pates, Lila Pates, Bessie Brum (sic), Myrie Brum (sic), and Ruth Marshall.

The children struggled and screamed, fighting desperately to reach the sandbar, where the water was only a foot or so in depth. Riley, who is said to have been a good swimmer, is thought to have been made helpless by the girls clinging to him and hampering his efforts to save them The only one in the party to regain the sandbar was Mary Timiny, eight years old. The child is unable to tell how she saved herself beyond the statement that "I snatched my hand loose from the grasp of the little girl next to me and soon found that I could stand up and that the water only came to my knees.

According to the account of the accident given by the little Timiny girl, the drowning was caused by the excitement incident to the passage of a large river steamer. Before entering the water, Riley had Instructed the little ones to maintain a tight grasp on each other's hands, he taking a place in the center. The wash from the steamer created considerable confusion among the girls, Mary explains, and in the darkness they lost their bearings, and before they were aware of their danger two or three of them had stepped off the sand bar into the channel, dragging the others with them.


Alton Evening Telegraph, page 2, August 8, 1904; Alton, Madison County, Illinois:

Brumm Sisters Funeral

The funeral of Bessie and Marie Brumm, the daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Philip Brumm, was held at the family home on Brown street at 3:30 o'clock. Services were conducted by Reverend W. H. Bradley, pastor of the Presbyterian church. The Brumm home was filled with sorrowing friends and relatives who wished to pay a mark of respect to those who had departed and of sympathy to the bereaved family. There were many very beautiful floral offerings among which were beautiful pieces from the Presbyterian Sunday school and from each of the rooms at the public school the girls had been in. The following acted as bearers for both caskets: Minor Watson, Roland Dudley, Spurgeon Hawkins, Clarence Sargeant and Earl McDown. There were also twelve little girls, schoolmates of the deceased, for honorary pallbearers. After services at the home a very long funeral cortege followed the remains to Oakwood cemetery where burial took place.
Family links: 
  Philip B Brumm (1856 - 1934)
  Mary Elizabeth Rohlfing Brumm (1860 - 1940)
  Lillian B Brumm McIntosh (1879 - 1950)*
  Phil E Brumm (1881 - 1883)*
  Walter Frederick Brumm (1883 - 1950)*
  Nellie L Brumm Martin (1885 - 1971)*
  Harry Christian Brumm (1887 - 1971)*
  Grace B. Brumm Smith (1889 - 1976)*
  Bessie H Brumm (1892 - 1904)
  Marie E Brumm (1894 - 1904)*
*Calculated relationship
Oakwood Cemetery
Upper Alton
Madison County
Illinois, USA
Created by: DW Brumm
Record added: Nov 16, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 100791509
Bessie H Brumm
Added by: Jo Ann
Bessie H Brumm
Added by: Jo Ann
Bessie H Brumm
Cemetery Photo
Added by: D C McJonathan-Swarm
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