Bradford, Ohio Sentinel
Thursday, November 27, 1890
Funeral Services Of
Reported by Nate Iddings
In February, in the Canton of Wurtemburg, George Michael Myers was
born of humble parents. Across the country, two years later among the beautiful
scenes of Historical Switzerland, Veronica Depbeller first saw the light
of day. These two children, hundreds of miles apart, were reared to childhood
amid the scenes of country life. Educational facilities were scarce, but
a devotion to their parents, and a love of the right induced them to join
the church and live a Christian life. Mr. Myers uniting with the Lutheran
church, which at that time was the state church. At the age of 23 he bid
adieu to his native land and sailed for America, and after a rough passage,
which at that time lasted about three months, he landed in the United States,
and went immediately to the state of Pennsylvania.
Mrs. Myers was following the same course and after the usual hardships she too, arrived from her Switzerland home, and settled in the same neighborhood. They were not long in forming an acquaintance. The acquaintance brought on a love for each other that soon ripened into matrimony, which proved to be one of the fortunate unions, and their married life was most remarkable.
It continued for 54 years, when Mrs. Myers sickened and died. Mrs. Myers was a dutiful wife, a kind mother and a most excellent neighbor. Her husband was attentive, honorable and industrious. He was a carpet weaver, and the writer well remembers when he was crowded with work, that he tried to get him to put in a carpet outside of its turn, but he was so honorable in his promises that he refused to do it. Mrs. Myers was engaged with the promise of a new dress if she could succeed in inducing the husband to break his promise. So anxious was he to please his customer, and also his wife, he arose early the next morning and visited all his patrons, and obtained their consent to the postponement of their work, before he would displace any one from his turn. The carpet was woven, a great deal of it by burning the midnight oil, the dress was delivered and it was ever afterwards a source of delight to them that she had succeeded in getting him to please her, and that he had also obtained the consent of his customers to postpone their turn.
He was always honorable in his dealings, never having had a lawsuit in his life, and was never called as a witness. During all this time, no one ever heard of father or mother Myers having any trouble. During all his struggles to get along in the world, he was never heard to utter a cross word to anyone. They had eleven children born unto them, five sons and six daughters. Six are yet living, four sons and two daughters. To these 43 grand children have been born, and 59 great grand children. whose long and faithful watching is to be commended. He never suffered severe illness.
About a year ago last June he attended a funeral service at Pleasant Hill; it was a rainy day, and he caught a cold that would not yield to treatment, and he gradually went down like a candle in its socket, and expired without a murmur. His physical body had been well cared for. The organs had reached the goal of their existence together, and he was almost translated to a better world without the sting of death. He was aged 94 years, 8 months, and 26 days. Pleasant Hill Christian Church, and was as follows: oldest man in this township, and know not, that there is an older man in Miami County. There cannot be but few. When we remember his great age, when we think of what an eventful period in the world's history the age of father Myers covers, it seems to me to be a very remarkable life.
His birth place was in far away Germany, and like his native country he loved it dearly, the country that is dear to many hearts that are here today from its tender associations, from associations that closed about their home life, and the life of their fathers and mothers, or of their grandfathers and mothers. I say that country is very dear to many hearts, and since brother Myers was rocked in the cradle of his native country, behold what marvelous changes and revolutions have occurred there. Germany was not an empire as it is today. It was a confederation of states. It has had its wars with Austria, Italy and France, and many other states, and its construction as an empire, by which it has become one of the greatest nations in the world today. That has all taken place since the birth of brother Myers.
It was not until the Franco-Prussian war of 1871, that the German Empire was established, and the names of Bismarck, Von Moltke and Frederick William, how they loom up as among the most stirring and remarkable historic personages in the world. When father Myers was a little child Von Moltke was not born, and he too is a man of advanced age, having but recently celebrated his 90th birthday. Germany has become the most remarkable nation of the world in many respects, and this wonderful stride has taken place very largely within the lifetime of our departed brother.
Look also at the progress of the other nations of the world, England if you please with her remarkable history, and the history of our own dear United States, that he has witnessed. When brother Myers was a child, George the Third was King of England, and the ruler at the time of the Revolution in our own country. He sat upon the throne, and was followed by George the Fourth, William the Fourth, and then by Queen Victoria, who still occupies that exalted position. What remarkable changes have taken place in the lifetime of brother Myers. It seems remarkable. Napoleon came upon the theatre of action as the great disintegrator of nations. He came like a star glimmering forth, and disappeared since brother Myers came upon the stage of action.
