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1909 - SLOOP'S MASTER MEETS DEATH. Capt. Matthews of the Ellen, Fishing Craft, Struck by Loosened Boom and Swept Overboard.


Galveston, Tex., July 22. - The dead body of Capt. D. T. Matthews, master of the sloop Ellen, was found on Friday morning at San Luis Pass, at the western extremity of the island. Capt. Matthews was a fisherman, employed several men to fish for him at San Luis Pass in the sloop Ellen. It was his custom to go out to the pass at stated intervals in a smaller boat - the Ellena [sic] - and bringing provisions and ice for the men on the larger boat, brought to the city the catch of fish from the larger boat on the return trip.

From one of the crew of the Ellen it was learned that Capt. Matthews was at the time of the storm in the small boat. When the boat was dragging anchor and for fear of the boat overturning, his mate rushed forward in an endeavor to cut the sail loose, but a mighty blast of wind came, overturning the little craft. The boom was loosened, and swinging around, struck the captain just above the left ear, killing him, it is supposed, instantly.

On the Ellen, the crew realizing the danger, hastily chopped the mainmast in two, thereby saving the boat from overturning. She, however, dragged anchor for a considerable distance. When the storm had subsided, the crew with pieces of wood acting as a sort of a mast, and with the remnants of the sail tied to them, managed to get as far as Deer Island, where they were mt [sic] by a launch, mastered by Captain Dallas. The name of the boat was not given. This boat towed the wrecked sloop Ellen to harbor with her crew of four men.

Capt. Matthews was 68 years of age and leaves his widow. A son, a young man, was drowned in the east bay about three years ago. During the storm of 1900 this son was living down the island. His five children were drowned in that storm.

F. P. Malloy, an undertaker, was notified of the death, and with a casket left the city on Friday morning to go to the scene.

During the storm of Wednesday at San Luis Pass the four-ton sloop San Nicholas was wrecked. The owners, J. Alexander and P. Alexander, came very near losing their lives. These men were at the Pass fishing - their usual occupation - and during the storm the boat turned turtle. Being good swimmers they scrambled and succeeded in getting on top of the upturned keel. The swells were heavy and it was necessary that they duck their heads under the water on numerous occasions to avoid logs. In drifting on the upturned boat they drifted to the shore on mainland. The boat was useless, so they did the next best thing, and that was to walk until they found habitation. Having walked all day Wednesday and part of Thursday, they overtook a man with a vehicle, whose name they did not know. The man drove them to Virginia Point, where they boarded a train and came to Galveston. J. Alexander says he lost in addition to his boat about 400 pounds of fish and all the necessary appliances for a fishing boat.

The Dallas Morning News
Dallas, Texas
July 24, 1909

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