Captain Cassius Hayward Styles - Archery Tackle

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Captain Cassius Hayward Styles - Archery Tackle

Postby Wade Phillips » Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:12 pm

Saxton Pope stated that Captain Cassius Hayward Styles (1894-1983), was his number one student.

If one examines Pope's handmade archery tackle, then examines tackle handmade by Styles, it is easy to understand Pope's statement.

All of the Styles horn nock wooden longbows that I have owned and seen, all were branded with his distinctive "STYLES" branding iron.

The three Styles bows shown below have been in my collection for a number of years. The 56# at the bottom was made in Pope's classic style down to the detail of Pope's tombstone strike plate, shown in Pope's 1923 Hunting with the Bow & Arrow".

The center bow is marked 45# and is also in the classic style but the grip is badly damaged and the strike plate is inlaid.

The top bow is the only take-apart Styles that I have ever seen. The limbs are set back and cord wrapped above and below the indexed take-down sleeve. No poundage is visible, but may be covered by the bottom cord wrap.
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Styles Bows 002.jpg
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Re: Captain Cassius Hayward Styles - Archery Tackle

Postby Wade Phillips » Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:13 pm

It is not surprising that many Styles arrows have a strong resemble to Pope's arrows.
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Styles 006.jpg
Styles 005.jpg
Styles 003.jpg
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Re: Captain Cassius Hayward Styles - Archery Tackle

Postby Wade Phillips » Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:14 pm

This is one of Styles personal arrows from the famous 1930 Lobster Mountain Jamboree in Oregon. It was the first national gathering of bowmen for a hunt. Styles gave this arrow to Roy Case as the attending bowmen exchanged arrows before breaking camp. Roy inscribed the arrows from the hunt with the bowmen's names. Roy's distinctive handwriting is unmistakable.

The front end of the feathers are secured with "Ribbonize", a popular method during the 1920s.

I will take the arrow out of the case and get some better photographs of the entire arrow.
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Styles 007.jpg
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Re: Captain Cassius Hayward Styles - Archery Tackle

Postby Wade Phillips » Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:17 pm

For many years, Styles advertised his archery tackle in national publications.

Ad shown from.

1937 February "American Bowman-Review" inside back cover
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Styles  Ad.jpg
1937 February American Bowman-Review inside back cover
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Re: Captain Cassius Hayward Styles - Archery Tackle

Postby Grant Young » Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:36 pm

Excellant Stuff, Wade!- Has anyone published or compiled very much historical and/or anecdotal material about Captain Styles and his life in archery? Look at his life-span; can you imagine the changes he saw in his sport? GY
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Re: Captain Cassius Hayward Styles - Archery Tackle

Postby Wade Phillips » Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:40 pm

Grant - Yes, Cliff wrote a nice in depth account of Styles and his early years.

I'm not aware of any thing that has even began to categorize his tackle... or his later years.

Thought we might try to do some of that here by all of us posting photographs of any Styles tackle that we might have.
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Re: Captain Cassius Hayward Styles - Archery Tackle

Postby Wade Phillips » Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:14 pm

Another Styles ad...

"Ye Sylvan Archer", May 1927, Vol. 1, No. 1. page 20...

Yew Bows $35.00 to $150.00 .... WOW

According to the Consumer Price Index, $150 in 1927 has the same buying power as $1,849.46 in 2009. :shock: :shock: :shock:

Guess that is about 120 times increase...

If anyone is interested in buying any of the three Styles bows shown above, just for the inflation rate, let me know I will pay shipping and insurance... :rolf:
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"Ye Sylvan Archer", May 1927, Vol. 1, No. 1. page 20...
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Re: Captain Cassius Hayward Styles - Archery Tackle

Postby Craig/Fl » Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:25 pm

fascinating , were could a fella read more about this and view more pics of the tackle used.
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Re: Captain Cassius Hayward Styles - Archery Tackle

Postby Wade Phillips » Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:35 pm

Best reading material is the old archery periodicals from the period.

The three most highly regarded sets from the late 1920s to the early 1940s are....

"Ye Sylvan Archer" - 1927-1943
"Archery Review" 1931-1937
"American Bowman-Review" 1937-1951

Originals are scarce, many individual copies are fairly common, but some are extremely rare and very expensive.
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Re: Captain Cassius Hayward Styles - Archery Tackle

Postby Wade Phillips » Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:40 pm

"Ye Sylvan Archer" November 1929, back cover ad...

