By Bill Hilts Sr.
Seth L. Myers is indeed an OWAA Legend! Few have demonstrated a greater allegiance to our organization than that humble, talented and dedicated journalist from Sharon, PA.
For numerous years, Myers served OWAA in the demanding role of secretary/treasurer. This writer has many fond memories of those years, because for seven of them, he asked me to fill the role as assistant secretary to help him with the many burdens of the office at that time. Also, Myers was my sponsor when I joined OWAA in 1961.
Myers was a genuine legend for all of his 79 years. He was a founding member of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association (POWA) and served as that group’s first president for three terms. He was a celebrated veteran of the U.S. Navy, a writer on outdoor and conservation subjects, a radio broadcaster, high school career counselor, a deputy game protector, a lecturer and a conservationist. Those are only a few of his interests!
Myers also was active in the Boy Scouts, an association that began when he was 12 years old. He was an active member in numerous sportsmen and conservation clubs, including the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsman’s Club. From that statewide organization, for many years he served as their representative to the National Wildlife Federation.
Myers’ awards were many and one of his most coveted was when the Pittsburgh District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers honored him in 1976 by dedicating the Seth L. Myers Nature Trail at Mahaney Recreation Area of Shenango River Lake. At the dedication ceremony, Col. Max Janiro, chief of the Corps Pittsburgh District, in his speech related to Myers as, “one of the greatest conservationists and sportsman ever to grace the earth!â€ Myers was very proud of that honor.
There is a facet of Myers’ life that is little known to most people. This was his 1919-1923 tour of duty with the U.S. Naval Air Service.
Myers was based at the Coco Solo Naval Air Station in the Panama Canal Zone for three years and was a flying boat crewman. When he wasnâ€™t flying, he spent his spare time roaming the jungles on assignment in Central or South American countries.
In an interesting side note, the POWA Historical Archives Committee deeded Myers’ Aviator’s Log Book, discharge certificate, and two photo albums documenting his tour of duty with the Naval Air Service at Coco Solo to the U.S. Naval Historical Center at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C.
With all his honors and activities, Myers was probably best known for his role as outdoor editor for the Sharon Herald (PA). He held that position for about four decades. For more than a quarter-century, Myers hosted a weekly radio show on WPIC in Sharon. He also authored several books, including Old Swimmin’ Hole. He was a graduate of the Palmer School of Journalism.
Myers was very proud that OWAA honored him in 1966 with our top award, the Ham Brown Award. He was the first recipient of that award, which is OWAA’s most coveted. Myers was also a life member of OWAA.
Seth L. Myers, a respected and honored pioneer of our outdoor writing industry and truly an OWAA Legend!
Note: Information and assistance provided by OWAA and George Dolnack, Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association archives committee.
Bill Hilts Sr. is an OWAA past president and has been a continuous member since he joined the association in 1961.