John Clinton Schryver was born on a farm in
Depauville, New York, on 20 February
He was the third of the five sons of George
Washington Schryver and Mary Schollenburgh Schryver.
early part of his life was spent in Depauville. When he was a young man, John Clinton worked on
freighters that sailed the Great Lakes and became a chief engineer for a
steamship line. He and Elizabeth were married in 1907 and they
resided for a time in Depauville and LaFargeville before moving to
Watertown in 1909 when they bought the Morrison Street home. He
left sailing at that time and was employed in various industrial plants
in Watertown. In his early years, he worked at H. H. Babcock
Carriage Manufacturing Company and the old Portable plant. Later,
he was an employee of the Dexter Sulphite, Pulp & Paper Company mill
in Dexter. In 1929, he went to work for the old Northern New York
Utilities, Inc. which was the electric and natural gas
utility company in the northern New York area at that time. This
later became the Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation and is now
National Grid. He worked there for 21 years until his retirement
in 1950. The
photo at the right shows him as a young man.
John and Elizabeth lived most of their adult life in
the old family homestead at 742 Morrison Street in Watertown, New
York. They bought the home in 1908 and lived there over 50
years. When John and Elizabeth both died in 1959, the home was
left to their three children. Since their son John Howard and
daughter Mary lived there, their brother
Donald signed his share over to
them. The home was sold in 2003 when Mary needed full-time medical
care and could no longer live there alone. The home was in the
family 95 years.
John Clinton had a stroke in July 1955 which left him
a semi-invalid. He suffered a heart attack on September 28, 1959.
He died at the family home on
30 September 1959 after a second heart attack. His obituary
appeared in the Thursday, October 1, 1959 edition of the Watertown Daily
Times and his funeral was held at the Reed & Benoit Funeral Home in
Watertown on Saturday, October 3. He is buried with his wife in the North Watertown (NY) Cemetery.
John and Elizabeth's headstone in the North Watertown
Cemetery. They share their grave with Carlotta "May"
Stocker, a very close friend.
According to the 1910 census,
John's list includes Liz and Howard. Donald and Mary were born
later. It also included Jacob Knutty, his father-in-law, age 57,
and Susan Vogt, his aunt, age 64.
This photo is identified as "Outdoor dinner at Mrs.
Powell's, Houseville, NY. Mrs. Powell, old lady at end of
table. Our old Ford in background. About 1928?"
Houseville is in Lewis County, near Turin. We have no idea who Mrs. Powell
was but we
can identify some of the people here. The man in the hat at
the front is unknown. Going clockwise from him, the next lady is
unknown. We believe the next young men are Howard and Donald, then
their father, John. Mrs. Powell is on the far end. Leaning
forward and looking at the camera is Mary with her mother, Lizzie,
behind her. The other two ladies are unknown.
An old picture found in family records is labeled, in
Lizzie's handwriting, "Flowers by our barn Aug 10, 1927"
This would be the barn at 742 Morrison Street, in the city of Watertown
Elizabeth Mary Knutty was born
in Lee Center, New York on August 20, 1878. Lee Center is in
Oneida County, just north of Rome, New York. She was the second and final child and only
daughter of Jacob M. and Elisa Hildebrand Knutty.
family moved to Depauville in Jefferson County when she was a
child. She was a wife, mother and homemaker the rest of her life.
photo at the right shows her in her younger years.
She took ill with a heart
condition on April 13, 1959. She died in her sleep at home at
about 4:30 on the afternoon of Monday, April 27. The funeral was
held at 2 PM on Wednesday, April 29 at the Reed & Benoit Funeral
Home. She is buried in the North Watertown (NY) Cemetery.
In the photo at the right, left
to right: John (holding Mary), Howard, Elizabeth and
Donald. On the back is simply written, "J.C. Schryver
family". Since there are no specific indications,
based on the appearances of the children, we are guessing that
this was taken ca. 1923. David feels that this was taken
in the side yard of the Morrison Street homestead looking back
at the house.
This family picture
was taken at the family home on Morrison Streeet.
Elizabeth is pictured with Howard and John, holding
Donald. The little girl at the front is identified as
Dorthy Williams, Howard's play mate. Since Donald is an
infant, this shot was probably taken in the spring or summer of
1912, two years before Mary's birth.
In 1939, the family bought a parcel of land on Pillar
Point, just west of Watertown, on the shores of Lake Ontario.
Between then and 1941 or so, John built a cabin which became known in
the family as "the
cottage". This cabin remained a rustic get-away for
family and friends for almost four decades.
In the late
1970's, John's grandson, David and his
wife, Marcia and their children regularly used the cottage during the
summer for the next six years or so. Following this, the property
sat, for the most part, unused for the next 19 years. On August
24, 2004, papers were signed and the cottage became the property of
David and Marcia Schryver. The cottage has now been totally
renovated. If John and Elizabeth were to return today, they
wouldn't even recognize the place. The cottage is
now being enjoyed by David and Marcia, their children and
grandchildren. Five generations of the Schryver family can call it home.
picture of John and Elizabeth was found in an old family album after the
death of their daughter, Mary. The album had been found at the old
family homestead and given to John and Lizzie's grandson, David, in
This picture was
taken at the cottage and, according to handwriting on the back, it was
taken on June 6, 1944. John would have been 69 years old at the
time and Elizabeth just shy of her 66th birthday.