Friday, June 24, 2016

Myers Family A - Samuel Ralston

Nathan Myers was born in Lehigh county, Pennsylvania in 1812, probably into a German-speaking family. His parents were Johannes (or John) and Anna Maria (Wuchter) Meyer. Johannes was a weaver. They married probably before 1808 in Heidelberg Township, Northampton County, Pennsylvania, which later became Lehigh County.

Nathan married around 1833. His wife, Leah Wagner, was the daughter of Johan and Maria; she was baptized in the Upper Milford Reformed Congregation (which is now known as Zion's Reformed Church). They had four sons between 1834 and 1844, including two who we'll be discussing in the coming weeks: Welby, and Daniel. Then, probably in 1845 or 1846, Nathan moved the family to Ohio. In 1850 they were listed in Thompson township, Seneca county. Nathan and Leah had four more children in Ohio, two sons and two daughters. Then, by 1860, they had relocated further west, to Perry township in Allen county, Indiana, where they lived near the Eel River post office.

Sarah Ferguson (1846–1934) was also born in Ohio, as you may recall from our February post, Rise of the Fergusons. The Fergusons also relocated to Indiana in the late 1840s, settling in Jackson township, De Kalb county. This placed the Myers and Ferguson families about 70 miles apart, on opposite sides of Fort Wayne. This was apparently close enough, as Sarah married Daniel Myers (1844–1922) on 3 September 1864. (I was not able to determine whether he served in the Civil War - there were a lot of "Daniel Myers" of varied spellings!)

They settled on a farm in Cedar Creek; they farmed and Daniel worked as a carpenter. They raised four sons, who were born in the space of ten years. Daniel suffered from arteriosclerosis later in his life, and died at the age of 78 at their home in Huntertown. He was survived by Sarah, three sons, 12 grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. Sarah moved in with Edward, the youngest son, whose two surviving sons were grown and out on their own. She died in 1934.

     I. Samuel Ralston Myers (1865–1947) married Nora Dale Green (1870–1955) on 24 September 1887. They had two sons and two daughters over the following decade, and Ralston farmed in Perry township, near Fort Wayne, Indiana, until some time in the late 1910s, when he and Nora moved to Toledo, Ohio. There, he took work as a machinist and pump operator for an oil company. Ralston and Nora are buried in the New Huntertown Cemetery in Huntertown, Allen County, Indiana.

     A. Clyde Alfred Myers (1888–1955) married Mabel Leona Schrader (1892–1978) in Allen county, Indiana, on 28 January 1909. Clyde retired as a master mechanic from I&M Electric, and died of a heart attack in 1955.

     1. Mildred L. Myers (1909-1910) died at ten months and 21 days old, on 29 April 1910, after a six week bout with pneumonia. (I calculate an 8 June 1909 birthday from that.)

     2. Ethel Ailine Myers (1910–1997) married Owen Jones Morris (1911–1986), probably after 1935. Owen was an accountant who worked in Fort Wayne, eventually becoming the corporate controller for Dana Corp. After his retirement, the couple seems to have had a home in Sun City, Arizona (at least, they did in 1984). Owen died of prostate cancer in Angola in Stueben county, Indiana, in 1986. I know they had at least one daughter, who completed Ethel's death certificate in 1997.

     B. Daniel Albert "Danny" Myers (1890–1985) was raised on his father's farm, and grew up to be a farmer. In the 1920s and 1930s he also drove a truck for a dairy. He married Edith Amanda Barker (1892–1942) on 18 June 1915. He was her second husband, and I feel I should take an extra moment to tell you her story, because it was difficult to puzzle out.

Edith was born 16 April 1892 to Benjamy Barker and Amanda Kimes (according to the Indiana marriage certificate from her wedding to Danny). Before 1900, she was adopted by Allen G. and Julia (Wilcox) Dunten, and that is the name she used on all of her official documents (birth/death certificates, marriage records, etc.). Edith married Earnest Burdette Mesel (1885-1936) on 10 August 1908. Earnest was originally from Chataqua county, New York, and he was in Indiana working on the railroad as a section laborer,

The couple had two daughters: Dorothy Lillian Mesel (born 8 January 1909) and Virginia Luella Mesel (born 12 December 1911). It isn't clear what happened between them, but by 1915, Earnest was back in Cherry Creek, Chataqua county, New York, married to Gertrude Johnson (1892-1990); he had Dorothy listed in his household on that year's state Census. In 1920, Virginia appeared in the household of Allen and Julia Dunten; she appeared in 1930 in Danny and Edith's household, listed as married and with the surname "Lee."

