Brannan, Kenneth Eugene (July 4, 1926 - June 16, 1965)

Kenneth Brannan drowns in flash

flood, Tuesday

Unknown - June 24, 1965

Only local drowning victim of this year's severe flooding in Converse County was Kenneth Brannan, 39, of Douglas. Brannan's body was found nearly a mile downstream of Antelope Creek after a flash flood swept away the building in which he reportedly was sleeping Tuesday night.

According to local authorities rancher John Dilts was flying his private plane in the Antelope Creek vicinity about 70 miles north of Douglas, and noticed a car had been swept downstream by high water, and that a small cabin near the Best Coal Mine had disappeared.

Mr. Dilts alerted Duane Haefele, Ernest Ireton, Kenneth McKibben, all ranchers in the area who in turn discovered that Kenneth Brannan was missing. About noon Wednesday, Converse County Sheriff Jim Caldwell received a missing person report for Brannan and immediately a search party was dispatched to the area of the coal mine. Brannan had mined coal at Best mine on a part-time basis and reportedly had gone to the site late Tuesday to use dynamite preparation to loading coal for delivery Wednesday. He was an employee of Eagle Engineering of Douglas.

After identifying the stranded car as Brannan's, the search party started downstream, and nearly a mile down, the body of Brannan, clad in underwear, was discovered by Wesley Reed.

In piecing together a story of what happened, authorities said Brannan apparently retired for the night in the cabin. The rain had fallen in the area that day, so apparently when the man retired he had no warning of the impending flood.

The cabin in which Mr. Brannan slept was located approximately 30 to 40 feet above the level of the Antelope Creek bed.

Funeral services for Mr. Brannan have been set for Friday, June 18, at 2:00 p.m. at Stark's Chapel in Douglas.

Kenneth Eugene Brannan

Unknown - June 24, 1965

Kenneth Eugene Brannan, son of Clarence and Opal Brannan, was born July 4, 1926 at Mullen, Nebraska and died at the age of 39, June 16, 1965, near Douglas.

Mr. Brannan died in a night flash flood which swept down Antelope Creek in the Best Coal mine area about sixty miles north of Douglas.

As a young boy he moved to Wyoming where he attended most of his school years.

He served in the armed forces in World War II, part of which was spent overseas.

On June 16, 1947, he was united in marriage to Sarah Dawes and to this union were born three children, Kathy, Vicky, and Dicky. He was a member of the American Legion of Douglas.

Survivors include his three children; his mother, Mrs. Ernest Ireton and his step-father, Ernest Ireton, Douglas; two brothers, Donald Brennan, Mullen, Nebr., and Wayne Brannan, Gillette; 3 sisters, Maxine Land, Casper, Linda McKibben, Douglas and Donna Cross, Douglas. Also surviving are his grandmother, Mrs. Alice Shoemaker, Douglas; twelve nieces and nephews; four grandnieces and one grand-nephew; several aunts and uncles, and a host of other relatives. He was preceded in death by his father, Clarence and a niece.

Funeral services were held Friday, June 18, at Stark's Chapel, and burial was in Douglas Park cemetery.

Pallbearers were Gene George, Wesley Reed, Richard Reed, Murray Reed, Verl Epperly, and Duane Haefele.

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