The  Shelbyville  Democrat
Tuesday, July 5, 1921
Page 1
          In an attempt to save his fiancee,  Miss Beulah Dillingham, of Indianapolis, daughter of  Mrs. Charles F. Schmoe, of this city, from drowning in Big Blue river, north of Marietta, Sunday evening about 7 o'clock,  John J. Mundehenk, 28 years old, of Brookville, O., was caught in a whirlpool and carried below the surface of the water.  Expert swimmers of this city and the Marietta community worked until midnight before they located the body and dragged it to shore with large hooks.
          The body was taken to the undertaking establishment of Ralph J. Edwards, west Broadway, where it was prepared for burial.  Mr. and Mrs. John Mundehenk, Sr., of Brookville, O., were notified of their son's tragic death and arrangements were made to take the body to the home in Brookville.  The body was taken to Brookville, Sunday, where funeral and burial services will be held.
          The death of Mundhenk came after a desperate struggle to save the life of Miss Dillingham, who fell into the river when she became unbalanced in reaching for her hat which had fallen and was caught on a projecture.  Mrs. Schmoe and niece,  Thelma Schoffield,  who makes her home with Mrs. Schmoe, were the other persons of the party and on seeing the young woman fall into the water, Mrs. Schmoe yelled to Mundehenk, who was catching crawfish some distance away.  He rushed to the spot, and, knowing Miss Dillingham was a swimmer, thought she was not in danger.
          On seeing the girl go down beneath the surface he dived into the river and was towing her to shore when they were caught in the whirlpool.  He struggled desperately to make headway toward the bank and on realizing he could not hold up much longer gave the girl a shove which sent her out of the whirlpool.  Mrs. Schmoe who was on the bank thrust out a pole to which was tied a rope made out of strips of clothing, to which the girl clung.  The young man caught onto the heel of the girl and the two were being towed to shore by Mrs. Schmoe when the rope made of clothing broke in two and the two were carried back into the current.  Mendehenk[sic] was caught by the whirlpool and was carried beneath the surface and did not come up.  Miss Dillingham was carried downstreem by the current and was saved when she caught hold of a bush on he opposite side of the river and pulled herself onto the bank.
          The tragedy caused a keen shock to many persons here who were acquainted with the deceased.  Mendehenk[sic] was employed as a traveling salesman and manager of the Welbon Auto Co., of Indianapolis, and resided on Illinois street.  His marriage with Miss Dillingham was expected to take place in the near future.  Miss Dillingham resides in Indianapolis.  She has not yet recovered from the shock and fright of the tragedy.
          Surviving Mendehenk[sic] are the parents and two brothers, one aged 23 years and the other 8 years.  He was aman of splendid character.
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming

Obituary Index       Main Page