MILLER, Harley (c. 1916-1926), ten-year-old boy who drowned while attending camp at the Isthmus on Santa Catalina Island in July 1926.
In the News~
July 8, 1926 [San Pedro News Pilot ] “Arrange funeral of boy who drowned at Catalina Island. Funeral arrangements are being made for Harley miller, 10-year-old son of Harry F. Miller, who was drowned Wednesday at Catalina Island, while swimming near Camp Cabrillo, conducted by Captain Healey, at the Isthmus. Young Miller was said to have disregarded camp orders and was playing in a small boat fifty feet from the shore. Becoming frightened, he jumped overboard and was unable to swim. Before sir could be secured, he was past reviving with a pulmotor. Physicians from Avalon came by speed boat, but were unable to save his life. Harry Miller, the father of the boy and wealthy resident of Beverly Hills, left for Catalina Island from San Pedro, on the water taxi Chief, and upon arriving found his son dead.”
July 8, 1926 [Santa Ana Register] “Boy drowned at Catalina Island. Los Angeles, July 8. — Hardy Miller, 11, was drowned at the Isthmus of Catalina Island, according to a sheriff's report here. The boy and a companion were in a small boat when it broke loose and drifted out to sea. At the mercy of the waves, both jumped into the water. The Miller boy, unable to swim, went under, despite efforts of his young companion to keep him afloat. The child was pulled from the water a few minutes later, but efforts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.”
July 14, 1926 [TI/Avalon]: “A sad case of drowning took place at Catalina Harbor on Tuesday of last week, as told in the daily press. Harley Miller, age 10, pupil in a private summer camp school, was the victim. According to the story told by the camp management, it was childish fear of possible punishment for infraction of the rules that drove the lad to his death. The boy, in violation of the rules against going into the water unaccompanied by an instructor, stole away with the company canoe and started paddling in a small bay near shore about 9 o’clock. Alarmed by the shout of his friends on the bank warning him that he had been detected, the Miller boy, in his excitement, flung himself overboard and sank to his death in six feet of water. An inquest was held in Los Angeles which resulted in the camp authorities being absolved of blame for the drowning.”