Following is the text of the article that appeared in the Saturday, Aug. 3, 1935, edition of the Latrobe Bulletin, describing the heroics and tragic death of Lawrence Huber and the young woman he was trying to save, Adronica Lampropolis:
TWO DROWNED NEAR KINGSTON
Just when the worst of the flood seemed over Saturday night, with the roads being reopened and with everybody feeling that the flood had passed without tragedy, word came from Kingston that Miss Adronica Lampropolis, only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Lampropolis, and Lawrence Huber, Latrobe councilman, also a member of the fire department, had been drowned while trying to get from the Lampropolis cottage, located on an island, above Kingston, to the main bank of the creek.
Members of the Lampropolis family were marooned in their cottage, as they did not realize the seriousness of the flood until they had been cut off from escape.
Members of the Latrobe fire department, including Mr. Huber, had hurried to the Lampropolis cottage, after hearing a report, later proved to be false, that the Latrobe reservoir, located several miles above Kingston, was in danger of breaking.
Mr. and Mrs. Lampropolis with their daughter, Adronica, a friend, Kitty Hammer, of Greensburg, and the Lampropolis’ maid, were in the cottage.
When the firemen reached the cottage a rope was thrown across the stream, and securely fastened on each side, so that it would be possible to cross over on it.
Mr. Huber and Luke Burke, a fireman from the First Ward, Latrobe, crawled across the rope hand over hand to the cottage.
It had been the intention that those in the cottage would make their escape by using a seat attached to a trolley run over a cable, similar to the device used by linemen. One of these had been sent for, but before it arrived Miss Adronica decided not to wait.
She started to cross over the rope hand over hand, with Mr. Huber coming directly behind her. When the two had negotiated about half the distance of the perilous crossing, Miss Lampropolis’ strength seemed to leave her, and she appeared about to fall.
Mr. Huber put his legs around her in an attempt to support her, but almost at once, while the terrified crowd looked on helplessly, both of them dropped into the water.
They were badly buffeted in the swift current, and apparently were too exhausted to swim to shore. The bystanders believed they had seen Mr. Huber wade up to the island.
Before the rope had been stretched across the creek, an unsuccessful effort had been made to reach the cottage with a boat, but the current was too swift, and the creek kept rising at the rate of a foot an hour.
Those who from the bank watched the fall of Miss Lampropolis and Mr. Huber into the water, were helpless to give aid. The two were swept swiftly along in the current, and it would have been folly for anyone to have attempted to swim in the turbulent stream.
Men were stationed along the stream below the cottage, at the Kingston Dam and elsewhere, to watch for the bodies. At midnight they had not been located.
Also attempts were being made to communicate with those still in the cottage. Realization of the terrible strain which they were under spurred the efforts of the rescue crew.
For several hours it was impossible for those on the opposite bank to make themselves heard by those in the cottage above the roar of the water.
Shortly before midnight, when the waters began to recede, communication was finally made between the cottage and the shore.
It was learned that six persons including Mr. Burke were in the cottage, but that Mr. Huber was not there. In addition to these persons, a dog was also in the cottage.
Some time after news of the drowning reached Latrobe, rumors were circulated that Mr. Huber had gotten safely to shore and had been seen. This, however, proved to be a false hope.
As far as can be learned, there was no reason for Miss Lampropolis coming across but she was always an athletic girl and probably regarded it as a lark. Those in the cottage did not see the tragedy and several of them could be seen playing bridge later in the night, showing that they were unaware of what had happened, and not concerned about the high water that surrounded the cottage.
Miss Lampropolis, aged 23 years, graduated from Latrobe high school with the class of 1929, and from Radcliffe College in 1932.
She is survived by her parents, and three brothers, Milton, Pete and George. It was just several weeks ago that an uncle of the victim, a brother of Mrs. Lampropolis, died suddenly, as the result of a heart attack.
No One Drowned at Buttermilk
A false report was circulated about town in the evening to the effect that two youths had been drowned at Buttermilk Falls. The report originated as a result of an accident which occurred while two boys were crossing a swinging bridge at the falls. Jack Need, aged 14 years, of Swissvale, and William Snyder, aged 20, of Buttermilk were crossing the bridge when a cable broke and they were thrown into the high waters. The youths swam to shore and were none the worse for the incident.
Joe Checkoski of R. D. 1. fractured his left ankle when he fell while wading at Kingston this afternoon.
NOTICE TO FIREMEN
All able firemen are asked to be at the Engine House, tomorrow morning, at 8 o’clock to form parties to go out and search the banks for the missing bodies.