Very interesting text...

Dusty Roberts' quote especially...

"Any other make of bow is just like a dish-rag when I shoot it after one of yours"
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Re: Captain Cassius Hayward Styles - Archery Tackle

Postby Tony Wallace » Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:16 pm

This just in from The Shawinigan Standard - Jan 15, 1958

Cassius Styles apparently donated equipment to the Smithsonian, and was happily married and living on 49 acres in St. Helena at Napa Valley.

His wife Frances made the bow strings and crested the arrows for Styles Archery.

I will see what I can find out about the Smithsonian's archery collection. This article gives a snapshot of the semi-retired Cassius. Looks like he did okay, and was living well in wine country.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=698&dat=19580115&id=N-4jAAAAIBAJ&sjid=NEQDAAAAIBAJ&pg=2391,3326382
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Re: Captain Cassius Hayward Styles - Archery Tackle

Postby scarrere » Sat Jun 23, 2012 8:36 am

I know it has been several years since you posted this information about Cassius Styles but I wanted to find out if you still had any of his bows you wished to sell. I grew up spending several weeks each summer with "Uncle" Cassius. He taught my sister and I how to shoot the bow. I have one of the deer skins he tanned from his annual deer hunts. He was a remarkable man, as was his wife "Aunt Francis." She was a quite a skilled silver smith and archer in her own right. In fact, that is how they met -- archery competitions :archer2: . Some of my most favorite memories are sitting out in the evening on their patio tucked between the house and the golden, oak-covered hill behind it, taking turns reading poems -- Wadsworth was a favorite. He made a bow for my father. When the time came, my sister and I flipped a coin for it, and she won. It was (is) the item I loved most amongst my father's possession. Anyhow, I would love to find one of his bows to have to remember him by. Thanks in advance for your help. -- Sybil Carrere
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Re: Captain Cassius Hayward Styles - Archery Tackle

Postby Liquid Amber » Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:51 am

styles 5th crash NY.pdf
5th crash
(41.97 KiB) Downloaded 218 times
Clipping of Styles' fifth and final crash that sent him to the west coast for R&R in the Mountains with Monty and Saxton Pope. While researching for my article on Styles [Oct/Nov 2008 TBM] I took a chance and contacted one of several WWI historical groups specializing in Aviation and was rewarded with two replies from collectors who were quite knowledgeable of Styles' WWI experiences. We traded information and I obtained copies of Styles' War Diary and other documents. It is really cool reading Styles' daily accounts of his time in France and later accounts of his crash, capture and escape into Switzerland. We are fortunate to have much material documented on Styles, it just takes time and patience to collect and compile it. A true hero and fascinating individual. I don't think Styles made his living making and selling archery equipment but it was more a hobby and side business. One census I have lists Styles' occupation as Attorney.

Styles was married before moving to California but after two years playing hermit in the mountains he divorced his first wife because she stayed out all night and made him nervous. :)
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Re: Captain Cassius Hayward Styles - Archery Tackle

Postby ROBJTH » Sat Feb 01, 2014 3:03 pm

Liquid Amber wrote:
styles 5th crash NY.pdf
Clipping of Styles' fifth and final crash that sent him to the west coast for R&R in the Mountains with Monty and Saxton Pope. While researching for my article on Styles [Oct/Nov 2008 TBM] I took a chance and contacted one of several WWI historical groups specializing in Aviation and was rewarded with two replies from collectors who were quite knowledgeable of Styles' WWI experiences. We traded information and I obtained copies of Styles' War Diary and other documents. It is really cool reading Styles' daily accounts of his time in France and later accounts of his crash, capture and escape into Switzerland. We are fortunate to have much material documented on Styles, it just takes time and patience to collect and compile it. A true hero and fascinating individual. I don't think Styles made his living making and selling archery equipment but it was more a hobby and side business. One census I have lists Styles' occupation as Attorney.

