Title: Genealogical and personal history of western Pennsylvania Vol. 2
Author: Jordan, John W. (John Woolf), 1840-1921.
“MYERS - HERMAN JOSEPH MYERS is a member of an old Germany family typical of the best character of that strong and dominant race which has contributed so large and valuable an element to the make-up of our composite Americn citizenship, an element which has served as a leaven of its own peculiar virtues of industry and unswerving pursuit of an objective, in that same citizenship.
(I) PETER MYERS, grandfather of HERMAN JOSEPH MYERS, was a native of Germany, and passed his childhood and youth in that country.His birth occurred in 1802, and it was not until 1842, forty years later, that he left his native land.He had by that time married and was the father of a number of children, the eldest of whom was twelve years of age.The age was a troublous one for the energetic and enterprising young German, whose heart was set upon carving out a name for himself, for the aristocracy so long entrenched was making desperate efforts to control the strong democratic movement which was threatening their privileges and power, and which culminated a few years later in the Revolution of 1848-49.There seemed but one possibility for the German of democratic beliefs and feelings, but one way for him to escape the oppression of the ruling classes, or the still worse predicament of enlistment in the army and the necessity of aiding in the establishment of the very yoke so galling to themselves and their loved ones.This one way was no other than to leave the beloved “Fatherland” and seek one’s fortune elsewhere.It was this sad necessity which caused such a tremendous wave of emigration from Germany at that time, a wave which, followed by others not less large, has broken on the shore of the New World and brought to the United States a splendid set of citizens including such men as CARL SCHURZ and the HECKERS.With this great movement came PETER MYERS with his wife and family, at the age of forty years, to win his life anew in the new land.Upon his arrival in this country, he went directly to the Pennsylvania coal fields, and settled in the city of McKeesport, Allegheny county.Here he quickly found employment as a coal miner, in which occupation he continued for the remainder of his long life, or until he retired from active work altogether.His death occurred in 1890 at the age of eighty-eight years.His marriage had occurred in Germany, and wife accompanied him to the home in Pennsylvania, where she lived until 1899, and died at the venerable age of ninety-two years.To them were born six children, as follows: JOHN, of whom further; JACOB, CATHERINE, ELLEN, GERTRUDE, MINNIE, deceased.
(II) JOHN MYERS, eldest son of PETER and CATHERINE MYERS, was born in Germany in the year 1830, and was twelve years of age when his parents emigrated to America and brought him with them.Children attend school early in the “Fatherland” and JOHN MYERS had gained most of his education before he left his native land, being a pupil in the local Volkeschule.Upon arriving in the new home, he found employment, as did his father, in the coal mines of the region.The mining which was done there at that time was of an exceedingly primitive type, the coal which the men excavated being hauled out by dogs.JOHN MYERS was a very clever youth, who kept his eyes open for opportunities, and added to this asset was a most commendable industry.It was not a great while, therefore, before he was able to save sufficient capital to enable him to open a small grocery business, which in course of time grew to large proportions.Besides this business MR. MYERS, who was active in Republican politics, was appointed postmaster of the town of Coultersville, Allegheny county, and held that (pg. 828B - picture of H. J. Myers) (pg. 829) position for sixteen years or until the time of his death.Save for the somewhat meager education which he had received in Germany, he had nothing in the nature of formal training.He was, however, a great reader of books on his own account, and in this manner gained an excellent education, and was very broadly read.As above remarked, he was a Republican in politics, and took a keen interest in all the questions occupying the political arena in his day, whether of national or local application.He was a devoted member of the Catholic Church, as was his wife, and their children were reared in that faith.He married ELIZABETH BOST, also a native of Germany, born in the year 1833, daughter of WILLIAM and ANNIE (MAVIS) BOST, lifelong residents of that country.MR. and MRS. BOST were the parents of seven children, as follows: LOUIS, HENRY, MARIE, MARIAN, MARGARET, CATHERINE, ELIZABETH, above mentioned.All these children, with the exception of MARIAN and CATHERINE are now deceased.MR. and MRS. JOHN MYERS both died in the year 1905, on May 24 and July 23, respectively.To them were born twelve children, as follows: JOHN, GERTRUDE, LOUISA, LOUIS, ANNIE, MARY, LIZZY, deceased; HERMAN JOSEPH, of whom further; FRANK, CATHERINE, JACOB and GEORGE, both deceased.