We do not need to look across the waters, but to our own country, to see the wonderful growth that has been crowded within his lifetime. When brother Myers was a little child in his mother's arms, General Washington sat in the Presidential chair of our country. So that when we look upon our brother as he lies before us today, we know that his life has covered the period of the world's history which has seen every president of the United States sitting in the chair. Is that not remarkable? It is true that brother Myers was only one year old when General Washington retired from the presidency, but all these stirring events of our country, of this great revolutions that have occurred, pushing the Indian to the frontier further and further away, and the growth of American institutions.
Slavery and its destruction, and the progress of this grand country until it has become the greatest country that the sun has ever shone upon. All this has occurred within the lifetime of brother Myers. When I thought of these stirring events that have happened in the life of our brother, I thought what a remarkable incident it is for us to stand today in the presence of one whose life has linked this year back to the year when General Washington was President of the United States. I say then, this remarkable life, from the fact that it covers a period that relates to the grandest achievements in the history of nations. Railroads were unknown, the telephone was unborn, the great forces of electricity were hidden, printing was in its infancy, and stenography was unknown. But he has seen them all brought to perfection. I want to say to you that grand has been the history of nations, grand and startling has been the events that have crowded each other in the life time of this man, yet a more remarkable view is to be found in the life of our brother Myers. It is cheering and comforting to all these friends, as it is a consolation to all of us, and a gratifying fact that when our brother Myers was young in life, he became a follower of his Lord, Jesus Christ. When he was fourteen years of age he became a member of the Lutheran church in Germany. That was the religion of the state, if I mistake not, that at the age of 14 they must be christened and confirmed as members of the church, and at that age he was taken in as a member. He had studied his bible and there were many passages that he could quote. I question whether there is one in this audience today that can quote more of the Bible than brother Myers could, when he became a member of the Lutheran church.
He selected at that time a passage of scripture, that should be a motto of his life. That would be the inspiration of the years to come, and it was read in our hearing this morning. "Remember Thy Creator, in the days of thy youth." That was the passage of scripture that he selected, and it has ever been in his heart. He has frequently spoken to his friends about it, and a few months ago when he thought he probably would not live long he called to his side a loving friend and bid her take the pen and write what he should have to say. He told her of the events of his life, and now he says, write down that passage of scripture, that has been my motto and my inspiration all these years. And she wrote as he dictated the passage of scripture, and from that time forward, and during his whole life, brother Myers has been a consistent Christian.
His life has been a beautiful administration of the powers of a Christian life. It has not been demonstrative; it has not been loud in its profession, but it has been a quiet, peaceful, and beautiful Christian life, and his daily walk has said to the world that he has been with Christ and learned of him. This then is one of the great characteristics of his life. All these years, four score and ten and more, they have been devoted to the service of the master. He has loved him well. He has said, Follow in my foot steps to emulate the virtues of Christ, by his own life, and this my friends is the grandest legacy that he could possibly leave to his children, to his prosperity. I am rejoiced to know this, that he was a Christian, and I rejoice in this great fact, for I care not of what church he may come or have been a member, that is not the question, but the question is to the life he has lived. A man is not a Christian simply because he is a member of church, because he may be identified with a church organization, but, he only whose life, whose daily walk, whose example, the virtues of whose life tells to the world, in words that can be uttered orally. This is the great test, after all, of Christian disciples.
Now it is in this way that father Myers has demonstrated the beauties of the Christian life. He has lived a Godly life. He has said, Follow in the foot steps of the Master, and be prepared for the end that was to come. After long waiting, that eventful time came. I doubt not that the bright prospect of home before him gave him more cheer and comfort than it was possible for him to express to his friends. No words can tell the joy of his heart. No words can express the gratitude and emotion of his soul as it contemplated the great life before him. He waited long for it to come and carry him away. Since I have known brother Myers he seemed to me as one whose work was done and who was waiting for his master. It reminded me of John the Revelator when he was on the isle of Patmos. He too was old. Some writers say he was 94 years of age, just the age of our brother, some think a little older. What was his expression? At the close of his book of Revelations, in the 22nd chapter and 20th verse, he says "Even so come Lord Jesus." He was just waiting. I had thought that was just the date father Myers has kept. He was waiting.
