Harry Ludlow


The Clarksburg Telegram, April 29, 1904, page 1

Harry Ludlow, Employee of Reymann Brewing Company, Perishes After Hard Struggle Against Current, and Horse Also Drowned.

Close up of area between N4th st Bridge and 1st (Cain st) excerpt from Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Clarksburg, Harrison County, West Virginia.
Sanborn Map Company, map published1924

Jesse Carr Has Thrilling and Miraculous Escape After Sinking Once — Dynamite Resorted to to Bring Body to Surface But Without Result — Hundreds of People Watch Progress of Searchers.

Harry Ludlow was drowned in Elk Creek, between the Glen Elk bridge and the Cain street ford Wednesday evening between 5:30 and 6:00 o’clock, as was also a horse of the team he was driving, and Jesse Carr, who was in the wagon, had a thrilling and most miraculous escape.

Ludlow was driver for the local agency of the Reymann Brewing Company, and Mr. Carr is the manager. At the close of the day the driver drove to the agency in Glen Elk and the team being muddy from head to foot he and the manager took the wagon and horses down to the ford to wash them in the creek. The heavy spring freshet had caused the creek to be above the danger line at the ford and the current was very swift. Ludlow drove the team in a little ways, when Carr remarked to him that that was far enough and if they were not cleaned enough the job could be finished at the stable, but Ludlow replied that the horses were muddy up to their heads and he continued to drive the them into the creek, until they were in the middle of it.

In the creek….

Suddenly they found themselves floating down the creek and all efforts of men and horses to resist the current and get to shore were of no avail. The water continued to float them down stream swiftly. The horses floundered around but before they had gone half the way between the ford and the bridge one horse was dead and was being carried along with the outfit. It was a wild ride and made more so by the fact that the horses and wagon were both under water a hundred yards above the bridge and the men were off their feet. At that juncture Ludlow appears to have either jumped from the wagon or was floated from it and when Carr turned around just before the wagon reached the bridge the only thing he saw of Ludlow was his head above the water.

Then Carr jumped from the wagon toward the north bank and sank. When he arose he struggled across the current and around the wagon to the other side, making his way slowly, but finally getting within distance that permitted him to grab some underbrush and pull himself from the creek.  He turned to look for Ludlow but the latter had gone down for the last time and lay dead at the bottom of the creek. Carr immediately followed the horse and wagon down stream. They lodged two hundred yards below the bridge on the Glen Elk side. The live horse was cut loose from the wagon and gotten out. The other horse and the wagon remained in the stream all night and were taken out next morning, by by means of pulleys and ropes.

Raise The Alarm

Image of what a beer delivery wagon looked like in 1905, Harry Ludlow probably drove something similar
Beer Wagon Example

The alarm was given as they floated down stream and Policeman Fox and others were on the scene but not in time to render assistance to Ludlow, who, it is stated, cried to a man standing on the bank to throw him a board. The drowned man was carried down stream a short distance after he fell or jumped out of the wagon and at one time was slightly ahead of the wagon. To the best recollection of those who saw him last he was above an old tree that had fallen into the river and the general opinion was that his body lodged there.

It is stated that Ludlow had on a pair of heavy gum boots and a gum overcoat and these doubtless impeded him in his struggles to get ashore and finally became so heavy as to pull him beneath the water.

Carr also wore a gum coat and gum boots but baffled the onward current with more strength and agility and thus saved himself from a watery grave, too.

The news of the drowning spread like wild fire and within half an hour fully five hundred people were on the bridge.  {missing word} of men with poles began to {missing word} for the body but without success. The crowd continued to increase {missing word} the excitement to become more {missing word} until the bridge was literally filled with people and the banks lined with persons trying to locate the body. There were neither boats nor skiffs on the creek except one small flat boat out of repair and serviceable.

Search Continues……

The search continued until nearly mid-night without result and was then abandoned until morning. When daylight came the search was renewed with the chief of police, Policeman Fox and Mr. Carr in charge. A boat had been secured and several volunteers manned it and with boat hooks and poles they worked diligently several hours but without success.

About 9 o’clock the chief of police concluded to resort to dynamite and several blasts were set off but the body did not rise. There were almost as many people on the bridge and more along the banks than the night before and they lingered there for hours anxiously watching the progress of the searchers below. Many expressions of opinion were uttered as to where the searchers below. Many expressions of opinion were uttered as to where the body was and just how far down stream a corpse would be carried but none knew enough about it to direct the searchers where it lay.

Shortly before the noon hour the search was practically abandoned until later in the day in order to give the searchers a rest, but a few continued with poles, reluctant to leave or to give it up without finding the body.

