This is a sad story that we came across in The Washington Postfrom June 29th, 1908.
John McCalip, 22 years old, an electrician, at the Senate office building, was drowned yesterday while swimming in Broad Creek, on the Maryland side of the Potomac River, a short distance below Alexandria. The Washington Police were notified, and the harbor precinct launch hurried to the spot and recovered the body.
McCalip’s death brought to a close a pretty romance, dating from childhood. For several years he had been engaged to Miss Julia Hanna, of Crawfordville, Ind., his native town, and within a week or so they were to have been married.
Saturday evening McCalip and several companions started for a cruise down the river in the auxiliary yacht Duchess. They tied up in Broad Creek for the night. McCalip awoke about 7 o’clock yesterday morning, and, informing his companions that he was going to take a swim before dressing, dived overboard.
He swam several hundred yards from the boat, and had turned about to return, when he sudednly [sic] was overcome. He called for help, and then sank. His companions started the engine of the boat and hurried to his rescue, but when they reached the spot McCalip had gone down for the last time.
Friends of the young electrician are of the opinion that he was taken with a cramp while swimming toward the boat. It is supposed that the shock of diving into the water immediately after getting out of bed was responsible for the cramp that he evidently suffered.
Since coming to Washington McCalip had made his home with his parents and sister, Mabel, at the Naples apartments, 715 Nineteenth street northwest. He was a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, but belonged to no local organization. He was a self-taught electrician but for a time had been taking a course in a correspondence school. The body will be taken to Crawfordsville fro burial.
Such a sad story that this young man died so close to his eventual wedding.