Clark County Clipper, June 6, 1929


Because we know that the numerous friends of Paul Davison are still shocked and perplexed at his sudden death we are herein publishing excerpts from the Oklahoma City Papers which give us the particulars of the tragedy and also bring to our eyes the true heroism of the man lost, and the deep devotion of the father who perished as he tired vainly to save his son.

Paul it will be remembered by his friends, attended Ashland High School a number of years ago graduating with signal honors athletically and scholastically.  While attending school here he stayed with his grandmother, Mrs. A. M. Laningham, who now lives in Wichita, Kansas.  Truly Mrs. Van Laningham knew Paul the best of us all here, and she verifies the thoughts of our hearts in the statement she made in that "Paul lived a beautiful life and died a noble one."  Paul's last efforts before he himself was dragged to the bottom of the lake by the boat were to save his son and he literally threw Paul LeBron toward shore just before he sank below the waters.

Rescue Efforts Futile

"The man stayed with the child and lifted him above the waves at first, but couldn't keep up the struggle," Huddleston said.  "His efforts grew weaker and weaker and he sank."

Ford took a light boat with a motor and attempted to reach the victims.  He couldn't get through the waves, however.

Charles Riley and Charley Myers also made an attempt in a larger boat and failed.

Tyler Henson and Walter Schmidt went through in an 18 foot boat, but couldn't maneuver their craft in the waves to rescue the bodies.

Young Davison Lover of Nature

Like his father, George Davison, Paul Davison was a lover of nature, especially those animals and birds which ones were so plentiful in Oklahoma but which have been persecuted to the point of near extermination.

Though he loved to hunt as any young, red-blooded chap loves the chase, he readily seconded his father's suggestion when the elder Davison decreed that shotguns and dogs should leave the ranch when their wide acres in Ellis county were transformed into a state game preserve years ago.

With their father gone much of the time, it was Paul, and his brother, Vern, who took personal charge of the only Oklahoma state owned herd of buffalo and nursed it into a herd of the finest specimens of American bison in the southwest.

He also took a personal interest in protecting the immense flocks of prairie chickens which took refuge on his father's Ellis county ranch and of the thousands of bevies of Bob White quail there.  He would not even kill or permit to be killed on this ranch preserve, any of the thousands of wild ducks which dropped into their fields or their lakes for food, water and rest.

Youthful thought he was at the time of his passing, he already had served the state well.

Sought To Better His Family

It was the desire to give his children the advantages of the city that took Paul away from the ranch upon which he had spent so many busy, happy years. 

Selling out his ranch interest less than a year ago, to his brother, he first took his family to California.  But the call of Oklahoma brought them back to this state and he located in Oklahoma City a few months ago.

Especially fond was he of his little 5 year old son, in a vain effort to save whose life he gave his own.

Paul was a master swimmer.  When their boat was overturned and began to sink with the three clinging to it, he thought only of the boy, according to those who watched the struggle in the water, helpless to render aid.  As the frightened little fellow cried out, Paul sought to hold him clear of the leaping waves.  The father's last effort, according to those who watched, was to almost lift the boy from the water as he gave him a final push toward the shore, some 200 yards away, hopeful that the youngster might yet be rescued.

Mrs. Paul Davison is the daughter of captain L'Bron of Guthrie, who was killed during the World War when the Tuscania, troop ship, was torpedoed off the Ireland coast.

Contributed by ~Shirley Brier~ November 4, 2005.

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