(III) HERMAN JOSEPH MYERS, the eighth child of JOHN and ELIZABETH (BOST) MYERS, was born March 9, 1871, in Allegheny county, Pennsylvania.His education was received at the town of Coultersville that county, of which his father was appointed postmaster when HERMAN J. was about ten years old, and which was the home of the family for more than fifty years altogether.He attended the Catholic parochial school and the local public schools there, and after completing his studies he obtained a position as clerk in the grocery establishment of W. J. SHARPLES.He continued in this service for a period of ten years, and then again received a better appointment, this time as assistant postmaster of the city of McKeesport, an office which he held for the four-year term.He then accepted a position as bookkeeper for the concern of Bowman Brothers Company.In the meantime MR. MYERS had determined, when the occasion arose, to engage in business for himself, and with this end in view he plied himself with energy and zeal to his labors, living a frugal life the while, and was thus able to lay by a steadily increasing capital.His position with Bowman Brothers Company may thus be looked upon as merely a temporary expedient, in spite of the fact that it was five years before he felt justified in leaving them and embarking on his own adventure.It was in the autumn of1908 that he finally made the move, and established the Myers Coal Company with offices at Thirteenth and Market streets, McKeesport, which has ever since been the scene of his active and successful business career.The venture was never in doubt, and from the start the business has increased both rapidly and steadily, until in 1913 the firm was incorporated under the name of MYERS COAL COMPANY, with MR. MYERS as president and HENRY COLLIN as secretary and treasurer.The business is now one of the most important in the city, and MR. MYERS has (pg. 830) become one of the most prominent figures in the business and financial circles in the region.The company deals in coal and coke, fire brick and fire clay, lime, sewer pipe, cement and builders’ supplies.
Nor is this all.His interests are by no means confined, as in the case of so many of our successful business men, to the narrow limits of his personal affairs, but on the contrary embrace the general affairs of the community of which he is a member.This is especially the case in the matter of politics, in which he takes a deep and intelligent interest, and he is very active in the local councils of the Republican party, of which he is an ardent member.MR. MYERS has made his resident in the township of Versailles, Allegheny county, since his business has been in McKeesport, and it is in the former place that his political activities have lain.Here he is regarded as not only one of the most successful politicians of the neighborhood, but as possessing those fortunate characteristics which fit a man can adequately serve the public in any official capacity.As a consequence of these qualities, MR. MYERS has held well nigh all the posts of trust within the gift of the township.Among others he has occupied the position of treasurer, school director and clerk, besides being, as was his father before him, a delegate to the convention nominating DALZELLE, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
MR. MYERS married, October 7, 1896, CLARA B. SNYDER, also a native of Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, born May 4, 1877.MRS. MYERS is a daughter of JOSEPH and CATHERINE (LANG) SNYDER, of Versailles township, where he is large property owner.MR. and MRS. MYERSare the parents of four children, as follows: THELMA, born October 6, 1897, who despite her youth is a graduate from Duff’s Business College, and is now employed as a stenographer by the United Real Estate Company of McKeesport, Pennsylvania; HAROLD, born December 28, 1903; EDWARD, born January 27, 1908; HERBERT, born October 28, 1909.
MR. MYERS is one of the most successful business men of McKeesport, a stockholder in the City Bank of that place, and a large owner of property both there in Versailles township, among his valuable properties being his place of business at the corner of Thirteenth and Market streets.MR. MYERS and wife are members of the Catholic Church, as his family has always been, and they are rearing their children in the same faith.”