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California Genealogy and History Archives

Biographies
of
San Bernardino County and Riverside County

 

DATUS E. MYERS was born at Harrison, Ohio, March 15, 1842,' and died in Riverside, California, May 30, 1919. He was the son of Henry and Martha Myers, who were both natives of Pennsylvania.  

Those were pioneer days in Ohio, when the waterways were the only highroads and most of the early settlers came to this rich and virgin wilderness by way of the Ohio River, with their few worldly goods on a raft. In such manner the parents of Mr. Myers arrived and cast in their lot with the early settlers of Cincinnati, where in a nearby village Mr. Myers was born. He was the youngest of twelve children, and his early life was full of the constructive influences of those pioneer days. No person can successfully form a character without overcoming obstacles, especially one of Mr. Myers virile and keen mind. Through the loss of inherited property this large family of children were forced to face the world and battle with it. Datus Myers, being the youngest and last at home, had to not only carve his own way but help to take care of his old parents. Boy that he was, he assumed the task with a dauntless courage, and although he had to give up hope of further schooling, yet he never for one moment permitted that to interfere with his education. An omnivorous reader and with a perfect memory, he proceeded to use every spare moment in the company of the best and most profound books, to such good purpose that in the evening of his life, after he had retired from business, he spent his time in study and writing his mind growing more wonderful and brilliant with each succeeding year.  

He made a very exhaustive study of the history of the North American Indian and the book which he wrote on the subject was accepted by one of the leading publishing houses, but on account of war conditions it was not published. His last book was a discussion of practical civics, but the same conditions obtained and the book was never printed.  

As a young man and growing with his years the quality of patriotism was developed to its highest point. At the outbreak of the Civil war he promptly enlisted on the side of the Union and fought with the Eighty-third Ohio Volunteer Infantry for three years. During one of the hardest engagements he carried not only his own colors but those of the Twenty-third Wisconsin, whose color bearers had been shot down again and again. Catching up the flag as it was going down, he rallied the men of the Wisconsin Regiment to a final charge. For this act of bravery he was given a furlough to carry the Wisconsin colors back to the organization that presented them, and they are now at the State House in Madison.  

After his return from the war he went up the Mississippi River by steamboat to claim his bride, Ida Louise Watkins. They were married on September 6, 1865. Four daughters were born to them, two of whom, Mrs. H. A. Atwood and Miss Julia Myers, together with Mrs. Myers, survive him.  

Mr. Myers was a man who thought big thoughts and engaged in big things. His career in the real estate business was marked by big ventures, which finally won him a competence. As superintendent of a men's reformatory in St. Cloud, Minnesota, he worked out policies that put him in the first rank with penologists; as a politician he cared nothing for place but loved to play the game ; as a citizen he stood for the highest and best He loved California and Riverside, and many years ago made the decision that this was to be the home in his dedining years and his final resting place.  

The most striking characteristic of Mr. Myers was his dauntless courage the courage of the losing fight, and to the end he faced life and all its exigencies with an unconquered spirit.


Source:
History of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties 
By: John Brown, Jr., Editor for San Bernardino County 
And James Boyd, Editor for Riverside County 
With selected biography of actors and witnesses of the period 
of growth and achievement.
Volume III, the Western Historical Association, 1922, 
The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, ILL

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011