Same Tragedy Strikes the Karamol Family Twice

When we experience summer in the midwest, it can be very hot. However, we have modern conveniences than our ancestors did not have 75-100 years ago. We have fans, ceiling fans, air conditioned homes, and some of us even have our own swimming pools. If you don’t have your own swimming pool, I’ll bet you a dollar you know someone who does have a pool or you know of a park or a club or a YMCA where you could go to for a cool, refreshing swim.

That wasn’t the situation in the 1920s and 1930s. Willis Carrier learned you could dehumidify air by cooling water and patented a device in 1902 that was to become what we know as an air conditioner. It was 27 years later that Frigidaire was able to devise a machine that looked like a radio cabinet and could fit in a house. It was very heavy and required a condenser. It was too costly for the average family, especially during the Great Depression. It was not until sometime in the late 1960s where air conditioning became common in businesses and homes.

So our ancestors did what they needed to do: find public swimming beaches or rivers, shady places, and cool drinks. Swimming, fishing, and picnics were popular social activities for younger people. They would pack a picnic and spend the day at the beach or a local river. And that’s exactly what Michael Karamol did on 17 July 1927. Michael was out at Delaware creek, just south of Walbridge park. It seemed there were a number of others out for recreation on a hot summer day as well. Michael was swimming and was seized with cramps and then sank from sight. Guards, canoeists, and a speed boat operator attempt to rescue him; however, once he was recovered, it was too late. Artificial resuscitation was applied for almost two hours, but he did not survive.

Michael was the son of Frank Karamol and Antonina Przybylski, born 7 September 1899 in Poland. He was 27 years old at the time of drowning.

The Karamol family would lose two more sons in the same manner on 12 June 1942. Son Stanley, born in 1901 in Toledo and son John, born in 1907 in Toledo perished during a fishing trip on small island in the Maumee River near Ott’s Boathouse. The group rented a rowboat, rowed out to the island. John and Stanley went fishing while the others prepared a picnic dinner. They were setting out fishing lines in the Maumee River and it was believed their rowboat tipped over and they fall into the water. No direct witnesses were found to the accident, but the brothers were at a picnic and fishing adventure with another brother, Anthony, John’s wife, Anna, and friend Vincent Gallant. When the others realized that John and Stanley had not returned, they signaled a passing canoeist to assist. The canoeist got Anthony to Ott’s boathouse where he was able to retrieve Anna and Vincent and call for assistance. The bodies of Stanley and John were retrieved several hours later; and Coroner Frank Kreft, along with Ralph Murphy of the homicide squad identified the bodies based on the the descriptions from the family.

Stanley left behind a wife, Hattie.

Besides his wife Anna, John left behind a daughter, Josephine.