This story was published by the Ypsilanti Daily Press on Monday, June 22, 1908.
Ira Lawrence was drowned yesterday noon while swimming in the Huron River below the dam at the Ypsilanti Underwear factory. The three brothers, David, aged 21, Ira 19 and Lester 17 had walked in from their father’s home about a mile east of the city to go swimming. They went in below the dam and were swimming against the current in mid-stream when David weakened and called for help. Ira and Lester went to his assistance and started to carry him to the bank but before they reached a safe place Ira weakened. Lester, however, got David out on the bank and immediately jumped in after Ira and started to shore with him. By this time David thought he had recovered enough to go in and went to the assistance of Lester but was immediately overcome and sank. Ira saw David go under and turned to Lester and said, “Go and Help Dave out, or he’ll drown, I’m all right now.” Lester went to the rescue of Dave the second time and got him to the shore but when he turned to fine Ira he could not see him. He made a hurried search but could find no trace of the body. Help was called and the police notified and a systematic search started but the body was not recovered for nearly three hours when it was rescued by William House.
Ira Lawrence was the son of John M. Lawrence, conductor on the Michigan Central, who lives on Forest avenue, about half a mile east of the city limits. He graduated from the Ypsilanti high school with the class of 1907, and intended to enter the Normal (now Eastern) college in the fall. He was an accomplished writer, having had a number of articles in the magazines.
This is the third death in the family in the last four years. In 1904 Harold, aged 10, died from an operation for appendicitis and the following year Fred, conductor on the Michigan Central, died from blood poison. The other members of the family are: Frank L and the Misses Gertrude and Flossie, of Detroit, and Mrs. Katie Thomas of Dearborn.
The funeral will be held at the residence Tuesday at 10 a. m. with interment at Cherry Hill.
Ira Lawrence graduated from the Ypsilanti High school a year ago. He was president of his junior class and a prominent member of the Sigma Delta fraternity. In his senior year he was editor of the High School Chat and the senior annual, the Ypsi-Dixit, and intended to enter Normal college this fall preparatory to attending Albion college. His father is a well known conductor on the Michigan Central and arrived home shortly after the tragedy.