Myron W. Angel
1827 - 27 June 1911
- 12 May 1860
Father Mother William Angel Eunice Fairchild
It took some digging, but the Internet finally came through on this one! Myron and Eugene were first cousins of David Fairchild's children. It was, on the Fairchild side, as their mother was Eunice Fairchild, the sister of David Fairchild.
Myron Angel grew up in Oneonta, in Upstate New York. Myron W. Angel of Milford, New York, was admitted to the U.S. Military Academy on July 1, 1846, at the age of eighteen years, seven months. At the examinations held in June 1848, Angel was found deficient in both mathematics and French. He resigned from the Academy effective June 30, 1848. That info came from Suzanne Christoff, Associate Director for Special Collections and Archives, USMA Library. Leaving West Point at the urging of his brother, Eugene, to go west and search for gold. The lure of gold led the two to California. They had many misadventures as they crossed the continent. In one case they became seperated from their trunks. When the wagon train carrying them had to lighten the load, Myron's trunk of books and clothes was jettisoned in the sand. An Army officer came upon it and finding the West Point markings, had it shipped west via military wagons.
They may have been influenced by their Uncle, David Fairchild, and their first cousins in making the decision to move. The brothers arrived in San Diego in 1849 and traveled up the coast to San Francisco. Attempting to find food and shelter, they despaired of finding a job. When an offer was finally made to Myron, a job to shingle the roof of a house, he had to turn down the opportunity because, "I never drove a nail in my life." This experience made an impression on him that would lead to future support for training in the practical aspects of life; that is, the need for vocational education. The trunk of books caught up with them and the sale of those books was instrumental in feeding the two through the winter.
Eugene was a business partner with Mahlon D. Fairchild in a number of investments. He was an attorney as well as a surveyor.
The brothers crossed the mountains into the Utah and Nevada territories, and had many adventures there. The outcome of one such adventure was fatal to Eugene.
Welcome Tori Amos Fans! I hope you are enjoying "Scarlet's Walk" and find some interesting information as you visit the sites provided.
The following items are the ones that led to this site's inclusion as a link on the CD.
The Ovid Bee - September 26, 1860
CALIFORNIA.-- Rumor was rife here some two or more months ago that a brother of ours, (Mahlon) and a cousin, Eugene Angel, had been either captured or massacred by the Indians, in California, sometime in May last. We have been in painful suspense ever since, until a day or two ago, the following letter, written by a brother of Mr. Angel to his sister in Otsego county, arrived here, confirming the rumor in regard to the probable fate of our cousin -- and escape of our brother.
Pilot Hill, El Dorado Co.,
California, June 8, 1860
My letters have usually been of a sad and sorrowful nature, in giving a faithful account of the hardships and misfortunes that have attended Eugene and myself, but never has it fallen to my lot before to write a letter bearing so sad news as this.
I lately sent you a paper containing an account of a battle with the Indians near Pyramid Lake, in Utah Territory. Our dear brother Eugene was in the battle. You will see by the paper that nearly all the command retreated leaving a few brave and good men to the mercy of the Savages. A gentleman -- Maj. Ormsby was Captain of the company from Carson City, and Eugene was Lieutenant, Eugene, Maj O. and another person whose name has escaped my memory, were the last on the field. Maj. O. died a few miles from the battle ground, and the other escaped and reports that he saw Eugene's horse running amont the Indians without a rider. No one saw him fall, but his long absence forbids all hope. I did not learn of his being in the battle until two weeks after it, as his name was not reported in the papers, and Mahlon did not inform me of it, as he was endeavoring to raise a party to go in search of him and others, owing to the want of arms and the panic that existed he did not succeed. I expect to see Mahlon in a day or two and shall go over the mountain as soon as I can.
The many reflections this sad occurrence gives rise to are too harrowing to my feelings to record. Eugene was brave, generous and honorable, and was cut off at the moment that a prospect of an easier and pleasanter life was opening to view but he has fallen--not unwept--no indeed--but unhonored and unknown. He had many friends in California and Utah, and none who fell are mourned more sincerely than Eugene. Poor Eugene! his acquirements and abilities were such as to enable him to rise to a higher position, but he was not one of those who press themselves forward into notice disregardful of abilities, as is the case with most of the prominent men of this State.
Your affectionate Brother,
Myron W. Angel.
This letter recalls the May 12, 1860, Paiute War, or Pyramid Lake War, at Big Bend in the Truckee River Valley in Nevada.
Paiutes under Numaga ambushed a party of Nevada volunteers being led by Major William Ormsby. This series of conflicts was caused by the kidnapping of two young Indian women by three white men who held them at their cabin. The men were subsequently killed by a band of rescuing Indians.
In the first major confrontation on May 12th of 1860, a poorly organized and badly armed group of white miners and settlers headed for the Indian settlement. As they got near Pyramid Lake the ill equipped mob was ambushed. Eugene had borrowed Mahlon Dickerson Fairchild's shotgun for the expedition. Neither was seen again. This skirmish resulted in an Indian victory in which 76 white men, including Eugene and Major Ormsby, were killed.
There was no mail service for a few weeks after Ormsby was defeated in this battle. The general Indian uprising at this time lead to attacks that resulted in the loss of many Pony Express riders along with their horses, not to mention the destruction of every rest station between California and Salt Lake.
In a later confrontation on the 2nd of June, the Indians were outnumbered by the now better-organized settlers. The settlers proved victorious, killing almost 160 Indians while suffering a loss of only 3 or 4 of their own number. No further hostilities ensued; the Indians were driven off their reservation, but later were allowed to return so long as they agreed to use peaceful means to settle disputes and grievances. Myron considered his brother a hero of the event and a more detailed story can be found in The History of Nevada, edited by Myron in 1881.
Myron considered his brother a hero of the event and a more detailed story can be found in The History of Nevada, edited by Myron in 1881.
Eventually, helped by his Fairchild relatives and their penchant for publishing, Myron Angel became a journalist, editing and reporting for the Reese River Reveille. While doing so he acquired knowledge and understanding of Nevada and California, specifically the Sacramento region. He also began to understand the practical operations of state government.
While visiting his family in Oneonta, New York, the new normal school there attracted his attention. It was training teachers to emphasize hands-on and practical things in life. He brought back this concept to California. Once home he started a movement to acquire legislative funding for a normal school in the San Luis Obispo area similar to the one in Oneonta. This eventually lead to the founding of The California Polytechnic School on January 1, 1902.
Located at the corner of Broad and Buchon Streets in San Luis Obispo, California, this picture is from the San Luis Obispo web site and shows the home of Myron Angel.
San Luis Obispo Tribune - June 28th, 1911
DIED. ANGEL - In this city, June 27, 1911, Myron Angel, beloved husband of Caroline F. Angel; a native of Oneonta, New York, aged 83 years, 6 months, 26 days. Funeral services Thursday, June 19, 1911, at the family residence, No. 714 Buchon Street at 10:30 o'clock. A.M. Interment in IOOF cemetery.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend. (San Francisco, Los Angeles and Eastern papers please copy.)
History of Nevada, By Myron Angel. Thompson & West, Oakland, CA (1881)
The History of Placer County, By Myron Angel. Thompson & West, Oakland CA (1882)
History of San Luis Obispo County, By Myron Angel. Thompson & West, Oakland, CA (1883)
La Piedra Pintada, The Painted Rock of California: A Legend. By Myron Angel. Grafton Publishing, Los Angeles, CA (1910)
History of the California Polytechnic School at San Luis Obispo, California. (1910).
The Ovid Bee
The History of Nevada
Return to The Lander County USGenWeb Page