Danny and Edith had six children together, four of whom survived to have families of their own. They were all grown when Edith died in 1942, and Danny remarried to Goldie C Freeman (1882–1964) in 1943.

Found on

     1. Maurice Dale Myers (1916–1935) was 19 years old when he fell and was run over by a tractor on the family farm in Swan, Noble county, Indiana. (The newspaper account linked here may be disturbingly graphic; it does contain some genealogical information, though.)

     2. Eugene Allen Myers (1918–1972) joined the U.S. Army on 2 October 1940, more than a year before the attack on Pearl Harbor, and served in the Army Air Forces as a technical sergeant during the war.

His record shows that he was discharged on 11 September 1945, but he married Ruth June Hemphill (nee Rowe; 1926-2008) in Randolph county, Arkansas, on 10 June 1946. I suspect he was still stationed at what would have then been called Blytheville Army Air Field, waiting for his discharge.

After their wedding, Eugene and Ruth moved back to the Fort Wayne area, where he worked as an assembler. They had two children, a son and a daughter, both still living.

     3. Betty Arleen Myers (1919–1999) was the only daughter of Danny and Edith. She married Thurlo Samuel "Frog" Gaff (1916-2004) on 25 September 1938, in Fort Wayne. He worked in welding and painting for LaOtto Fabricating for 23 years. They had a daughter and a son, both of whom are still living.

     4. Samuel Albert Myers (1920–1997) was a career military man, enlisting in the U.S. Army on 6 October 1939. In 1940 he was a private serving with the 21st Field Artillery at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and in 1945 he and a wife were listed living in Denver, Colorado, his occupation still "United States Army." Since he retired in 1970 from the U.S. Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel, I'm going to make the educated guess that he was selected for officer training some time after the close of World War II, and received his commission in 1953. I believe he had at least one son, who is deceased, but I have not been able to find records to confirm this.

     5. Robert Lee Myers (1925–1952) also enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1944, serving through November 1945. He married in March of that year, and the newlyweds settled in Avilla, Noble county, Indiana. After his unexpected death in 1952 from leukemia, his wife remarried, and she is still living.

     6. Calvin C. Myers (1926) was born prematurely on 12 January, and died one month and one day later; the cause of death listed was "exhaustion."

     C. Sarah Oseola "Ocie" Myers (1892–1964) married Anthony Barney Spain (1887–1920) on 8 October 1915, and they lived in Fort Wayne. Anthony was a laborer and crane operator who caught pneumonia and died in February of 1920. Two years later, on 27 May 1922, Ocie married Jessie Marion McCord (1884-1960), and they moved to Toledo, Ohio. I have found no evidence to suggest that Ocie had any children with either of her husbands.

     D. Gercie May Myers (1896–1951) married Stephen Raymond Hayes (1891–1970) on 10 June 1915, and in 1920 the couple was living in Ralston and Nora Myers's home in Toledo, Ohio, along with their baby daughter. Stephen worked as a switchboard operator for the power plant.

     1. Mary Maxine Hayes (1916–1991) grew up and married Francis J "Frank" Lininger (1917–1986), and together they raised two daughters, who are still living. According to her 1991 obituary, they had four grand-children.

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That rounds out the descendants of Ralston Myers. Next time, we'll begin with his fatally stubborn brother, Henry.

There were a lot of gaps in the records that probably led to a number of mistakes and omissions in this post. If you're one of the still living sons or daughters that I allude to in this post, please contact me and let me know what I got wrong so I can fix it. You can email me at my Gmail address (callintad at gmail dot com), comment on this post in the comment section below, or follow the link to our Callin Family History Facebook group and get to know more distant cousins.

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