Gertrude Naeher - Sister of Ella Naeher Schwemm
Local Young Woman Drowned Last Week
Miss Gertrude Naeher Loses Life in Lake at Deer Grove
Treacherous Bottom Was Cause
First Accident at Artificial Lake in Forest Preserve – No More Bathing There, Authorities Say
Barrington Review – July 17, 1919 - Page 1
Manifestations of deep sorrow were noted and the great heart of this community was pained and wrung, when last Thursday afternoon a message was received announcing the passing from this life of Miss Gertrude Naeher, a young lady who was most highly esteemed by our people. The report could hardly be credited, as only a few hours before Miss Gertrude had left her home and was amongst friends and acquaintances, happy and radiating cheerfulness in her usual pleasing manner. It seemed impossible that the bright, happy girl had been made a victim of an accident and her happiness terminated, but a second message carried proof of the report to her sorrowing parents.
Last Thursday morning Gertrude Naeher, a night operator at the Telephone Exchanges, proposed to her sister Margaret and girl friend, Miss Elizabeth Kalaberer, that later in the day they take a lunch and enjoy the afternoon in Deer Grove Park, in the Forest Preserve, 4 miles east of this village. The young ladies made the trip to the park and were having a full measure of pleasure and proposed to add to the fun by wading out in the artificial lake in the park. The two sisters, Gertrude and Margaret Naeher, had gone prepared to go in bathing and had joined hands for protection, as neither of them knew much about swimming.
Suddenly Gertrude began to go down and dragged Margaret with her but the hold loosened and Gertrude disappeared; having dropped into a hole said to be 8 or 10 feet deep.
Cries of distress brought assistance of parties nearby, who rescued Margaret after she had been under water a moment and carried her to the bank, where she remained unconscious for a short time. Gus Berdeske, caretaker at the park, aided by another man, recovered the body of Gertrude an hour later. Assistance was summoned from Palatine, and the body brought to this village and taken to Block’s morgue to await an inquest held Friday afternoon, following which the remains were removed to the family home on East Main street, just outside the village limits where the grief-stricken parents, Mr. and Mrs. C.F. Naeher awaited prostrated by the calamity which had removed a loved daughter.
The funeral was held Sunday afternoon at 2 o’clock at the home, conducted by Rev. J. Hoerner of the Salem Evangelical church, and was attended by a large concourse of friend and acquaintances. Burial was in Evergreen cemetery.
To the sorrowing parents, sisters and relatives our people offer that sympathy and condolence which alone such an unnatural and untoward bereavement can wring from human hearts.
Gertrude Naeher was born in this village October 10 1896, and was the eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C. F. Naeher; old residents. She attended our school and identified with the Salem church and Sunday school. Her entire life had been spent here, where she won a large circle of friends and acquaintances owing to her pleasing personality and bright, cheerful disposition. Among elderly people who were simply acquaintances she was held in high esteem for deference always shown them. In her position as operator at the local telephone exchange she was most patient and obliging and highly esteemed by the company and employees.
Her sudden passing from this life not only throws the pall of sorrow upon parents, relatives and friends, but it is a heavy stroke to Lester McDonald of Chicago, her fiancé whose wife she was to become in the near future. Mr. McDonald won her heart before he entered the service of his country as a member of the Signal Corps of the 29th Division, in which he served ten months overseas and only lately was discharged from the service. He was at Fox Lake visiting his Aunt, Mrs. Earl Rushmore, intending to come to Barrington Saturday and complete plans for their wedding and the purchase of a home. He was summoned here Thursday night and is in deep sorrow over the loss of his bride-to-be.
This is the first accident that has occurred at Deer Grove Park and authorities will take steps to keep bathers from the lake as it has a quagmire bottom and several deep holes. A ditch also exists at the end of the lake, from which the earth to dam the creek feeding into the lake was taken. This has a drop of from 8 to 10 feet and it was in there that Gertrude Naeher walked to her death.