Jesse Arthur "Art" Combs attempted to save Ernest V. Lindamood from drowning, Emporia, Kansas, July 11, 1951. Lindamood, 71, packing plant office manager, piloted a motorboat 2,000 feet from the bank in floodwaters of the Cottonwood River and approached the packing plant building. There a number of other employees, who previously had been ferried to the plant by Lindamood and Combs, 30, farmer, to move machinery above the flood-level, were awaiting transportation to land. As Lindamood continued through an area of partly submerged telephone wires in deep water, he was caught at the neck by a low-hanging wire which pinned him tightly to the stern and halted the boat. Combs, who was ferrying two workmen from the plant in a motor-boat 600 feet away, sighted Lindamood and maneuvered in a swift current to within 20 feet of the wires. There his boat shipped water, and the motor stopped. He jumped fully clothed into the water and swam to Lindamood's boat as the other men regained control of Combs's boat with oars and steered it in the current to a guy wire near the plant. Boarding Lindamood's motorboat, Combs removed his raincoat and cut the telephone wire with pliers. As the tension of the wire was released, the boat suddenly sank with Lindamood; and Combs leaped into the water. Lindamood's boat rose upside-down to the surface and was carried steadily downstream. Lindamood's arms were observed projecting above the surface and clutching at the sides of the boat from beneath it. Combs drifted 80 feet in the floodwaters and finding a life preserver swam 70 feet more to his own boat, which had freeboard of only two inches. He took the men 350 feet farther downstream and left them in a tree. Combs saw Lindamood's boat, which was wedged in the fork of a tree 900 feet away. Proceeding to the tree, Combs made his way to a branch opposite the overturned boat. He repeatedly lowered himself from the branch in water 20 feet deep and using a mooring-chain succeeded only in raising Lindamood's leg to the surface. Two men in a boat reached the tree, and in a half an hour they and Combs finally dislodged Lindamood from his boat and drew him from the water. Lindamood was taken to land but could not be revived. Combs reached the bank in his boat. Later that day after the flood crested the other men were aided from the flood area in boats. Combs was almost exhausted but recovered.
Jesse Arthur "Art" Combs