The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Oswego Palladium (Oswego, NY), Wed., April 17, 1872

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SHOCKING AFFAIR - AN OLD MAN CARRIED INTO MIDLAKE ON FLOATING ICE, AND PERISHES. - An old man, David Acker, who lived with his grandson, Edward Rider, one or two miles south of Sterling Centre, is supposed to have perished sadly on Sunday last. The circumstances were as follows"

The old gentleman was partially deranged, and on Friday afternoon started from the house and asked his aged wife to go with him, and he went alone. At night he did not return, and the family became alarmed in consequence for his safety. Inquiry and search was made, and it was learned that he had been seen on Saturday morning at Sterling Centre. On Saturday afternoon he was seen walking on the ice on the lake at the mouth of Little Sodus Bay.

During the afternoon the ice drifted away from the shore and moved some distance into the lake; when the men at work for the Southern Central Railroad, at the Bay, discovered Mr. Acker on the floating ice.

One of the men proposed to go to his assistance, but the others declined to aid him, and he did not go. The ice continued to recede from the shore, and the old man was seeen upon it in the afternoon, but no relief was sent to him. the The sun went down leaving him helpless in this perilous situation, at sea upon a floating island of ice, liable to break into fragments at any moment. on Sunday morning the naked eye could not discover Mr. Acker, or the ice upon which he was afloat. But a gentleman living near the lake, by the aid of a glass was able to distinguish him, still afloat, some six or eight miles out. At that time he was walking about upon his frail raft, and at intervals lying down. The ice continued to recede, until he finally disappeared entirely from view, and has not since been heard of.

It is quite certain that he perished in the midst of the lake beyond the reach of succor. if the statement is correct as given to us, it is a most extraordinary affair. That men seeing his helpless and perilous situation should decline to go to his relief, and suffer him thus to perish, is incredible. Still our informant states that the facts were reported to him by various parties as he has related them to us.

It is hoped by the friends that the body may be secured. To aid identification the following is a description of the unfortunate man: Mr. Acker was of small stature, thin in flesh, light complexion; wore a suit of gray clothes, and a long overcoat of steel mixed, old wool hat, and shoes.

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Wed., April 17, 1872
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Richard Palmer
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
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Oswego Palladium (Oswego, NY), Wed., April 17, 1872