Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Gerald J. Olyer Ralston Hero recipitant

Ralston Purina Company Hero Medal

This is a Ralston Hero medal, the one
awarded to Gerald Olyer was exactly like
this but his name was inscribed on the reverse
only a very few of these awards were made
they all involve children in heroic deeds. This
is the only photo I could find, I assume there
was a ribbon attached, to wear around the neck.

A partial genealogy of Gerald J. Olyer born 24 may 1906 at Dannemora, Clinton Co. N.Y. the 10th child of Henry Lewise Olyer born 15 feb 1846 Moores Fork,Clinton Co. N.Y. and his wife Josephine Sweeney born in New York 22 may 1864 .
Sept 20 1923, Gerald had been working a few months for Dan S. Foster, when he was injured on the job and granted compensation at $15.39
In the spring of 1924, the snow pack was melting fast and the Saranac River was fast and high,
a 4 year old girl Lucille Bushey, stumbled from the bridge into to river-without hesitation
17 year old Gerald jumped in and pulled the small struggling girl from almost certain death. On May 18th 1924 the Ralston Purina Company, awarded Gerald J. Olyer there Hero medal, for saving her life. The daughter of Harley Bushney and Mabel his wife,Lucille, grew up to be a health young lady and lived in Saranac Lake village for many years.

By the year 1930, the temptation of fast money for a few hours work, and his relationship with his brother Charley, Gerald tried the "rum Trail", Either he
was not well enough trained or the lord had other plans on 19 dec 1930 after a high speed chase he was stopped with 480 quarts of Canadian Alcohol in his 1930 Hupmobile coupe. The product was confiscated and so was his car, he posted a $2000 bail. On the 23 of Jan 1931 he was sentenced to one year and 1 day in the Federal prison at Chillicoth, Ohio. This was a medium security prison and he did have the opportunity to meet Robert Glen Johnson Jr. famous superstar of the NASCAR who was also spending vacation time at Chillocoth for bootlegging.
This was a hard way to make life changes but it apparently did the job, there is no more bad press for him.
He must have been married twice, there is a divorce recorded in 1940, and in a article in 1948 he refers to his wife helping him operate some property.
If you have any knowledge of this I would appreciate it. He is listed with a wife Georgee Bushey,
perhaps she is somehow related to the 4 year old he saved.
In 1942 dec 23 Gerald at the age of 36, enlisted in the United State Army, with a job title of Tractor or heavy Chauffeur and or Truck he was 6ft 5 inches tall and weighed 248. At the end of the war he returned to Saranac Lake,N.Y.
1946 Gerald, with Charlie Keough,John Davies, and brakeman
Francis Buckley the 4 man bob sled team from Saranac Lake
had a bad day when there bob sled over turned near the finish
line leaving them in the snow while the empty sled raced across
the finish line unmanned. Olyer and Davies had to be hospitalized
for 24 hours.
[the photo is not Gerald Olyer's team, its a random photo to show you what bobsleding is all about.
18 mar 1948 he sold a buisness to Jermes Loung. May 7 1948 he purchased the well known Sunshine Cottages at 126 River St. and the two story building accros the street at 125, from Daniel Giroux. Gerald and his wife operated the buisness property together.
he passed away 19 jul 1958 a the Veterans Hospital Syracuse, N.Y.

I have a couple more post about this branch of the Olyer family that will follow soon. If you can fill in any information it will be greatly appreciated. These post will be part of a family genealogy to be published shortley


Rosebud Collection said...

You have to be proud of yourself..What work you are doing..a treasure for your family..Heck, I am not family and just enjoying all the stories..

Distressing Delilah said...

Nice post Pop...when is your book coming out!!!