July 22, 1896
A deplorable accident occurred Tuesday evening at the home of Mr. John Moncrief, on the Vernon and Ruston road; near Bonner, which cost the life of one man and came near destroying the life of another. Mr. Moncrief and a young man by the name of Rodgers, were engaged in cleaning out a 26 foot well on the place, when Moncrief, who was down in the well, called to Rodgers to draw him out, as he was suffering from noxious gases congregated in the well. Rodgers let down the rope, but when it reached the bottom Moncrief was too far gone to help himself, and Rodgers being alone was unable to rescue him. Shortly after, Rev. Wm. Garr, of Jackson parish, passing along the road was appealed to and at once hastened to lend his aid. Rodgers agreed to enter the well, and was let down by Mr. Garr. He tied the rope to Moncrief, who was slowly drawn up by Rev. Garr, but before he could get him out he was appealed to by Rodgers to aid him, as he was smothering. Rev. Garr, after releasing Moncrief, at once let down the rope, but Rodgers was then too week to hold on, and after being drawn up a few feet let go and fell back to the bottom, where he lay struggling with his fate, his deep breathing clearly audible at the top. Rev. Garr, without the aid of anyone to assist him, was helpless to aid the unfortunate man, and hastened to the nearest house for help. When he returned with relief, it was too late to save the man, and even then, no one would consent to brave the hidden dangers of the well. Rodgers remained in the well for full two hours, when after disinfecting it partially, a negro went down and fastened a rope to the dead man, who was then drawn out. Mr. Moncrief was restored and will recover, but the brave young man who rescued him at the sacrifice of his own life, has gone to swell the list of the remote heroes whose noble deeds have passed unechoed by the trump of fame.