Introduction to the Wilbert S. Myers webpage Back to Home Page


I have only one memory of my Grandfather Myers because I was not quite three-years-old when he died. But I can remember him playing, "this little piggy" with my toes. There are no photos of this incident, nor stories from my parents - it was just me on a chair in the front parlor at 341 No. Washington Avenue, Whittier, California, and his face very close to mine, laughing, as he pinched my toes!

He died suddenly, of a heart attack, soon after, on March 30, 1940.


My grandmother called him "Wib," but the townspeople knew him as "W. S." He was a co-owner of Myers Bros. Dry Goods, a mercantile establishment, first in Miami, MO, and later in Whittier, CA, but he was seldom in his office. More likely he would be sweeping the floor, waiting on customers, dressing the windows, or stocking new goods. At home he rose early to sweep the walks, tend the chickens, weed and water....all before breakfast. He was adored by his wife and family, his employees, and his many friends. His death was too soon, bringing sorrow to all who knew him....and most certainly to me.

Years later, I would find him again......

At right is a photo of W. S. Myers and his grand-daughter, Meredyth Lee Myers, taken in 1938.

From the time he was 16-years-old, W. S. Myers kept a diary, and continued these daily writings until the day he died. But, so grieved was my grandmother at his death, she tucked these little books away, in an old trunk, never to look at them again. Twelve years later, at her death, my mother moved that old trunk to a small storage area under our house, and there it sat, holding all its treasure, for another 44-years. It was in 1996, at my own mother�s death, that I was reunited with my grandfather. And not only with him, but, unexpectedly, with the bustling, lively commerce and community of Miami, Missouri, where he grew to manhood.

In a brief visit to the Miami area, and cemetery, in 1997, I recognized the names on the stones as if they were "family," and realized that, by transcribing the diaries for all to read, I could breathe life into the now deserted business area and literally put these "old friends" back in their homes, strolling to Church and school, the River, riding the "hack" to Marshall, and the train to the 1893 World�s Fair in Chicago.

In late 1998, in spare moments, I began to copy the old pages, word by word, correcting only some obvious misspellings: e.g. he always wrote "staid" when he meant "stayed." And, if he mentioned the weather more than once, I omitted the second reference if he repeated the first.

In 2005, I was able to complete "the Miami years, 1887 - 1905," and they are presented here for your enjoyment. As you read through the diaries, I hope you find your loved ones, but, should your ancestors not be named, let the daily routine, social events, illness and death, geography, and human endeavor give you a sense of their lives.

Sincerely, Meredyth (Myers) Devin