An upstanding citizen of the city of Little Falls who deserves our attention is Lorenzo Carryl. He was a peer of D.H. Burwell, Jacob Zoller and Titus Sheard. His private life was full of tragedy, but he became a real estate mogul, cheese maker and trader with interest in iron and silver mining.

Carryl began life on Jan. 15, 1816, in Schoharie County as the oldest son of Nathaniel T. and Mary Lockwood Carryl. He worked in his father’s store there until the age of 15 when he moved to the thriving community of Salisbury to work for Henry Devereux. Lorenzo was a general manager until he turned 22 and ventured into the business world on his own, eventually owning several stores.

He married Lucy Burrell, daughter of William and Sarah Burrell, in 1842 and began to buy real estate in 1843 in the Salisbury and Manheim areas. By 1897, he owned more than 120 parcels of land in Herkimer County, which included the Klock farm and the Boyer farm on the Little Falls Road, and leased for 26 years the Pickert farm on the Fairfield road. These farms led to Lorenzo’s interest in cheese making. He became a leading cheese trader and was shipping cheese to Europe while making good profits from his farms’ production.

At one time, he invested in an iron mine and a potential silver mine. Neither one was profitable, even though Salisbury iron was said to be of a high quality. The silver was too scant to be a productive venture.

Lorenzo and Lucy once lived in a house now owned by the Ives family in Salisbury. Lucy’s sister was married to James H. Ives. While in Salisbury in the 1850s, Lorenzo was elected as county sheriff. Several items in newspaper advertisements for foreclosure farm sales were ordered by the court that he, as sheriff, had to carry out give us a hint as to the shaky economy at the time of dairy farmers. Cheese helped many of these farmers as refrigeration and pasteurization was not yet developed.

As a Democrat, he was a delegate to the convention that nominated Stephen A. Douglas for the presidency in 1860. Lorenzo, himself, ran for Congress, but was defeated. He did help to raise troops and money for the Civil War. He was made a colonel, but could not serve due to his age. He was proud to be a "War Democrat." Appreciated by Governor Hoffman of the state, he was appointed a state assessor in 1870 and 1873.

Lorenzo and Lucy were blessed over time with children, but sadly the children were very susceptible to maladies of the respiratory system. At the time, diphtheria and pneumonia were blamed, and over an 18-year period they lost Virginia (1843-1845), Gordon (1854-1857), Edward (1856-1857), Thaddeus (1858-1859), Osker (1850-1861) and Helen (1861-1888).

In 1861, when the Carryls lived on the Boyer farm in the town of Manheim, a portrait of the first five children was painted titled "Securing the Shadow: Posthumous Portraiture in America," by Louis Ransom. This painting was done then, after their deaths. The painting now hangs in an exhibit in the American Folk-Art Museum in Long Island City, New York. It belongs to the Fruitlands Museum.

Three other children also died before their parents. Helen in 1888 and two more sons, Lorenzo W. and Arthur. Lorenzo W. was a lawyer and accompanied his parents on a trip to England in 1865. He married Louise Small and had a son, Isaac Lendll Carryl. Arthur also became a lawyer, married and lived in New York City for a while. He too, accompanied his parents in 1881 to Europe to see the "principal places of interest for pleasure." He became ill with tuberculosis and returned home. He died in his parents’ home in Little Falls at age 31

Lorenzo and Lucy had moved to a brick home at 690 E. Main St., Little Falls, in 1867, after their return from their trip on the Gallai, a ship in the Cunard Line. He became a gentleman real estate manager, a cheese broker and a director of the National Herkimer County Bank. He was involved in several public projects for the city, including serving on the committee for the city’s water system. Lorenzo was also a trustee of the Presbyterian Church where he and Lucy attended.

Lucy died suddenly, at 75, in 1891 leaving Lorenzo alone. He requested a nephew, William H. Carryl from Pennsylvania, to relocate to Little Falls with his family to help him with his affairs. Lorenzo died in 1898 in Little Falls. He wealth at the time was more than $100,000. The entire family is buried together in Salisbury.

The Lorenzo Carryl home burned after his death. The lot was empty for some years, but now the telephone company has a building there, across from City Hall.

Patricia Stock is the historian for the city of Little Falls.