Person:Joseph Myers (21)

Joseph Oliver Myers
m. 19 Feb 1852
  1. Syrena Alice Myers1852 - 1933
  2. Mary Ann Myers1854 - 1880
  3. Roena Margery Myers1856 - 1934
  4. Joseph Oliver Myers1859 - 1904
  5. Sarah Jane Myers1861 - 1870
m. 11 May 1882
  1. Cordelia Joseph Myers1895 - 1963
Facts and Events
Name Joseph Oliver Myers
Gender Male
Birth[3][4] 19 Jan 1859 Rose Hill, Mahaska County, Iowa
Marriage 11 May 1882 to Cordelia Jane Leathers
Marriage License 11 May 1882 What Cheer, Keokuk County, Iowato Cordelia Jane Leathers
Death[3][4] 30 Jul 1904 Oskaloosa, Mahaska County, Iowa
Burial[4] Forest Cemetery, Oskaloosa, Mahaska, Iowa, United States
On back, "Joe Myers, 1888, age 29"
On back, "Joe Myers, 1888, age 29"

Joseph Myers, known universally in his family and in the community as "Joe," attended Oskaloosa College for a time before going to work, then worked most of his life for the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway -- first as a "helper" at Rose Hill, Iowa, in 1879; then as a night telegraph operator at Marengo, Iowa, the same year; then as a fully qualified operator at Colfax and Malcolm, Iowa. He worked at Grinnell, Iowa, as a supervising operator in 1879-80. He became a freight agent at Atalissa, Iowa & Kellogg, Iowa, in 1881-87, then was the agent at Beatrice, Nebraska, in 1887-90. He became a traveling freight agent, 1890-93, then was the commercial agent at Wichita, Kansas, 1893-99, where his only child was born and where his wife died as a result of complications in the birth. He rose to be secretary to the general freight agent of the company in 1899 and served in that capacity until his own early death in 1904.S1

Joe became a freemason at Atalissa in 1880, and later advanced in rank to both 32d Degree (Scottish Rite) and Knight Templar (York Rite). Masonic membership was common among mid-level railroad men at this time, as it was in several other professions and skilled occupations.S1


Keokuk County, Iowa, 1885 state census:S2

Myers, Joseph 24 yrs Store Clerk b. Mahaska County
      Cordelia 23 yrs "K. H." b. Mahaska County

I have not been able to locate Joseph Myers anywhere in Iowa in the 1900 census.


No will or probate file has been found in the Mahaska courthouse, perhaps because Joe was peripatetic in his employment and never owned even a house. Also because he moved around so often, Joe's daughter, Cordelia, lived with her grandmother, Margaret (Mattox) Leathers, after her own mother's death in childbirth. After her son-in-law's death in 1904, Margaret took over full responsibility for her granddaughter's upbringing (and, reportedly, spoiled her unmercifully).

  1.   A History of the Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific Railway System. (np: C.R.I.P. Railway, 1904).
  2.   Keokuk, Iowa, United States. 1885 Iowa State Census, p. 86, house/family 210/206.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Cordelia (Myers) Smith, Family History Notes.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Grave marker, Forest Cemetery, Oskaloosa, Mahaska, Iowa, United States.
  5.   Docket Bk 8, in Mahaska, Iowa, United States. Probates, p. 293 (Box 621).

    Will entered into probate, 25 Oct 1904 (Record Bk Q, p. 432) -- referred on affidavits of witnesses.
    J.H. Leathers, admin. ($2,000 bond)
    Final report, 11 Nov 1905 (Record Bk Q, p. 74) [or: Bk 8, p. 92]