The Century Chest Collection

Myser Family Package - Family History Book

(Transcribed from the original)

To the descendants of Luther J. Myser
Oklahoma City Oklahoma
April 1913
In the hope that we may leave some little notes of interest to our descendants we write the following brief lines of history.
As we write these lines we wonder deeply what the end of it will be –
Will the lines be clear and legible when you receive them one hundred years hence [?]
Will you be glad that we have endeavored to leave you something of history of your fathers, something which we today do not have –
We say now in this year 1913 that the world is living very fast. Many wonderful inventions are being given to us each year. Aerial navigation is in its infancy.
We say that the seeming impossible things are daily being accomplished, that nothing is impossible anymore. We are sure that modern things today will be truly ancient tomorrow.
Oh! That we might see and know conditions and you in the year 2013.
Luther Jacob Myser

Eulogistic Family History
Calvin Conrad Myser, oldest son of Joseph and Catherine Myser, was born on a farm in Coshocton County. Ohio, January 17th 1841.

He secured a good common school education and would probably have fitted himself for the university had not his country called him to service in the great Civil War. He enlisted in Company G. 122nd Regiment, Ohio Infantry Volunteers August 14th 1862. He was wounded in the battle of Cold Harbor June 3, 1864. On the 19th of February 1865 he was made 1st Sargent of his regiment and on June 26 was discharged.

Calvin Conrad Myser and Sarah Barrick were united in marriage February 21, 1866. They engaged in a general mercantile business in Canal Orange Ohio in Coshocton County.

Here their three oldest children were born:
Alta Geneva November 17, 1866 who died at the age of 1 year 8 months 14 days;
Alva Frances August 26, 1868;
Luther Jacob July 21, 1870.

"Westward the course of Empire takes its way" was the spirit of these times, so animated by the desire to be homebuilders in the wide West and thus the better provide for their children, this family came to Toledo Chase County Kansas ,arriving May 17, 1871.

Here an eighty acre farm was purchased and the new home established which today remains [in] their possession. History cannot record the cares, anxieties, privations that these pioneers of the West experienced during these years.

Calvin Myser taught school, improved his farm and reared his family while being a leader in the church, school, and social life of the community.

No stranger was ever turned hungry from his door though the larder was often low. He was a generous, sympathetic friend to all in distress.

Four children were added to the Kansas home:
Minnie Myrtle, born September 2, 1874;
Linwood Clifton, born October 25, 1876;
Lillian Barrick born April 16, 1878;
Joseph Woy, born September 12, 1881

Five months later, on February 14th, 1882, an all wise Providence saw fit to call this father from his earthly home to the heavenly one and the mother and her six fatherless children were left to struggle on.

By hardest toil, undaunted courage, and wise management the widowed mother kept her little flock together in the home and saw her children, with the exception of Lillian who joined her father above February 15th, 1887, attain their majority.

No greater heroism was ever displayed; no more patient faithful service was ever rendered, no truer devotion to family or country was ever shown than by this mother in the years of toil and responsibility following the husband and father's death.

The secret of her success is simply this: she trusted in God with a faith that did not shrink; she labored with an iron courage and will renewed daily by Devine Power; she accepted her los with a cheerful content that put songs on her lips even though her eyes were dimmed with tears.

God's loving hand kept her pure and true, bearing the scars of battle in her aching limbs, but bearing also the wreaths of victory through faith and trust.
Calvin Myser was confirmed in the Lutheran Church early in his married life;

Sarah Barrick was confirmed in the same faith in 1856 at the age of thirteen years.

Pious parents will heed the injunction, "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it;" so these parents were careful to rear their children in the fear of God and gratitude should well from every heart for early Christian example and training. May we leave as rich a legacy as our parents have left; may we each and all of this and succeeding generations hear the final welcome, "Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things. I will make thee ruler over many. Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."

The above was written by Minnie M. Myser, only living daughter of Calvin Myser and Sarah Barrick Myser.

Copied here by Luther J. Myser.
The lines here below attached were written by Sarah Barrick Myser, mother of the writer Luther J. Myser – She is at the time of this writing 70 years –

My Dear Children and Children's Children: - I commend you to God and the record of His Grace who is mighty to build you up and to give you an inheritance among all who are Sanctified. I confidently trust I am not guilty of your blood if you neglect your Salvation in the wilderness of this world. Take heed that you may become and abide fruitful branches in Christ, the true vine, children of light, members of His Spiritual body, living stones of the Heavenly Zion.

