Saturday, 30 June 2012
A. H. Verrill-Most Versatile Citizen
PLANNING TRIP TO MEXICO, NOW
A. H. Verrill-Most Versatile Citizen
BY JOHN COLLER
Special to The Miami Daily News
From The Miami News - Jun 1, 1951. Digitized by Doug Frizzle, June 2012.
LAKE WORTH, June 1 — Now in his 80th year, A. Hyatt Verrill is without doubt Lake Worth's most versatile citizen, and that same claim might well be made to include a lot more of Florida.
Author of 114 published books of amazing variety, this man qualifies as a noted archeologist, painter, authority on shells of the world, a student and author on piracy and hidden treasure, a cabinet maker, expert rifle marksman, under water photographer, circus performer, to name a few.
Born in New Haven, Conn., where his father was professor of geology and zoology at Yale for 40 years, Verrill came by his traveling and collecting pursuits naturally. He also studied art at Yale but admits that he learned little to add to his natural ability.
While a young man he toured the West Indies and he and a companion lived on a deserted island entirely "from the land" as an experiment. He wrote his first books following this trip.
From 1922 to '26 he was in Peru, representing the Museum of the American Indian, of New York, studying the ancient Incans. Gathered from the tombs and burial mounds of that ancient land, Verrill has not only made some remarkable finds but has pieced together the most authentic history of that ancient race.
He is now completing a group of eight paintings of old Incan chieftains and princes, dressed in native costumes. Clothing, helmets, arm and leg bands, breast plates and other accouterments found in the mounds, plus talk with the natives and thorough study, he has written volumes concerning one of the world's earliest civilizations, hundreds of centuries before Christ,
He was a personal friend of Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley, and the latter helped Verrill make up as an Indian in Buffalo Bill's wild west circus. Verrill is one-sixteenth Indian and his wife is half Indian.
He has been made a blood brother in two Indian tribes and is an authority on the Indian of North, Central and South America. He knew Will Rogers in his earliest days of the stage.
The Verrill’s are now packing for another trip to Mexico, and at 80 years of age, is looking forward to new adventures with the same zest that has marked this frail but wiry man all through his many years.
He has driven a car since 1902 and is proud of his record of never having had an accident or even a parking ticket. On this trip, however, he is not going to drive. He is going with Capt. Paul Daniels, of the Nu-Way Leather Shop, who is going on a buying trip. With them is also going Bud Waite, of the Waite Bird Farm of Boynton Beach.
Verrill is going to take them into the remote parts of Mexico and deal directly with the natives in buying birds and small animals, including spider monkeys and marmosets. Verrill and his wife are also going to add to their collections and materials for more writing. Mrs. Verrill keeps a complete running diary from day to day for writing reference.
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- As an armed forces brat, we lived in Rockcliff (Ottawa), Namao (Edmonton), Southport (Portage La Prairie), Manitoba, and Dad retired to St. Margaret's Bay, NS.
Working with the Federal Govenment for 25 years, Canadian Hydrographic Service, mostly. Now married to Gail Kelly, with two grown children, Luke and Denyse. Retired to my woodlot at Stillwater Lake, NS, on the rainy days I study the life and work of A. Hyatt Verrill 1871-1954.