Victor Parker Jr. Plunges
Into River As Ice Breaks
State Police, Oneonta firemen, an emergency crew of the New York State Electric and Gas Corp., and scores of volunteers searched futilly last night for the body of Victor Parker Jr., three year old son of Mr. and Mrs. Victor Parker Sr. of Portlandville, who crashed through the thin ice on the Susquehanna River in that hamlet about 4:30 p. m.
As closely as could be learned from the boy's companion, Burrill Bell, about 3, the Parker boy ventured out on the ice while they were playing behind the Bell home, out of sight of the house behind an outbuilding.
Water there is deep and with a current of at least five miles an hour leading into the upper reaches of Goodyear Lake. There is a considerable stretch of semi-open water, but most of the surface is covered with ice, making it difficult for the searchers.
Also hampering the search was the fact that the bottom is covered with stumps and snags remaining from trees and brush felled when the river waters were backed up by the construction of the Goodyear Lake dam many years ago. This makes dragging operations extremely difficult.
In charge of the search was Cpl. John F. Taylor. Bureau of Criminal Investigation aided by Troopers Bernard G. Belofsy, Stanley Rudnicki and J. H. Millage of Oneonta substation , members of Oneonta Fire Department and the power company emergency crew.
The child was born March 18, 1949
Search for Body of Drowning Victim
Suspended for Night
Search for the body of Victor Parker Jr., the three-year-old Portlandville boy who Monday afternoon fell through the ice of the Susquehanna River, was temporarily suspended about 5:15 p. m. yesterday.
Volunteers to resume the search this morning have been called for by police and fire department authorities in charge.
Milford Fire Department was first on the scene, and department members worked through-out Monday night and until late yesterday afternoon in a futile effort to find the boy's body.
Cooperstown Fire Department also sent its emergency lighting truck to supplement the semi-portable and portable lights set up by the Milford department and State Police. Oneonta Fire Department also provided some equipment and aid.
Chester Elwell of Cliffside Grove loaned the use of his boats, and yesterday there were 12 boats utilized in the dragging operations, each manned by a crew of two or three. In addition to State Police of Oneonta, Richfield Springs, Margaretville, Deposit, and Norwich and firemen, there was a large number of other volunteers, including the members of Sea Scout Ship 57, senior scout unit sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, many of whom worked until 4 a. m. yesterday in the search, and resumed later in the day.
Mr. Elwell last night said that the river channel has been cleared of ice nearly to the main body of Goodyear Lake to facilitate dragging operations. This required removal of many tons of ice. Approximately 50 workers, official and volunteer, aided in manning the boats, cutting ice and searching the banks.
Dragging operations are seriously hampered by not only the stumps and snags remaining from the trees and brush felled when Goodyear Lake dam was constructed, but by the old Elwell's Mills dam, now under the surface of the water. Depth on one side is estimated at six feet, on the other, 30 feet.
Victor was born march 18, 1949, son of Mr. and Mrs. Victor Parker Sr., who survive. His mother was the former Pauline Fuller of Edmeston.
He also is survived by a brother, Richard, 14 months old, and a sister, Deborah, six weeks old; his maternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Fuller of Edmeston; and two maternal great-grandmothers, Mrs. Vesta Fuller and Mrs. Sadie Campbell of Edmeston. Mr. Parker is an employe of the Dairymen's League Cooperative plant at Milford.
Comment: I'm not positive, but it would seem that Victor Parker Sr. was the son of Lee (1901-1936) and Eva (Holt) Parker, and grandson of Alva George Parker 1870-1936 and his wife Jennie (Harris) Parker 1874-1940. See the surname list for several related Parkers. If you have different information, please let me know. There are a number of heart breaking tragedies in this family.