Styles was married before moving to California but after two years playing hermit in the mountains he divorced his first wife because she stayed out all night and made him nervous. :)


Cassius Styles was my father's best friend in WWI. In his diary for Feb. 5 he tells how my father, Stephen W. Thompson, was the first person to shoot down an enemy airplane.(see my dad on Wikipedia.) I have a picture of the squadron in France in Dec. 1917.They met in Dayton in 1966 during a WWI aviators reunion. I visited Styles in the early 80s in St Helena CA.
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Re: Captain Cassius Hayward Styles - Archery Tackle

Postby Liquid Amber » Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:33 am

Thanks for the information on Styles and your father. Pretty cool. One of the misconceptions about Styles is he has been referred to as an Aviator or pilot in several published reports with this information passed down through the years and intrenched in his history. The term Aviator is reserved for a pilot and used incorrectly quite often. One of the items lending to Styles being an aviator/pilot was his uniform that survived and passed about through several collectors. Excellent photos of this piece of history are available and show pilot insignia. The origin of this one item to the uniform isn't known but it is not unusual for folks to place military insignia improperly on military items, either by mistake or purpose.

Being a former Army Artillery Officer and son of a WWII Fighter Pilot and Career Air Force Officer I'm well versed in the history, definition and placement of Service insignia. I do have photos of Styles in uniform basically identical to that Lt. Thompson is wearing in the photo in Wikipedia. The insignia on Lt. Thompson's left breast is that of an Observer, the same found on Capt. Styles in the photos I have. I cannot tell for certain the insignia on the left collar of Lt. Thompson from the photo but Styles has the crossed cannons on the left collar of his uniform signifying artillery officer, which indicates he was an observer rather than a pilot. Now, pilot or observer, the fact is both were very dangerous occupations during WWI and one no better/worst than the other. The pilot and observer were a team. In today's military jargon Styles and Thompson might be called "gunfighters" as their duty beside observation was to protect and defend the aircraft as well as working havoc on the enemy during offensive operations while the pilot was absorbed in controlling the aircraft.

Styles was stationed at Ft. Sill, a post I served at for 2.5 years, the center of Artillery for the US ARMY. He hunted small game with the bow during his tour there. Ironically, this is the first place I bowhunted deer in 1967. When it is all added up there is nothing but this one piece of insignia "incorrectly" added to Styles' uniform to suggest he was an aviator or pilot. The evident is overwhelming he was an Observer. In none of the five crashes he survived was he piloting the aircraft. During Styles' and Thompson's time there was no way to evacuate the aircraft while in flight, they simply road it to the ground, thus the high incident of crashes. :)
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Re: Captain Cassius Hayward Styles - Archery Tackle

Postby James M Cottrell » Tue Dec 13, 2016 3:39 am

Cassius was a grandfather figure to me in St. Helena, CA, from when I was 10 years old until I was 23, when I sat with him in the hospital in 1983 as he died from a head injury sustained in a fall in his yard. Both my biological grandfathers lived in the northeast, and as such I didn't see them very often, so Cassius was a Godsend to me in so many ways, and I was warmly welcomed in his and Frances' home, as they had no children of their own.

Along with the many life lessons and values that Cash shared with me, he also taught me marksmanship and archery, how to hunt, stalk silently in moccasins, and sit still and be keenly observant in the woods. I shot my first deer, (a nice 3x3 buck) on his property, and he taught me how to field dress, skin and brain tan buckskin the same way that Monty had taught him up in the wilds of Humboldt during Cash's rehab post-discharge.

He was an avid reader and an excellent story teller, and was able to precisely recite the perfect poem or literary passage to illustrate any given point. He also told me many stories about his time with Dr. Pope and Monty, and his eyes would shine brightly with appreciation when talked about Ishi. The only time I saw him get angry was when he spoke of the terrible treatment of Native Americans by the "civilized" whites.

The easy hours spent with Cash in his wood shop, (which was also a perfect museum of great adventures in Nature), as he smoked maple sugar-sweetened tobacco in his pipe, while puttering about with bows and tackle, sharing stories of his hunts, along with quotes from Plato and other philosophers, are some of the very best of my life.

I am honored to have known such a fine human being as Cassius Styles, and I still feel strongly his kind, patient and steady presence, especially nowadays as I strive to teach others many of the skills he taught to me. I want to carry on his tradition of generosity of spirit, living simply, doing good work, and relaxing well to let my arrows fly straight.
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