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Tragic Death Article

Tryon GraveA tragic incident occurred in 1954 with the death of a young boy in a grain chute. According to an article in the “Mirror Recorder,” Francis (“Pete”) Tryon, 12, fell into a grain bin while playing hide and seek and suffocated. Dr. Francis D. Brown, acting coroner for Delaware Co., issued a verdict of accidental death by asphyxiation.

The accident happened shortly after 7:30 p.m. in Robert Cowan’s large white dairy barn on Pearl St. near Locust Hill cemetery and Methodist church. The boy had been playing on the second floor of the barn with his older brother, John J. Tryon, and two friends, Frank Clark and George Many. According to reports young George heard a cry for help, looked into the bin’s chute, and saw the Tryon youngster’s foot sticking out.

John Jr. ran outside for help. His cries attracted neighbors, George Stevens and Edward Kosier. With young Many, they released the chute and pulled the boy out. Dr. Brown arrived immediately, but he said “there was no hope; there was nothing that could be done.”

Dr. Brown knew the Tryon family well. He had delivered the victim at birth, and later removed his tonsils. Young Francis had just entered seventh grade at S. Kortright Central School. He is shown in a photograph on the headstone as a lively-looking lad with short blond hair and a wide grin.

News of the tragedy spread quickly throughout Hobart. The boy’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. John E. Tryon Sr., went to the scene and nearly collapsed. Dr. Brown gave them sedative

Mr. Tryon Mrs. Tryon Tryon Mike Tryon

Footnote: According to the stones erected on the family graves in Locust Hill Cemetery, young Francis’ parents both died in 1962. Two other headstones at the family site mark the graves of two sons of Francis’ older brother, John E. Tryon Jr. and his wife, the former Alice DuBois. They are Michael J., who died the following year at the age of two, and John Michael Tryon, born January 7, 1964, who lived only one day. The gravestones are unusual for the Hobart cemetery in that they carry photographs of the deceased. In addition to the one cited above, a photo of the lad’s father, John E. Tryon (1911-1962) shows a slightly heavy man with a receding hairline, while his wife, Lillian (1917-1962) is seen as an attractive lady with a white lace dress and pearls. Michael is also depicted, a chubby-cheeked blond toddler.


Betty Van Buren Bergleitner
February 24, 2011

Pete was a classmate of mine and I remember his tragic death as if it was yesterday. I remember going to his funeral and his casket was filled with teddy bears. Our SKCS Class of 1960 designated our yearbook to him and another classmate who died of a brain tumor in 7th grade.