Contributed by Gigimo
Description: Frozen to Death. Fate of Two Douglas County, Washington, Ranchers. Wandered Nearly 100 Miles.Date: January 13 1898
Newspaper published in: Aberdeen, WA
Coulee City, Wash., Jan. 11.
William PUTNAM and Parrish JOHNSON, who left here December 20 for their place 30 miles northeast of Waterville, were found frozen to death about 30 miles from here by a search party. They had lost their way and wandered in a circle for nearly 100 miles. JOHNSON was an old settler.
In July last, William PUTNAM, a farmer in the Pleasant Hill country 12 miles west of Bridgeport, was committed to the insane asylum at Medical Lake, where he remained until about three weeks ago, when he was released and given into the charge of his father in law, Parrish JOHNSON, who also resides in the Pleasant Hill country. When last seen, three weeks ago, JOHNSON and PUTNAM were 10 miles west of Coulee City, and were starting for home on snowshoes. They intended to strike across an unsettled part of the country, a distance of 30 miles, where there are no houses.
Immediately after they left the house of Mr. HOLT, at St. Andrews, it began to storm. Mr. JOHNSON was a man over 50 years of age. Mr. PUTNAM was a robust man formerly, but his indoor life of late much have wholly unfitted him for such a journey as he undertook. The men were advised to keep the stage road and to via Bridgeport, but on account of the extra distance, and it is thought, to save expenses, they risked their lives by taking a most perilous journey, and with no suitable preparation. Saturday the searching party came upon the body of JOHNSON. His feet were in a badger hole, and his left hand indicated that in desperation he had cut or gnawed it and sucked his own blood. PUTNAM was found seven miles further on.