Sheriff’s Car Frozen in Three Inches Ice

January 30, 1930 Fulton Daily Sun-Gazette

$T2eC16dHJHIFFhgM8zh5BR+BE4!www~~60_35Sheriff J. C. Owen will be without the use of his Whippet sedan for the remainder of the winter and permanently so if the June rise of Cow creek in the southeast part of this county wins the race to the banks of the creek there.

Thursday, Mr. Owen’s car was cut out of three inches of ice on Cow creek and the machine, after about eight hours of work, was dragged upon the banks of the stream, encased in a sheet of ice from the bottom of the car doors down.

Mr. Owen accompanied by an aide, Theo “Big Boy” Zahrndt who is serving a sentence here for manslaughter in connection with the death of a negro convict at Cedar City, killed when Zahrndt’s truck crashed into a prison truck on the highway as Zahrndt fell asleep, had motored into the eastern part of the Kingdom to a point near the Montgomery county line, to serve legal papers.  They were returning through the Readsville neighborhood, when they came to Cow creek ford, near the Larkin Pasley farm.

The stream was slightly swollen, but the sheriff figured his car would clear the 18 inches of water in the rapids.  A few feet out into the water the ignition wires became wet.  The motor stopped and it was necessary to dry the wire.  The motor started again, although the exhaust was under water, the wheels having sunk in the quicksand.  But the wheels only buried deeper.  A team could not budge the car.

Mr. Owen and his six foot two, two hundred and twenty pound companion, who was 21 years old on Christmas day, set out on foot for Yucatan, four miles away.  Zahrndt took the lead, whistling as he walked, while the sheriff lagged behind.  But ere the four miles had been traversed, the sheriff took the lead and held it until they reached the village.  There they hired a car and made their way along northward to Highway No. 40, where they took a bus to Fulton.

Thursday, a force of men went to the scene of the sheriff’s misfortune.  There was the car frozen in three inches of ice.  They chopped out a circle around the car, secured a three-pulley block and tackle and a force of men and finally, after a good day’s work, succeeded in placing the car, ice and all, high and dry upon the banks of the stream.  There it probably will have to remain until the “June thaw,” unless Mr. Owen is able to secure a big sled and bring the car and ice to Fulton.


This story is for my book Fulton, Missouri 1920-1960, which will be published October 2014, and is my May 2 post for Story-a-Day.


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