WILLIAM B. MYERS, who is one of the leading business men and manufacturers of Joplin, Missouri, inherited from his ancestors an adventurous and daring disposition, and in a varied, and in many of its experiences a striking and spectacular career, he has fully gratified all the aspirations of that inheritance, but the same time has passed the whole of his life from the age of sixteen in the service of his fellowmen. He has rendered effective aid to the government in peace and war and in industrial pursuits of different kinds, carried on in different localities, hes added materially to the progress and improvement of the country by augmenting its productive wealth and commercial power.
Mr. Myers is a native of Bradford county, Pennsylvania, where he was born in the town of Athens, on June 1, 1845. His parents were Captain William and Eliza (Satterly) Myers, the father a native of Greene county, New York, and the mother born in Onondaga county, and reared in that state. The former's life began in 1817 and the latter's in 1821. Both died in 1899.[sic] Mr. Myers' maternal grandfather, Jacob Saterlee, was a native of New Hampshire. He was an officer in the war of 1812, and commanded a company at the battle of Long Island. He spent his last years in Onondaga Valley, four miles from Syracuse. Jacob Saterlee's father was a soldier of the Revolution. Captain William Myers was a railroad engineer and master mechanic. He served in the Union army during the Civil war as quartermaster under General Grant, for whose command he organized a company of mechanics. Of this company he was the captain and, under the supervision of the quartermaster's department of the command, directed the motive power employed in its mechanical operations. In 1864 he was taken prisoner at Holly Springs, Mississippi, but was soon afterward paroled and returned to his home. He and his wife were the parents of four children, all sons, William B. being the second in the order of birth.
The family moved to Alton, Illinois, in 1859, and William completed there the course of instruction in the public schools which he had begun in his native county. He afterward attended the college at Clinton,
until the beginning of the Civil war. In response to President Lincoln's first call for volunteers he ran away from school to join the forces assembling to save the Union from dismemberment. Going to St. Louis in obedience to his patriotic fervor, he there enlisted in the Fourth Missouri United States Infantry, although he was at the time but sixteen years old, the term of his enlistment being three months, during which he served under General Lyon, who was then in command in this state.
In 1862 he reenlisted, his first term having expired, and was sent with the United States escorts across the country from Omaha, Nebraska, to Walla Walla, Washington Territory, to protect immigrants from the Indiana. He was mustered out of the army at Walla Walla in the fall of 1862, and then went with a party of gold miners to eastern Oregon. Some little time later he joined another party of miners in an expedition to what is now Boise, Idaho, but which was then a wild and practically uninhabited region which had been brought into great public notice by the discovery of gold in its hitherto unbroken soil. Mr. Myers helped to build the first house erected in the limits of the present city of Boise.
From Boise he made a trip to the Willamette valley in Oregon, stopping at Champoeg in that state, and teaching school there in the spring of 1863. His next engagement was with a government surveying party engaged in surveying the eastern end of Washington territory, with which he remained until December, 1863, He then returned to Portland, and a short time afterward went through British Columbia, and from there down the coast to San Francisco. He remained in California until February, 1864, then journeyed by ship to New York city by way of the Isthmus of Panama, arriving at his destination on March 28 following his first embarkation.
His parents had moved to Terre Haute, Indiana, and his longing to see them and the rest of the family induced him to make them a visit in that city. But he did not tarry long at home. The war was still in progress and waging with great fury. He felt it his duty to again go to the aid of his country, and at once enlisted in the One Hundred and Thirty-third Indiana Infantry, with which he fought to the end of the war. For a time his regiment was stationed at Bridgeport, Alabama, then was made a part of Sherman's army, with which Mr. Myers was connected until he received an honorable discharge from the service.
After leaving the army he returned to Terre Haute, Indiana, and during the next two years was employed by the St. Louis, Alton & Terre Haute Railroad Company. When he quit the service of the railroad company be took up his residence at Litchfield, Illinois, where he built the first and only woolen mill ever operated in that city. In 1870 he moved his equipment to Carthage in this state, and with his father, put up the Carthage woolen mills, which he conducted until 1895. In that year he turned his attention to dealing in lime, stone and other building materials, having acquired the ownership of valuable stone quarries at Carthage.
In 1900 he changed his residence to Joplin and organized the Joplin Cement Company, Incorporated, of which he has ever since been president, and which he has operated in connection with his lime and stone business, continuing the latter until 1910, then giving it up in order to devote his whole time to the affairs of the Cement Company and other claims upon him which he felt he could not justly ignore or neglect, but which he was unable to attend to properly with so much other business On his hands.
In the public affairs of the community around him Mr. Myers has always been deeply interested, and he has earnestly aided in efforts to have them properly administered. While he is allied with the Republican party in political affiliation, he has never been a very active partisan, and during the last few years has taken almost no part in political contentions. in former days he was more active, and during his residence in Carthage served two terms as mayor of the city with credit to himself, and acceptably to the people. Wherever he has lived he has been devoted to the public weal and always done his full share in promoting it.