Mrs. S. B. Myser

The lines here below attached were written by Minnie M. Myser, only living sister of Luther J. Myser
"Oh! Why should the spirit of mortal be Proud?
Like a swift fleeting motion, a fast flying cloud,
A flash of the lightning, a beak of the wave,
Man passes from life to his rest in the grave."
William Knox.
First stanza of one of Abraham Lincoln's favorite poems

[Myser Family Tree]

Jacob Barrick, the father of Sarah Barrick Myser was born in Frederick County, Virginia October 4, 1803. He had three brothers and four sisters –

His parents came to Ohio in the early part of the century [with] his father and mother dying within a few years after coming to Ohio leaving their children to care for themselves.
By thrift and industry Jacob Barrick secured some land and was thus enabled to provide most comfortably for his family of eight children.

He died at the age of 57 years 1 month 21 days [with] his wife reaching the age of 99 years 7 months 15 days.

His great grandmother was a sister to Mary Ball Washington, the mother of George Washington.

He was confirmed in the Lutheran church in early life and lived [as] a consistent exemplary member of this church he loved so well until he was taken to the grand church triumphant.

Mrs. Mary Barrick [was the] mother of Sarah Barrick Myser and grandmother of Luther J. Myser.

Mary Barrick was born near Stoyestown Somerset County Pennsylvania May 15, 1811.
Her parents George and Catherine Woy immigrated in the year 1817 to a farm near where is now located the town of Waynesburg Carroll County Ohio.

In the year 1829 Mary Woy was united in marriage to Jacob Barrick who was born in Frederick county Virginia in the year 1803.

In the year 1834 Mr. and Mrs. Barrick moved to a farm about six miles north of Newcomerstown Ohio on which they lived until the year 1860 when Mr. Barrick died.
Mrs. Barrick continued to live on the same farm until the year 1869 when she sold the farm and went to Jewett Harrison County Ohio and made her home with the youngest daughter and husband Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Mikesell.

Here she spent nearly forty-one years of her life. She passed from earth to Heaven on December 30, 1910 at the home of her grandson M. E. Riggle to which place she and her daughter had gone to spent the winter.

She was the mother of ten children, two having died in infancy and two in mature years.

She had forty-nine grandchildren, one hundred and twenty eight great grandchildren and eighteen great, great grandchildren making a grand total of two hundred and five direct descendants.

One of the fifth generation was in attendance at her funeral. Eight of her great grandsons bore her body to the grave. She, with her husband, had been confirmed in the Lutheran Church in the year 1828. In the church she loved so much she was a shining light ever ready for every good work and to further the cause of the church.
She was a most diligent reader of her Bible, her prayer book, and book of hymns. Only a few days before [her] death she quoted scripture she had heard preached from more than eighty two years before [and also-] hymns had committed in her early life and which she loved so well.

Thus at the age of ninety nine years, seven months, and fifteen days she at last heard the welcome "child it is enough, come up higher."
Sweet is the fragrance of her memory.  

"Exact copy" as printed at the time of her death.

On the opposite page is the photo of Luther J. Myser, wife and two sons, Casper & Luther.
Luther J. Myseer, 43
Edna Killer Myser 36
Casper Calvin Myser 14
Luther Killer Myser 12

Brief notes of my own life –
The writer was born in Canal Orange, Coshocton County, Ohio July 21st, 1870.

My parents Calvin Myser and Sarah Myser removed to Toledo, Chase County, Kansas in May 1871.

We lived in a log house for a few months until a home could be built on the eighty acre prairie farm which had just been purchased.

I have often been told of the many incidents of those earliest days when it was said to rain harder in the house than out, when rain came and how everything must be hung out to the sun and wind to dry when the rain finally ceased – Of the long, hard task of hauling lumber 12 miles to build this home. The farm was all prairie [with] no trees, no fences, no shrubbery, and no cultivation.

My earliest recollections are of the great stretch of open land or prairie all around to the west, north, and east – of the tall, to me, large looking house which was home as this house was 16' X 24' = 16' to the square and not an ell addition or porch anywhere connected with it.

I recall how the breaking of the wild sod was accomplished with from two to four yoke of oxen and what a slow process it was. Many a time I followed the course for hours and in childish thought wondered if all the farm was ever to be broken up.

I remember well the planting of the first Osage Orange Hedge for fence.

