The Whitehorse Star
August 7, 1936
HAINES, Alaska, Aug. 4 - Officers and enlisted men from Chilkoot Barracks continued their search today for the bodies of Sergeant Oliver Lawliss, his son Dean, and
Sergt. Paul McWain, believed drowned in a motorboat tragedy at Dysanki Inlet Sunday night.
The bodies of Mrs. Lawless and Mrs. H. P. Stone, wife of Sergeant Stone, as well as the Lawliss dog, had been recovered today.
The party left Chilkoot at 1:30 p.m. Sunday in a small boat with an outboard, on a picnic to Dysanki Inlet. At 10 p.m. the post launch, J-44, started a search for them.
The boat was found filled with water at the mouth of Chilkoot inlet. At 8 o'clock Monday morning searchers found Mrs. Lawliss' body floating and at noon they discovered Mrs. Stone's body.
Search is still going on for the other victims. The dog was found on the beach, also drowned.
The Lawliss family has no relatives here. Sergeant Stone is first sergeant of Company E, and is now at the post. Sergeant McWain is unmarried.
Mrs. Stone's body was found clinging to a life preserver. One other preserver was adrift. Mrs. Stone's body was found on the beach near the old Chilkoot cannery.
Alton Evening Telegraph
Alton, Illinois - October 3, 1936
A story of a drowning tragedy in which five persons lost their lives in the cold waters of an Alaskan inlet is recounted in a letter sent by Mr. and Mrs. M. E. Lawliss to Justice Ed Lawliss of this city. Those drowned were Sgt. O. A. Lawliss, nephew of Ed Lawliss, and the sergeant's wife and son, and a Mrs. Stone and Sgt. McWain, all of Chilkoot post, Alaska.
The account, which M. E. Lawliss requested be printed in the Telegraph, follows:
"About 1:30 p. m., Aug. 2, (the party) set out in my son's 14-foot outboard motorboat for a picnic in Chilkoot Inlet, four miles north of the post......"
And the letter goes on to tell how "some tragic accident in which they all lost their lives" must have occurred at 2:23 p. m., because the watch recovered with Mrs. Lawliss' body had stopped at that time. The bodies of Mrs. Lawliss and Mrs. Stone were found on Aug. 3, and up to the date of the writing of the letter, Sept. 29, none of the others had been recovered. The boat had been found at midnight on the same day as the drowning.
The letter relates how O. A. Lawliss' dog, a large Collie, was also drowned. "Even the dog was drowned," wrote Mrs. M. E. Lawliss. "The dog's body was recovered. It shows the extreme cold, for you know they (dogs) are powerful swimmers."