A feeling of gloom spread over the community last Wednesday evening, when word came to Leon that RAYMOND, the little five-year-old son of MR. and MRS. LEON LEEPER, living two miles northeast of Leon, had been drowned in Macgruder Creek, which runs near their house. The little fellow was missed about 4 o'clock, but at the time it was thought he was playing somewhere or had gone to the home of his aunt, MRS. IVAN REED, who lives a short distance north of the LEEPER home. The boy was an expert horseman for one of his years and was riding his little Shetland pony, having gone for the mail and taken it to his grandfather, J.E. LEEPER that afternoon. When search was made for him by his father and Uncle, OPHIE LEEPER, they found the tracks of the pony leading to the edge of the little creek, which was swollen by the heavy rains during the previous three days, but as the tracks only went to the edge of the water and then came out they could not think the boy was in the water. The pony was found later across the creek with the other horses and it was wet while the horses were dry. They searched the creek, assisted by neighbors, and about dark, news of the catastrophe came to Leon, and a number of men and boys went out to assist in the search, which was continued all along the stream, tearing drifts to pieces until a late hour, and the next morning a number started from at 4 o'clock to again take up the search. Several parties were wading the creek, among them, MR. J.A. HEIM, Financial Manager of the Iowa Southern Utilities Co., and about eight o'clock, MR. HEIM felt the body under the water, where it had lodged in the mud against a small tree, being nearly covered up, at a point little more than a quarter of a mile south of the bridge. The little body was tenderly removed from the water and brought to the undertaking parlors of F.S. Stewart, where it was prepared for burial.
The lad was a manly little fellow, a general favorite with all who knew him; and for one of his years was an exceptionally good rider. The previous day there were some larger boys riding their horses into the creek, and it is supposed RAYMOND tried to do likewise, and in some manner was thrown into the water for as no one witnessed the accident, just how it occurred will never be known.
Funeral services were held at the home Saturday afternoon, conducted by Rev. E.A. Place, interment being in the Leon Cemetery. The bereaved parents and other relatives have the sincere sympathy of the entire community in their great bereavement.
Copied by Nancee(McMurtrey)Seifert "With permission from the Leon Journal Reporter" July l, 2002