THERON A. MYERS. The business community of Protection and vicinity knows Theron A. Myers in the character of a merchant, a man who has sold good and reliable commodities to that community for many years, and whose prosperity has been built up largely on the resources of his character and the service he has rendered.
He spent his boyhood in Comanche County and had to endure the stress of hardship which befell nearly all the early settlers. He was only nine years old his parents came to this community.
Mr. Myers was born in Putnam County, Ohio, nine miles south of Defiance, February 24, 1876. His father, the late Michael M. Myers, was born in Pennsylvania about ninety years ago, son of Samuel Myers, who married a Miss Thomas. When Michael was a small child his parents moved to Ohio and he was married in Ashland County, and from Putnam County of that state he enlisted twice for service in the Union army. In April, 1861, at the very outbreak of the war, he went into the three months' service with the Fifteenth Ohio Infantry. As a private he participated in the West Virginia campaign, fighting at Philippi, Laurel Hill and Beverly on Cheat River. When he was discharged he returned home, but in April, 1863, again joined the old regiment and was in service through some of the heaviest fighting in the South until his second honorable discharge on May 7, 1865. With the Fifteenth Ohio, during his second enlistment, he fought at Pittsburg Landing, Stone River, Chickamauga, Chattanooga, Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge. He was twice wounded, once through the shoulder and once through the side. These wounds were a heavy handicap to him, and undoubtedly hastened his death. In politics he was a republican and was a member of the Methodist Church. Michael Myers married Charlotte Plumb, daughter of William Plumb.
In 1885 they and their children came to Comanche County, settling two and a half miles south of Protection. Protection was then just beginning to build up. It was an inland country place, the only store being on the site of "Aunt Jane" Fish's present home. The very first effort at merchandising had been made in a tent on the block where Charles Harden now lives. Entering land at his location south of Protection, Michael Myers spent the rest of his days trying to win a living in that locality. He had come to Comanche County from Sumner County, Kansas. He arrived here with two teams, two wagons and very limited capital. His first home was a dugout of one room. This room was partitioned off with a rag carpet. The family lived there for eighteen months, then went into a combination "soddy" and frame house of two rooms and lived there until the parents passedaway. Michael Myers made part of his living as a farmer, and secured a good crop the first year. Gradually the seasons became less reliable until practically nothing was raised from the land, and all hands were then compelled to seek work away from home. Mr. Theron A. Myers has many recollections of that period in the family history. There was a time when dried apples was the chief article of diet, and when a change of clothing was not to be thought of. He is able to appreciate the conditions of some of the famine-stricken districts of the great war, since he, too, when a boy, frequently went to bed hungry. So numerous were the discouragements that the family would have left the country had they been able to do so. The farm was mortgaged and other debts accumulated, and when Michael Myers died these burdens still continued to those he left behind. Michael Myers died in 1887. His wife was killed by lightning in 1891.
From the conditions briefly suggested it is evident that Michael Myers had his hands full in providing for his family, and therefore was never active in politics. However, he showed a keen interest in education and helped organize the first school district, and the schoolhouse was built upon two acres he donated for that purpose. It was a frame building, and the first term of school was taught by Egbert Cook.
The family of Michael Myers and wife consisted of the following children: Charles, who died at Lawton, Oklahoma, leaving two children; Erskine M., of Ashland County, Ohio; Alberta, wife of J. A. Murray, of Protection; William B., of Myrtle Point, Oregon; Theron A.; Harvey E., of Coldwater, Kansas, and Eva, wife of AIlie Murray, of Comanche County.
Theron A. Myers attended school at the district which his father had helped in organizing, and he remained a part of the family home and shared in its work until he was about eighteen years old. Since that time his life has been spent in commercial lines chiefly. He was clerk for Shultise and Allerdice at Coldwater, beginning at $15 a month wages and boarding himself. He laid the foundation of a thorough business experience with that firm for five years, and was still getting meager wages when he left. Then for a time he learned and worked at the barber's trade, but did not favor it as a permanent vacation. He then went back to the farm and for two years was a hand, working at $12 a month the first year and the following year putting in crops on the shares. As a share cropper his efforts were rather discouraging, and, as he says, he "raised hardly enough to feed a goat." Returning to the commercial life at Protection, he went to work for J. W. Way as clerk, and was with him three years. By thrift and earnest saving habits he accumulated $275 out of his wages, and this was the modest capital with which he began business for himself. As a merchant he opened up a stock of goods in a little room 10 by 12 feet, with shelving on one side and at one end. A table sufficed for a counter. Nine months later he was able to take the north side of the John Keys storeroom and put in it a stock worth about $500. Eighteen months later came another move to his own building, a new structure 24 by 30 feet, which he opened with about $700 worth of goods. His fourth and final move came in December, 1916, when he occupied his present building, 25 by 100 feet, of brick construction. This building now houses a stock valued at $5,000, and as a general merchant he does business all over the country around Protection. Besides contributing one of its substantial business blocks he has improved one of the good residences of the town.
Mr. Myers, like his father, has always been too busy to enter politics as an office seeker. He votes the republican ticket, is active in Masonry, in which he has attained the thirty-second degree in the Scottish Rite, and he and his wife are members of the Methodist Church. He took his first degrees in Masonry at Coldwater, Kansas, where he holds his membership in the lodge and chapter and is affiliated with the Commandery and the Consistory and Shrine at Wichita.
May 1, 1904, in Comanche County, Mr. Myers married Miss Nellie Baxter, daughter of Marble L. and Lillie (Lowery) Baxter, who were early settlers of Comanche County, coming from Howard County, Indiana. Mrs. Myers was the oldest of the family, the others being Fred, Pearl (wife of John Bedinger of Protection), Lewis and Mack. Mrs. Myers was born in Indiana in April, 1885. They have one son, Lane Michael Myers.
Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p.,  leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.
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