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Retired oilman Toliver once held world record

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by Joe Potosky, Mar 10, 2008.

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  1. Joe Potosky

    Joe Potosky Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 1998

    Retired oilman Toliver once held world record in shooting

    - Times-Mail

    ORLEANS — Before he retired in 1975, Earl Toliver’s vocation for 36 years was the oil business.

    But he has been involved in his hobby, trapshooting, for 60 years, and still loves the sport.

    “My interest in trapshooting began in 1948, and I was competitive from 1950 until just last year,” said Toliver, now 94. “But I still attend state and national championship events.”

    He has won more than 500 trophies and other awards during his trapshooting career, and is a longtime board member of both the Indiana Trapshooters Association and National Amateur Trapshooting Association. He was secretary-treasurer of the state group for more than 35 years, resigning last year, and has been inducted into both the state and national Hall of Fame.

    “Before Thanksgiving in 1948 I attended a turkey shoot in Paoli,” Toliver recalled. “I borrowed my brother’s gun, entered five matches, and won five turkeys on foot that day.”

    The same year he was president of the Lost River Gun Club and also became involved in shoots at the Jenkins Gun Club south of Mitchell, which he owned from 1969 to 1973. The event attracted shooters from throughout the country.

    In 1962 he was the world record-holder for most 100s broken in a single year, when he had 41 100-straights.

    Toliver was president of the national association in 1968, and the same year helped found the Trapshooting Hall of Fame in Vandalia, Ohio.

    “My last competitive win was in 2005 when I broke a 96 in the handicap event at Vandalia,” said Toliver, who was 92 at the time. “I hope to go to Vandalia in August this year — but as a spectator. I’ve missed only once, in 1998 when I was ill, but I received credit for it.”

    “The one honor I would liked to have gotten but didn’t was the handicap championship of the national association,” he added. “I tied for it three times. I was right at the door, but could not get in.”

    Toliver’s wife, the former Maye Magner, worked for years at the state and national trapshoots and is also in the Indiana Trapshooting Hall of Fame. They had been married 62 years at the time of her death in 2002.

    “We met when we were in eighth grade in Orleans,” remarked Toliver, whose dad was a farmer west of Orleans, where Toliver grew up.

    After graduating in 1932 from Orleans High School, and with the Great Depression under way, Toliver found jobs hard to come by. He went to Newcastle, where he worked at a Chrysler machine shop, later had a job at a Chevrolet garage in Paoli, and drove a semi for Producer’s Dairy in Orleans, “hauling butter and eggs to Philadelphia, Boston, Buffalo and other cities,” he said.

    “For about a year I operated the Dixie Stop Restaurant, about half a block north of Herle’s on Ind. 37 in Orleans,” he recalled.

    In January 1940, Toliver became a commission agent for Aetna Oil Company in Orleans. In the mid-1950s, Ashland bought out Aetna, and with the merger he became a jobber for Ashland. About the same time he bought out the Aetna plant in Oolitic, changing the name of his business to Toliver Oil Products.

    As a full-service bulk plant, the work involved commercial, farm and dealer accounts, with 31 dealers in five counties. The Tolivers also sold Oliver farm equipment.

    At the same time they operated Toliver Insurance Agency, and Maye was secretary of the Orleans Chamber of Commerce.

    “Getting into the oil business today is a lot bigger investment than it was back then,” Toliver commented. “When I started out I sold gas and fuel oil for nine cents a gallon, and there was no tax on it.”

    Maye worked alongside her husband all those 36 years before their retirement in 1975, when they sold out to John Baker Sr.

    Toliver also loved flying, having owned eight different aircraft from the time he soloed in 1935 until he stopped flying in 1970. He served on the Orleans Aviation Board for 20 years.

    The Tolivers spent 39 winters in Florida. He has been an active member of Orleans Kiwanis Club since 1944, serving as club president as well as lieutenant-governor. His half-sister, Barbara Deich, lives in Bedford. A sister, Mildred Burton, and brother, Max Toliver, are deceased.

    “I have had a good life,” said Toliver, who is currently recuperating from surgery.

    Claude Parsons is a former Times-Mail editor and a frequent contributor to this newspaper.
  2. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    Thanks Joe, for keeping us updated on Earl Toliver.

    May our prayers for his quick recovery, go out to this giant in both the ATA and Indiana trapshooting community.

    Mark Burgess
  3. rwm12

    rwm12 Member

    Jun 23, 2007
    Earl has been a member of the Vincennes Gun Club, Inc. for over 50 years and attended our annual dinner last October. We always enjoy his knowledge about trapshooting and shooting his Model 12 into a cap demonstration. Earl performed this at one of our annual dinners a few years ago and some of our members had to see the demo to believe it could be done. Only a Model 12 can do this with the barrel off the receiver and the shell held in the chamber by the retaining ring. DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME but the shell goes pop and the shot goes into the hat or cap with no damage. Robert W. McClure, Treasurer
  4. ec90t

    ec90t Guest


    Ed Coleman and Jack Frank was telling me that story a couple of weeks ago. They couldn't remember who it was doing that. Now I know the rest of the story!

  5. crusha

    crusha TS Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    Earl is a trapshooting legend around here...

    ...but I'd need a little more info on how that cap trick works!
  6. ec90t

    ec90t Guest


    Earl would load a shell into his model 12 then remove the barrel assembly and pull the trigger. The shot would then all be caught in his cap while he was holding it in front of the shell. The shell was held in place by the ring and the bolt. Because nothing was around the shell it didn't build any pressure and the crimp would just open up and the shot would fall out.

    As stated earlier DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME!!!!

  7. 320090T

    320090T Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    I have a hat pin saying "Toliver Gun Club" Earl is a great guy to just sit and chat with. He is a wealth of information.
  8. Dr.Longshot

    Dr.Longshot Banned Banned

    Jan 29, 1998
    Mr. Tolliver I would like to congratulate you on your lifes achievements, and may God Bless you even more and a fast recovery and some more trips to the Grand.

    Gary Bryant
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