Whiteside County Illinois
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William R. Myers Family
Don Boggan

by Don Boggan
- William R. Myers is my 3rd Great Grandfather -

William R. Myers was born on March 3, 1830 in Alden, Erie, New York. He came from a large family of 15 children. His father was Noel Andrew Myers and mother Polly (Ransier) Myers. Two of his older sisters died at birth and three of his brother died before their 25 birthdays. William's family were farmers as was the generations before. Life was hard on the family.

Around 1856, William married Betsey. Not sure of dates cause the Alden Court House burned down destroying all the records stored there.. He and Betsey headed West around 1859 and settled in Lyndon, Whiteside, Illinois. In Lyndon they had the second child Jessee M. Myers. The family is on the 1860 US Census in Lyndon. William probably hired out as a Farm laborer, as no Land Records have been found for him there.

In 1861, with the Civil War stating, William volunteered at Juliet, Illinois to serve a three month tour of Service He was assigned to Company A, 2nd Regiment of Illinois Calvary. He was sent to Cairo, Illinois for training. After his three month service was up and he was discharged from Army Service, William volunteered for the Gunboat Service in Cairo. Betsey joined William at Cairo for the birth of their fourth child William August Myers (born February 2, 1862). William R. Myers was discharged from the Gunboat Service only to be enlisted to Company E, 2nd Regiment Illinois Calvary. Betsey went back north and settled in Mt. Pleasant, Whiteside, Illinois with her children. Betsey and children are on the 1870 Census in Mt. Pleasant, Whiteside, Illinois. She moved later to Morrison, Illinois.

Sometime between 1860 and 1869, William and Betsey divorced and she remarried Sgt. Charles Walsh in Iowa on July 19, 1879 and later moved to Kansas City, MO. Charles Walsh was a Quartermaster Sgt. for Company A, 17th Regiment Illinois Calvary. William and Betsey had five children together Lillis Augustus (1858-1879) died of Typhoid Fever and buried in Grove Hill Cemetery in Morrison, Jesse M. (1857-?), LaGrange (1859-?), Perry Leroy (1862-1864) died at 2 yrs. Old and buried along side Lillis at Grove Hill Cemetery, and William August ( 1862-1937) buried at Uniontown Cemetery, Uniontown, Whitman, Washington.

William R. Myers was assigned to Company E. 2nd Illinois Calvary attached to Sherman's March to the Sea Campaign. After taking boats down the Mississippi River to Louisiana, William and five other Cavalrymen were while in action were capture by the 3rd Louisiana Calvary at Clinton Station in 1864. He was taken Prisoner to a Prisoner Barracks by New Orleans. Life was hard at the prisoner camp. While there he contacted the disease of Chronic Diarrhea and sent to Jefferson Barrack Hospital at Baton Rouge. He was released in a prisoner exchange March of 1865 and mustered out in July 1865. William spent the rest of his life dealing with his Chronic Diarrhea. He was in and out of Hospitals the rest of his life having to prove his infliction to the Government to receive his Pension.

After the Civil War, William went to work for the Springfield and Illinois Telegraph Co. as a Laborer and later as a Foreman repairing lines. He was all over the US. If not for his Pension Records, he would have been a difficult or impossible person to research. On April 8th, 1869, William married Orrilla Fairfield in Henry, Iowa. May Bryant Myers was born July 16, 1870 in Enterprise, Missouri. As William was always gone doing telegraph repair Orrilla moved back to her parent's home in Battle Creek, Michigan. She died of TB at age of 27 on Feb. 23, 1874. May continued to live with her Grandparents. On May 15, 1882, William married again to Almira (Elmira) Baughman. They had two children Ida May and Noel Alfred. Almira and William divorced and her and the children moved to Brooklyn, NY. William work to old age, retiring around 1902. He entered the Tennessee National Soldiers Home in Nashville, TN. In 1910. He then moved to Michigan's Old Soldiers Home in Grand Rapids, Michigan so to nearer to Family. William R. Myers died at Soldiers Home August 2. 1812.


William R. Myers
Co A 2nd Illinois Cavalry

Buried at the Old Soldiers Home Cemetery in Grand Rapids, Michigan



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