Transcribed by Brandi McLoughlin
24 Aug 2012
J. L. Myers – Page 1142-1144
No citizen of Whiteside county is more widely or more favorably known than he whose name introduces this record. He came here, one of the pioneers of this section of the state, and with the other early settlers bore his full share in the arduous labor carried on in the development and improvement of this district, and now, after long years of earnest and persistent toil – years which have been crowned with splendid success, he is living a contented and happy life on his well improved farm of 202 acres, situated in Genesee township, where he expects to spend the evening of his life in honorable retirement.
Mr. Myers was born in Carroll county, Maryland, November 29th, 1829, a son of Joseph and Mary (Lehman) Myers, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania. The mother died in the Keystone state, but the father passed away in McDonough county, Illinois. Their family numbered 9 children, but only 3 are now living, the 2 brothers of our subject being Andrew L. and Isaac L., the former a resident of Pennsylvania, while the latter makes his home in Washington.
J. L. Myers was reared and educated in his native state, his studies being pursued in one of the old-time log school houses of that day, wherein the methods of instruction were equally as primitive as was the building. He remained under the parental roof until he had reached the age of 20 years. Believing, however, that the west offered better business opportunities for the ambitious young man, he resolved to come to Illinois, the year of his arrival being 1852, at which time he located in Franklin Grove, Ogle county, this state, where for a short time he worked at his trade, but once more returned to Whiteside county, and has since made this his home. In 1855 he went to Iowa and entered 80 acres of land from the government, but soon afterward traded that property for 80 acres of wild land in Whiteside county. He developed and improved this property and was engaged in its cultivation for 7 years, at the end of which time he disposed of that farm and bought 149 acres in Genesee township, this constituting a part of his present home. He here energetically took up the work of improving and developing the land, raising the cereals best adapted to soil and climate, and each year gathered rich crops as a reward for the care and labor which he bestowed upon the fields. As time passed and he prospered in his undertakings, he extended the boundaries of his farm by additional purchases, until at one time he possessed 800 acres, but he has since divided with his children, giving to each an 80 acre tract, and has retained but 202 acres in his home property, whereon he is no living, practically retired. In addition to tilling the fields he also engaged in raising and feeding stock, and this branch of his business added not a little to his financial income, which made possible his extensive purchase of land. He was always very methodical in his farm labor, while in his business transactions he was honorable and straightforward, so that his prosperity is well deserved.
It was in 1857 that Mr. Myers was united in marriage to Miss Nancy J. Cochenour, who was also born in the Keystone state, and was one of a family of 9 children. She dies on the 3rd of November, 1904. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Myers were born 4 children: Mary Ellen is the widow of D. W. Shank and resides with her father. She has 3 children, 2 of whom survive, namely: Emma, the wife of Charles Mock, of Whiteside county; and Joseph, who lives with her mother and grandfather. John A. Myers makes his home in Washington. Joseph E. resides in Genesee township.
A republican in principle and practice. Mr. Myers gives stalwart support to the party and has served as school director and road commissioner. His religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Baptist church. As a pioneer resident of the county it is but fitting that the record of Mr. Myers’ life should find place in this volume. He stands today as a high type of American manhood, one who has won unbounded success in life through his own energy, and careful management, and now, in the evening of life, he is enjoying in honorable retirement, the accumulations of profitable and successful careers.