Friday, July 4, 2008

Ross Olyer D & H Steam Railroad Enginier


The Family History and genealogy of Ross Raymond Olyer first born son of Henry Lewis Olyer and Josephine "Jessie" Sweeney, of Lyon Mountain, New York. The Olyer family started out as lumbermen and miners with this generation all of Phillips grandsons are turning to the railroad.

Ross Olyer was born 9 jun 1884 in the mining community of Lyon Mountain. N.Y.

I have not yet found information about his childhood but he married at Plattsburgh . New York, 1906 Katherine Pratt, born 27 Sep 1888, Ray Brook, New York. Worked for D & H Rail Road as fireman and Engineer for 36 years

We first find mention of the family in 1910 census Essex Co., North Elba, New York, were Ross is listed age 25 ,his wife 21, and there daughter, Thelma four months.

His draft card shows birth date 9 jun 1884 , age 34, med hgt.,blue eyes, light hair, employed by D. & H. Railroad.
The 1920 census has the family living in North Elba, N.Y. and have added Rolland, 7; Stanley 5; and Carlton. 1 yr 3 months. Before 2 jun 1925 they moved to Lake Placid. Ross was still with the Delaware and Hudson R.R.and must have been on the road a lot. There are many trips and family obligations that fell upon Mrs Ross Olyer as reported in the Plattsburgh Sentinel.

[Right roundhouse were engines were turned]

In late June Ross assisted one of the train men in coupling a particular hard lock, as it snapped together he was thrown to the tracks and hit his back and head, other than being real painful and a bit hard to walk, nothing was thought of it. As time went by it became worse and he was unable to work, being confined to bed. He died on 5 July 1940 from the injuries to his spine and head.

He left wife, Katherine, 4 sons, Lional, of Rouses point; Carlton, of Lake Placid; Stanley, of Rouses Point; Roland of Rochester; two brothers Gerald, of Saranac Lake and Ralph, of Rock Forest, Quebec.
Four sisters Mrs Isabella Rice, of Whitehall; Mrs Bertha Caswell, Lyon Mountain; Miss Winfred Olyer, NYC;Mrs Mabel Guilford, Gabriels,N.Y.

Ross like so many of Philip Olyers grand children , turned from lumbering to Rail Roads, Henry's children went with the D. & H. and John's 3 boys joined the NYC .

As a child I would listen for the whistle of the steam engines as they came thru Nelliston, N.Y.,
the steam engine had a distinct sound not at all like the electric diesels, Usually I could get the the hill overlooking the tracks and watch the the gleaming black engines with steam, smoke,
and noise. If the engineer saw me he would wave or sometimes activate the whistle, man how I wished I could run one of those, do not think the modern trains are that alluring. At the time I did not realize I was observing the end of an era.

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