I remember well the many disastrous prairie fires that would get started and sweep across the country often burning the entire hay and feed crop of settlers and sometimes a home – These fires normally occurred in the fall of the year when the grass was dry and dying. Often, as there was a greater number of settlers in the community when the fire would sweep toward any quarter of the settlement, men would mount their horses and ride to fight in almost hopeless weakness the dread destructor. Some would load their plows in the wagon and drive with breakneck speed to where they might head off the flame and plow enough furrows to stop the progress.

I remember the frights I received from the Indians of whom I always had a terrible dread – they would so suddenly appear from nowhere (in their stealth) and enrich a yell or a loud grunt which would fairly make my blood stand still.

I remember their camps and their village on the Kaw Reservation on which reservation my uncle who was my mother's youngest brother afterwards purchased a farm of 160 acres from the government.

This much Jacob B. Barrick lived in this farm which was about 7 miles north and two miles east of Toledo Chase County Kansas until his death about 1902 or 1903 which was caused by accidental shooting of himself. He had one son Harry P. Barrick [who is] now living on a farm near Saffordville Chase County Kansas. His widow lives in Emporia Lyon County Kansas. In those early days it was difficult to get fruit and shade trees to grow and often we saw them wither and die only to be replanted and cared for better in hope of success.

The climate was extremely dry in those days and the wind blew fiercely much of the time. We experienced crop failure after failure. When crops would often look the most promising it would not rain for weeks and the entire outlook changed to a desolate, dry, dreary one. Pastures would dry up so that stock had little to eat and water was often very scarce.

I remember well the grasshopper year when every living blade of green was devoured by the pest and when many of the community were compelled to seek and accept aid.
I recall driving nine miles to Cottonwood Falls, the county seat of Chase County, with my father Calvin Myser where one went for supplies – We drove a team of half-starved pony horses to a big lumber wagon and it usually took several hours to make the trip each way. Our supplies were principally a sack of white navy beans.

As time passed and the country became more thickly settled the seasons changed. More rain fell and we were able to raise more and better crops. My father worked very hard on the farm in the summer and taught school in the winter. Thus by the strictest economy we were able to get along without ever having received "aid."

We were beginning to feel that better things were in store for us when our condition was improved as we had a few head of stock and were getting better crops each year when Father was taken very ill with Pneumonia and died February 14th 1882 after an illness of 13 days. He left no insurance as it was scarcely though of those days.
Here we were, my mother and us six children, left to struggle on alone.

My brother Alva Francis was thirteen years old, the oldest of six. I myself was eleven. From this time on if I had time I could relate many incidents of failure of crops, disappointments, hardships, heartaches, etc.

The same year we two children with mother's advice and help attempted to farm twenty acres of corn and we succeeded fairly well with a reasonable crop. My own sons now 12 and 14 years could hardly have the nerve to undertake half as much. To me they now seem as but children.

One of the greatest disappointments of my life was the fact that I never got a good education. We lost by Cholera eighty three head of fine hogs nearly ready for the market. At this time which was perhaps two or three years after Father's death we hoped to make some money on this stock and pay our debts. Also, [we wanted] to be able to hire a little heavy work done and to be able to attend school for a few weeks in the winter.

Brother Alva went to school in order to be able to follow the footsteps of Father, teach school in the winter and thus earn more money for our necessities. I never attended school after I was fifteen years of age. I was sickly from sickly from seventeen until twenty. During this time I walked two and a half miles to the nearest railroad station and learned telegraphy.

I accepted the office of night operator at thirty five dollars per month working from 7 pm to 7 am.

All the time of service at this office I boarded at home walking 2 ½ miles to work in the evening and walking home again in the morning after my nights work was over.
After 1 ½ months I was promoted to a larger better and more responsible office. The first position was at Saffordville Kansas. The second just mentioned was at Strong City Chase County Kansas.

After about four months work here I was again promoted and taken into the Dispatchers office at Emporia Kansas which was the end of the railroad division, a relay office. The salary was not fifty five dollars per month.

After a time harder times came again and retrenchment with it until I was sent back to Strong City and finally discharged.

After about thirty days [I] was again reemployed and sent as I thought then far away from home to Arkansas City Kansas and thence to Purcell Indian Territory which is now Purcell Oklahoma.

Here after three weeks temporary service was again transferred to Norman Oklahoma as Cashier and Day Operator. After several days of the great A.R.U. strike of 1894. I was asked to return to Emporia Kansas for more important work than ever before which I accepted.

