ONE TRAGEDY AFTER ANOTHER
IN KOESER HOME AT MILWAUKEE
24 Jul 1919
Notwithstanding efforts of the Two Rivers coast guard and many other citizens enlisted in the work, no trace of the body of Adria Koeser, one of the Koeser sisters drowned at Lone Pine, has been found. The guard has patrolled the beach as far south as this city but so far their efforts have been fruitless. The search will be continued all day.
In the meantime the body of Myra is being held pending the result of the search today in the hopes that the body of the other sister will be recovered and sent to Milwaukee for a double burial at Forest Home Cemetery beside their father killed in the Central Station bomb explosion. Relatives of the drowned girls are at Two Rivers assisting in the search.
Mrs Emma Koeser, grandmother of the two girls was sitting on her front porch at 523 Farwell avenue Tuesday night when the policeman on her beat stepped into her yard.
"I have bad news for you," he told her, "your grand daughters have been drowned at Manitowoc Beach."
"I couldn't believe it at first," Mrs Koeser said, "there has been so much grief in this family. First came the death of my husband in a sanitarium, just three months before my son's in the bomb explosion. Then the sudden death of a granddaughter in Chicago and now this."
Mrs Koeser is a woman of many sorrows, a woman who has schooled herself to bear grief with a fortitude as admirable as it is Spartan.
She is a very handsome woman, this grandmother of the little girls who were drowned. She is tall and stately with great black eyes that speak of many tears that have been shed, and snow white hair that turned white, she told the reporter, directly after the tragic death of her son, Fred.
Just a week ago Sunday, the grandmother said, her daughter-in-law with the two girls and their borther, 9, started on their summer vacation, which was to be spent at the home of Mrs Koeser's parents, Mr and Mrs Ernest Koeser, at Two Rivers, Wis.
"The girls were fine swimmers," said she, "and spent a great deal of their time down at Bradford Beach. Their father had taken great pride in teaching them to swim the summer before he was killed.
"Just the afternoon before they left for the North I saw them starting out for the beach with their little brother I called to them: ‘Now be careful, girls, and be sure and watch little brother.'"
"'Oh, grandma,' they said, ‘don't be afraid, we can take care of ourselves in the water.' You can see how it ended," she added.
Adria Koeser would have been 15 years old Aug 28 had she lived. She was a member of the eighth grade class of the Maryland avenue school and an accomplished musician. She played the organ at the church of the Later Day Saints at Twenty-seventh and Clark streets, every Sunday.
"I will miss her so dreadfully," Mrs Koeser mused. "She used to love to come in here and play duets with her grandmother. Myra was more of a cutup. She was 11 and in the sixth grade.
The neighbors in the vicinity of the Koeser home, a cottage owned by their grandmother and next to her's, are grief stricken over the tragedy. "They were such lovely girls," one woman explained, "and seemed like there wasn't a thing going on around here but what they were the head and front of the performance. I don't know that their mother will do without them. She had sewed for those girls weeks before they went away so that they might look finely while on their vacation."
The beach party, which was the culminating festivity of the trip, and on which the girls lost their lives, served to mark Adria as a heroine. She died in a vain attempt to save her sister from drowning.
REMAINS OF DROWN GIRL TAKEN HOME
25 Jul 1919
Remains of little Miss Myra Kaiser, which has been held at Two Rivers, awaiting the result of the search for body of her sister Adria who was drowned at the same time, was taken to Milwaukee at noon today and the funeral will be held from the home in that city at 519 Farwell avenue tomorrow afternoon at 2 o'clock. Interment will be at Forest Home Cemetery. The remains were accompanied by the grief stricken mother, Mrs Fred L. Kaiser, Mrs A. Kaapke and her two sons Lyle and Ferrin, of Milwaukee and Mr and Mrs C.D. Koeser, of Oshkosh.
Search for the body of Adria, the older girl who lost her life in the attempt to save that of her sister, has proved fruitless and while it has not been given up the searchers are marking time while they wait for a storm or the natural action of the water to bring the body to the surface.
