One of the saddest accidents that has happened in Putnam county in many months occurred about 9:00 o'clock this morning when Cecil Slavens, the two and one half year old son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Slavens, who live on the John Quinlisk farm, about four miles west of town, was drowned in a small creek near his home. The lad was found by his father, who had been searching for him for about thirty minutes. His body was lying in the water, which at that place was less than eight inches deep.
The little boy and his pet dog had left their home and wandered toward the creek without the knowledge of either Mr. or Mrs Slavens. About thirty minutes after they left, Mrs. Slavens, missing her son, began a search for him. In looking for her son she walked towrads the creek, but saw nothing of him. Unable to find the missing child the mother became alarmed and called her husband, who was shucking corn some distance away
The father also went toward the creek in his search. He was startled to see the child’s dog on the far side of the creek. The actions of the animal aroused the fear in the father's breast that his son had been drowned. A search of less than a moment resulted in the father finding his son, now cold in death, lying in the water. He picked the little body up and did all he could to coax life back into it. Finding that he could not he ran to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Sears, a short distance away, and called Dr. Tucker over the telephone.
Dr. Tucker made a hurried trip to the home but found that the little child had been dead for some time. Dr. Tucker states that the child more than likely was dead before the father found the body.
Dr. Tucker made an investigation of the place where the child's body was found. The creek is little more than a spring drain and empties into Little Walnut creek. The water at the place the child was found is not more than seven inches deep and the creek depth for a distance of more than ten feet each way is not more than eight or nine inches. The fact that a two and one-half year old child could drown in seven inches of water is astounding. There were no bruises on the body to give evidence that the child had fallen hard enough to stun itself. Dr. Tucker states that the child probably fell into the water, and, becoming frightened, lay there and cried until it got enough water into its lungs to drown it.
Coroner Gillespie went to the Slavens home Friday afternoon to investigate the death of the child. As the child, as far as is known, was dead when found, it is necessary for the coroner to investigate.
Greencastle (Indiana) Herald, November 10, 1911.