Thursday, January 29, 2009

Salem Cemetery Update: Lot No. 33

I've now added content to Lot No. 33 at the Salem Cemetery blog, which links from the sidebar at left. These are my great-great-grandparents, Jacob and Harriet (Dick) Myers; and great-grandparents, Daniel and Mary Belle (Redlingshafer) Myers. There might have been more of us on this lot, but in part because of the space hoggishness of Jacob's two tombstones (that's the main stone up top), other members of the family, including my grandparents, decided they needed more room. Give me land, lots of land, in other words.


Wanda Horn said...

Frank, I have a childhood memory that I think must be connected to your family.

In March 1941, two months before my 6th birthday, my family moved to a farmhouse southeast of Russell and my dad became Ralph Werts's "hired hand." Ralph's tenant house at that time was his parents' former home, about a half mile south of him. It's now a Century Farm, owned by Rick and Terri (Werts) Elmore.

We were in the Pleasant Mound school district but were almost 2 miles from the school - too far for my small self to walk; so it was decided that I should finish my kindergarten year at Myers school and stay with my maternal grandparents during the week.

Grandpa John and Grandma Lottie (Charlotte) Roberts lived diagonally across the intersection from Myers school in a house that belonged to a Mrs. Myers - undoubtedly related to you. The little square house where Grandpa and Grandma lived was later moved farther north up the road and occupied by Edwin and Betty Johnson. I don't remember anything about Mrs. Myers except that her house had a big sliding security door (almost like a barn door) that Grandpa went over and closed and locked every night.

I don't even remember who taught Myers school at that time (maybe a Miss Patterson?) or who any of the other students were, other than my aunt Donna Roberts, who was 9 at the time. I just remember being miserably homesick.

As I said - I'm sure this connects with your family somehow; I'm just curious to know how.


Frank D. Myers said...

Hi Wanda,

The house with the sliding security door would have been my great-grandparents' house. Daniel, who was a carpenter in addition to farming, actually built it. I'm not sure about the sliding door, but think it might have had something to do with the fact the house had side-by-side twin front doors, one leading into each of the big front rooms off the porch, so it may have seemed simpler (and more secure) to install a sliding door that covered them both. Mary Belle probably wasn't living in the house, at least not staying overnight there, since she died two years later, in 1943 at the home of my great-aunt and great-uncle, Minnie (Myers) and Carl Johnson.

Daniel and Mary Belle built the smaller house, where your grandparents lived, during the early 1920s for their youngest son, Nolan Myers, not long after he married Mary Stevens.

Daniel and Mary Belle were determined to either buy or back the purchase of farms for all their children, so they set Nolan and Mary up there; Great-uncle Raymond Myers and his wife, Bea, a half mile down the road west (where I remember the Jubal Sanborns living), Great-uncle John and his wife, R.G., a quarter mile east just beyond Mt. Carmel Church (where Murray and Lucille Funk now live), my grandfather, Irwin, on the farm just north of the homestead on the New York Road, Uncle Carl and Aunt Minnie, farther south down the New York Road, where they built the big house now occupied by Max and Gwendolyn Arnold, etc., etc.

Then came the 1930s depression and nearly everyone went down, taking my great-grandparents for the most part with them. My granddad and his folks (who salvaged a fraction of their farms) were the only Myers in that immediate neighborhood who managed to hang onto their land, later owned by my folks, although we never lived there(the Irwin Myers farm; there were too many squabbling heirs to hang onto the Daniel/Mary Bell homestead).

The original Jacob Myers homestead was across the road on the corner due west of the Daniel Myers and Nolan Myers houses (I only remember Ivan Anderson living there). That had been quite a place in its time, although the big house burned and was replaced with something much smaller for Great-great-grandmother Harriet around the turn of the century. There were lots of barns and outbuildings left, although nearly all are gone by now and it looks fairly desolate. There were two big shallow ponds to the west of the Jacob Myers homestead, encircled with fieldstone, intended primarily to produce ice that was stored in a big ice house and used to supply the neighborhood. Imagine that!

After Edwin and Betty (Marquis) Johnson married, the Nolan Myers house, as you recall, was moved --- although it went two miles east and about two miles north to the east side of the Transformer Road just southwest of Russell and Edwin and Betty lived there, I think, until after Duane was born --- then bought and moved up and across the road into big old original May place --- from one extreme to the other.

Later on, Dale and Mary Lou (May) Johnson's son, Danny, lived there; and if I'm not mistaken, Mary Lou lives there now, having given up on the old Lloyd and Bessie May place --- that wonderful old house and three-story barn, both now gone --- that had been built by Archie Beals' parents.

Anyhow, I thought that little house with Edwin and Betty in it was the neatest thing since sliced bread when I was very small because it had a FURNACE in the basement while most of the rest of us still were heating with stoves.