I had long since decided that a salary alone could never make a man a competence and that I wanted to change my vocation which was chosen only as a stepping stone. In February 1895 I was urged to buy a small stock of goods consisting of principally china and glassware with some racket goods. In conjunction with my brother Alva who was then teaching school as principal of a ward building in Emporia. We purchased the stock at $1,600.00 and paid our all which was $1,400.0 for it going in debt for the balance.
I immediately took charge conducting the business alone until June when brother's school was out. Thus we seemingly just drifted into business.

We put the same pluck energy and hard work into it that had constituted over boyhood days and have succeeded fairly well. In 1905 we decided that our small business in Emporia was not sufficient for two families and with business associates opened a store in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

I came here to operate this store leaving brother Alva in Emporia. We have here and exclusive china store handling chinas, cut glass, glassware of all kinds, silverware, etc., etc. In one year since coming here we did an annual business of about $45,000.00 dollars making a net profit of $5,000.00
Just now we are passing through hard times after a "busted Boom."

Brother Alva has no children. He owns his home in Emporia and lives comparatively easy.  I own a home here and, while we live well, I think of those years in the seventies it seems like a paradise that I now possess in comparison.

I am endeavoring to give my boys a good education. I hope I may live to see them men and established in good and respectable business.

We have always tried to do our duty by the church. I was Superintendent of the Sunday school at Emporia before coming to Oklahoma.

Since I came [I] have been Superintendent of the S. S. in this First Lutheran Church seven and one half years. [I] have been a member of the council all of this time. Also, [I have been] a member of the choir of the church for eight years. My wife, Edna R. is also a member. She has a very sweet soprano voice, one which our church members often say they had rather hear than any other as it [is] simple and sweet with great sympathy.

There is buried in this Century Chest with this document and many others a phonograph and phonographic record of two anthems by the choir -

The one composed by Rowland D. Williams was announced into the record as "The Lord is my shepherd." The other not announced but is a "Hallelujah chorus." The duet for tenor and soprano in this anthem is sung by myself and wife. We hope this record will be well preserved and that you may then be enable to hear our voices in the year 2013.
The First Lutheran Church as it now stands was completed and dedicated in June 1912.

I was a member of the Building Committee.

I have done a great deal of church work all of my life.

For one man to superintend a Sunday school to sing in the choir, to attend and take an active part in the Luther League, [and] attend church service again in the evening is making of Sunday a busy day.

The choir rehearsals have to be attended. The League Social and business meetings, the church council meetings, and altogether there is much work that I have endeavored to accomplish.

In the business world I have not taken such a prominent part as time would not permit.

However, I have been a member of the Board of Directors of the Oklahoma Retailers Association continuously for the past five years. This board holds meetings each Thursday. I have attended whenever I could any meeting of business men that sought to do good for the city, church or state or tended to increase civic righteousness.
My oldest son Casper is a very energetic boy now fourteen years of age. He was wonderful initiative, splendid judgment and I am sure will be a success in whatever field he may choose. The youngest son Luther is of a different type. He is very affectionate, loves his mother dearly, is much interested in electrical and mechanical appliances, is tenacious and out to succeed anywhere.

Casper can only be interested with big things while Luther can do anything and stick to it.

I wish I had time to write more but have not. I close hoping that you will appreciate in small measure our efforts to leave something for you.

Luther J. Myser.
April 21st 1913
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Edna R. Killer now Mrs. L. J. Myser was born in Darlington, Oklahoma in 1877 April 29th. This was at that time an Indian post or trading station and the U. S. Government "Fort Reno" was about one and one-half miles away.

Her father was in the Fort service under General Miles. Here she was raised to about 8 years old with Indian children as playmates.

This was indeed true Frontier life – only two or three other white families resided at this agency for some years.

Her father Casper M. Killer died as a result of an accident and is buried in a lot on the hill near.

Mr. Killer had charge of transportation from Wichita Kansas to Darlington Oklahoma for the Commissary Department for the Government.

In those early days when Indians were often on the war path and the country was filled with desperadoes and there was but few stations or settlements on this entire route where help would be secured this work was extremely hazardous. His death occurred August 14, 1884. Business at the agency was suspended for the day [and] the trading houses [were] closed out of respect for the deceased. Casper M. Killer was at the time of his death thirty three years of age.

He stood very high in the community being respected alike by both whites and Indians who admired him for his true manhood, his personal courage and his worth of character. He came to this agency in 1873 being at that time a member of the Barretts Surveying Corps.

He obtained a position under agent Miles and performed his duties faithfully and well until he surrendered his position.

Edna R. had a twin sister who died at three years and eight months. She also had one brother and another sister who died in infancy and are buried in the same lot with her father.

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