Advertisement for Reymann Brewing company, Harry Ludlow was a driver delivering their product

At the point where Ludlow is supposed to have sunk the water by towers shown to be at least 16 feet deep and must have been about the same depth of the ford three hundred yards below. But it fell rapidly during the night and was more than a foot lower next morning.

About Ludlow…..

Ludlow is believed to have come here from Bradford, Pa. last October of November and for a while was a clerk in the Weston hotel. Later he returned here for a while and worked for the West Virginia Feed and Flour Company. 

About six weeks ago he went with the Reymann Brewing Company. He was about 25 years of age and single.

The search was renewed in the afternoon with an equally large crowd of spectators, but at the hour of going to press the body had not been recovered.

The Daily Telegram, April 30, 1904, Page 4


An organized effort should be made to find the body of Harry Ludlow, the young man who was drowned in the Elk Creek. The Remains should not have been allowed to stay in the water so long. It is true many have voluntarily done all they could to find the body, but there seems to have been no systematic search. This is certainly a case for the coroner and he should leave nothing undone to recover the body even if there be considerable expense attached.


The Daily Telegram, April 30, 1904, Page 1

Found on the East Bank Near the Plant of the Clarksburg Ice and Storage Company Half Mile From Point Where He Drowned.

Body was Slightly Under Water but Could not be Seen—Ran Accross it with hook While sounding the Creek— Had been in Creek since Wednesday Evening.

Harry Ludlow, the young driver for the Reymann Brewing Company, at this place, who was drowned Wednesday evening in Elk Creek, between the Cain Street ford and the Glen Elk Bridge on Fourth Street, was found at 2:55 o’clock Saturday afternoon, after an almost continuous search.

Image of Clarksburg Ice and Storage Company which was near where the body of Ludlow was found

George Moneypenny and two others men in a boat with hooks found the remains just a short distance above the plant of the Clarksburg Ice and Storage Company over a half mile distant from the point where he sank and was drowned. The body was lying close to the east bank of the creek and slightly under water, but the water was muddy and it could not be seen. They struck the remains with the hook they had sounding and dragging the creek. The corpse was pulled up out of the water, into the boar and conveyed to the opposite side of the creek and laid out on the ground.

The body after being taken into the boat was conveyed up the creek by the men to the old dinkey bridge, to await the arrival of the coroner, who went at once to the scene, examined the body and ordered its removal to the Clifford Osborn undertaking establishment.

Policeman White stood guard over the body hundreds of people having been attracted to the scene. 

The fellow wore a corduroy coat and gum boots and these were found on him. The body was swollen and discolored but in a fair state of preservation.


The Daily Telegram, May 02, 1904, Image 1

From a Phrenological Standpoint in Brief by Prof. Davie, of the Man Found in Elk Creek.

Prof. Davie, the well known phrenoligist, of this city, viewed the remains of Harry Ludlow, the young man who was drowned in Elk creek and has this to say about him:

“A well shaped, rather shary nose, would indicate him to have been straightforward and keen in business matters. He had very large organs of individuality, the perceptive faculty which gave him a desire to see and examine every thing. He could always see what required doing and knew how to do any thing just as soon as he looked at it, and was of a practical cast of mind.

“His organs of fairness were so large that they amounted to obstinacy and making up his mind he was as unchangeable as the laws of the Medes and Persians and could neither be persuaded nor driven.

“He had the organs of continuity very small, which made him of a very restless mind and given to perpetual change —-change from one locality to another and from one occupation to another. He would have made a very successful business man and been very happy, if he could have overcome that tendency to constant restlessness and desire to change and wish for new fields and stick to one locality and one occupation.”

Map image of the I.O.O.F. Cemetery where Ludlow was laid to final rest


The Daily Telegram, May 02, 1904, Image 1

The funeral of Harry Ludlow, the young driver for the Reymann Brewing Company who was drowned in Elk creek, will occur at the undertaking parlors of the Clifford–Osborn undertaking Company at 2:30 o’clock Tuesday afternoon and will be public. The interment will be in the Odd Fellows’ Cemetery efforts to locate relatives were fruitless and the Reymann Brewing Company will defray the funeral expenses.


The Daily telegram. [volume], May 03, 1904, Image 1
The Clarksburg Telegram, May 06, 1904, Page 7

The funeral of Harry Ludlow the young driver for the Reymann Brewing Company’s local agency, who was drowned in Elk creek, took place Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 o’clock from the undertaking parlors of the Clifford Osborn Company. Rev. S. K. Arbuthnot conducted funeral services over the remains in the chapel of the undertaking establishment. Burial followed in the Odd Fellows’ Cemetery.

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