It seems to me that is one of the most beautiful positions that a man can be placed in. When we are young and full of activit y and strength we have responsibilities resting upon us, and active work that we must discharge ,but when old age comes, it seems to me it is grand to contemplate, that we can lay aside all care, all responsibility, and simply wait the Lord's coming, and that, to me, is beautiful old age. If there is any one in the world that is a rival in the affections of my heart of little children's innocence and beauty and purity it is the aged pilgrim that is close up to the evening of life. One who has come down to the end of the journey, hovering upon the verge of time and ready to step across the mystic stream into the beautiful beyond. Grand then are the closing hours of brother Myers life. It was in his spirit that he could lie upon his bed day after day, and month after month, perfectly contented, never a murmur, never a complaint. He was looking yonder. He knew his Lord would come, because he knew that the time would soon be at hand when he should be called from his earthly life into that heavenly life. That was the reason that he had that complaisance of heart, and Christian fortitude.
When we would go up to his room to talk with him, a smile would come upon his face, he could not talk our language so well, but he could make himself understood, he did not hesitate to tell the condition of his heart, and it was always well. Not a word of complaint, not a murmur, he was just waiting for the Lord to come. Then he would have us pray with him, and that gave him great cheer as I stood by his bedside, I received grand inspirations. I said let my last days be like his. I said this in my heart, may I be faithful to the end as father Myers has been, may I by life and walk of faithful devotion to the master, say that I loved him, and be faithful to the end. Father Myers is gone. His life's work is done, and well done. Christ has come and taken him home unto himself.
When I heard of brother Myers, I thought what a greeting there must have been over in the other land. He had not seen his father for so many years, and I thought it was sad for him that he had not been permitted to go to their graves and place upon them some little token of love and respect. He had not been permitted to do this since he was a young man. Those of us whom have departed friends know how well we love to visit the little mound and place upon it a flower. How we love to go there and meditate. How we love to go there that we may receive comfort, that we may express our love and respect. Father Myers has not been able to do that for so many years. I thought when he went over there, who should be there first to greet him. That companion, the father and mother he had not seen for seventy years. I thought what a grand meeting that would be for him. He was like a weary pilgrim going home. He is at home at last. What a beautiful home. Yet he is gone. These sorrowing hearts are mourning today.
Their father has been spared to them for many years. Very few families are thus blessed. God has been very gracious to them. It does not matter how long our friends linger, we are never prepared to bid them go, and they cannot take their departure without causing a pang of sorrow to strike the heart, and so it is with these children. Some of them have passed the middle of life, and are entering what we might call old age, and they have had the guardian care of this father for all these years. His life has been an example to them, and inspiration to them. As they look upon that calm, peaceful, quiet Christian life, their sorrow is as those whose hearts are full of joy, and they rejoice to know that all is well with father Myers. That he is in that innumerable throng who have washed their robes white in the blood of the lamb.
This is your joy, and your consolation, and my admonition to you today as it is to all of us, "continue faithful," and at last you will meet him again. May the Lord lead us, and may you walk in the ways of life, may your last end be as was the end of Father Myers and all will be well. Your family circle is already broken. Some of the sisters and brothers are there. Some of your children are there to greet grandpa. Yes, he is with them now. He will never visit your homes again. You will miss him. You can have the consolation, if you are faithful you will meet him by and by. May the Lord bless you all. May the Lord bless the church of which our brother was a member, and all those who labor in that church, and also the pastor. Bless us all, and finally save us without the loss of one.
From "History of Miami Co., Ohio" (Unigraphic), Pub 1880: H. H. MYERS, dealer in boots and shoes, Pleasant Hill; one of the enterprising businessmen of Pleasant Hill; was born in Lancaster Co., Penn, in 1843; he is of German parentage, then son of Michael and Roney Myers, who were both natives of Germany. They emigrated to America early in the present century, and located in Pennsylvania. Michael Myers was born in 1796, and is still living at the advanced age of 84 years, with his mental and physical facultie s well preserved. Our subjects early education was limited to the common schools of Pennsylvania; he early turned his attention to the trade of shoemaker, which has been his vocation through life. During the late civil war, he exchanged the comforts of home for the privations and hardships of the camp and battlefield. He served three years as a member of the 110th O.V.I., which distinguished itself in many hard-fought battles. Our subject participated in the battles of Winchester, the Wilderness, the Shenandoah campaigns, the siege of Petersburg, and many others; at this latter place, Mr. Myers received a severe wound on the head, while storming the enemy's works, occasioned by a blow dealt with a gun in the hands of a rebel; he was honorably discharged at Columbus, Ohio, on the 2d day of July, 1865. After returning home, he resumed shoemaking; this he has since continued with an interval of four years, which time was engaged in farming. He now carries a large and well assorted stock of boots and shoes, and practices integrity in all of his transactions. His marriage was celebrated with Miss Mary E. Jay in 1871. Three children have been born to them.
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