FIND BODY OF OTHER SISTER TODAY
25 Jul 1919
At 3 o'clock this afternoon the body of Adria Kaiser, one of the two sisters drowned at Lone Pine was recovered.
The body was found on the same spot where she came to her death.
It will be shipped to Milwaukee, a telegram having been dispatched to Mrs Kaiser who, this noon returned to her home with the remains of Myra, and the plans for a double funeral will proceed.¬¬
BODIES OF TWO SISTERS LAID TO REST TODAY
26 Jul 1919
The last sad rites for Myra and Adria Kaiser, the two sisters who lost their lives in the drowning accident at Lone Pine, near Two Rivers, were held from the family home on Farwell avenue at Milwaukee at 2:30 o'clock this afternoon and interment was made at the Forest Home Cemetery. It was a terrible sad ending for a summer vacation visit and one in which the sympathy of neighbors and friends of the family goes out to the grief stricken mother.
The remains of Adria, the older sister whose body was found on the beach late yesterday afternoon within one hundred feet of where the drowning accident took place was taken to Milwaukee this morning and a double funeral was held.
The remains were in charge of Henry Nienstedt and Karl Keeser, uncles of the girls.
DOUBLE DROWNING AT TWO RIVERS
MILWAUKEE GIRLS LOSE LIVES IN LAKE
29 Jul 1919
The third drowning accident of the year occurred near Lone Pine at Two Rivers last night being a double fatality in which Myra and Adria Koeser, eleven and thirteen years old respectively, daughters of Mrs Lillian Koeser of Milwaukee lost their lives.
This is the second time in less than two years that Mrs Lillian Koeser of Milwaukee has been called to mourn the tragic death of those whom she held most dear. On November 24, 1917, she was told that her husband, Detective Fred W. Koeser had been killed by the explosion of a bomb at Central Police station at Milwaukee. Last night when she was informed of the death by drowning of her two daughters, she collapsed and is now in a precarious condition.
With the latter story comes the tale of how an elder sister heroically tried to save the life of the younger and how she in turn sacrificed her own life in the vain endeavor.
The double drowning occurred at Lone Pine coming at a climax to a day which had been one of the happiest in the girls' lives.
They had been visiting at the home of their grandparents, Mr and Mrs Ernest Koeser at Two Rivers and the heat of the day had driven a large number of the population of Two Rivers to the beach, the two girls and their cousins were among those who sought relief in the cooling waters of the lake.
In company with a dozen others, the Koeser girls and their forma beach party that camped a short distance from Lone Pine and it was planned to bathe and then have their lunch afterward. This was about 7:30 in the evening.
The two girls had been enjoying themselves in the lake, disporting as only two carefree and healthy girls can, when Myra, the younger, felt herself grasped by the invisible but powerful hand of the treacherous undertow. The lake had been rough during the day and a choppy sea prevailed, conditions which make bathing somewhat dangerous except for good swimmers.
Swept rapidly out into the lake, Myra cried for help and struggled vainly against the relentless force which was dragging her down.
Adria, who was near her sister, witnessed her distress and although scarcely able to swim, threw caution aside and made her way toward Myra only to be caught herself and dragged down in the same manner before those on shore could lend a hand to either.
There was a large crowd on the beach, as many as forty or fifty bathers being in the water at the time, but it all happened so swiftly that none of them was able to render assistance. The young son of Frank Wolfe, the contractor, who was in the part, recovered the body of Myra as it was being swept out into the lake and dragged the lifeless form to shore. An automobile was dispatched to Two Rivers and Doctors Currens and Christiansen rushed to the scene. The coast guard brought the pulmotor but all efforts to rescusitate the girl were in vain. The body of Adria was swept out to sea and up to the hour of going to press had not been recovered.
Besides their mother, the girls are survived by a brother, nine years old, the only child the bereaved mother has left in her family.
The body of the drown girl was shipped to Milwaukee for interment today.
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