His fraternal relations are with the Order of Elks, in which he takes an active part and which values his membership highly. He keeps the memories of his military service fresh and fragrant, without any of the bitterness of feeling that attended the actual experiences of the war, by zealous membership in the Grand Army of the Republic. On December 31, 1868, at Sycamore, Illinois, he was united in marriage with Miss Emma A. Dustin, a daughter of General Daniel Dustin of Civil war fame, and a descendant of Hannah Dustin, the heroine of the Indian attack on Haverhill, Massachusetts, in March, 1697. Her husband and seven of her eight children escaped from the Indians, but she and her week-old infant, with its nurse, Mary Neff, were carried off and put in charge of an Indian family consisting of two men, three women and seven children. The Indians killed the infant to get rid of the trouble of caring for it, and on the way to a large Indian town the party was halted for a night on an island in the Merrimac river, about six miles above the site of the present city of Concord, New Hampshire, During the night, while her captors were in deep sleep, Mrs. Dustin and the nurse, assisted by Samuel Leonardson, an English youth, killed all the Indians in the family except one squaw and a small boy, who got away, and carried the scalps of their victims home with them as proof of their achievement. They reached their home in safety after a difficult journey, which brought them many hardships and much suffering. The island has ever since been known as Dustin Island, and the name was given it as a memorial of Mrs. Dustin's heroic conduct on it.
Mrs. Myers was born at East Corinth, Vermont, on July 28, 1845. She and her husband are the parents of four children, all sons, Harry D., who came into the world on October 1, 1869, at Litchfield, Illinois; Carl C., who was born on the 15th October, 1871, at Carthage; Frank M., whose life began at Carthage, Missouri, on the 5th of June, 1874; and W. D., who is also a native of Carthage, and was born on September 15, 1882.
The History of Jasper County, Missouri and its People, Joel Thomas Livingston
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
CARTHAGE EVENING PRESS
MONDAY, AUGUST 3, 1914
WILLIAM B MYERS DIES
END COMES TO FORMER CARTHAGE MAYOR IN WISCONSIN
William B. Myers, 69 years old, one of the best known citizens in Jasper County, died at 8:30 o'clock Saturday morning at his summer camp at Grindstone Lake, near Hayward, Wisconsin.
His death was caused by heart trouble and a complication of diseases. He underwent a minor operation a short time ago.
The body was brought to Joplin last night and to Carthage this morning. Burial was in Park cemetery at 4:00 o'clock this afternoon.
The Joplin Elk Lodge conducted the Elk ceremony and the G.A.R. flag ceremony also was conducted.
By request there were no floral offerings and for the same reason the burial was made as simple and as private as possible.
J. T. Wallace sang one verse of "Lead Kindly Light." Rev. A.J. Van Wagner offered a short prayer. The pallbearers were:
Julius A. Becker
Herbert Schnue, of Joplin; Sig Block and E.B. Jacobs of Carthage
Mr. Myers resided in Carthage from 1870 until about 14 years ago when he moved to Joplin. He was one of the leading business men of the city, and was twice elected mayor, once for one year and once for two years.
He was mayor of the city from April 8, 1889 to April 11, 1892. He had also served three years as a member of the city council before he was elected mayor. He was a member of the republican party.
In 1870 Mr. Myers came to Carthage with his father from New York state, where he was born and reared.
That year William Myers, Sr., established Carthage Woolen Mill which he and his son conducted for nine years. This was the first woolen mills west of St. Louis. They later operated the Carthage Spring Mills.
He was also in the quarry and lime business.
Since moving to Joplin Mr. Myers had been engaged in the cement business but retired two years ago.
Although he was only 16 years old when the Civil War broke out Mr. Myers enlisted at the opening of the war.
He was sent by the United States government to escort emigrants across the western plains. He served also in a surveying corps in the west.
He returned to the east by way of the Isthmus of Panama and was in active service until the close of the war.
His first enlistment was with Lincoln's first call of three months men. He enlisted in the Shutner's Fourteenth Missouri infantry, at St. Louis and was in the battle of Jefferson barracks.
In 1868 he was married to Miss Emma A. Dustin, daughter of General Daniel Dustin, of Sycamore, Illinois.
The wife and the following sons survive:
Frank M. Myers and Harry D. Myers both of Joplin
and William E. Myers of Indianapolis, Indiana
William E. Myers was not able to attend his father's funeral on account of being in Atlantic City at the time of his death.
A brother, Charles Myers of Carthage also survives.
For a number of years Mr. Myers had spent his summers at Grindstone Lake. He was popular among the hunters and anglers there. He was well liked everywhere he was known.
Mr. Myers was a member of the G.A.R. and two years ago he became a life member of the Elks.
Emma A. Dustin Myers
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