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Alameda County





Andrew Myers, a ranch-owner residing in Oakland, was born in Germany in 1827, a son of Jacob and Margaret (Julius) Myers.  They came to America in 1836, settling in Albany, New York, and in 1840 moved to Wisconsin, settling on a farm in what is now Kenosha county.  They had four sons and one daughter, all still living.  The eldest son, Jacob, is a ranch-owner in Colusa county.  F.G. Myers, next to the youngest, who came to California in 1849, is now a farmer in Wisconsin, but his three sons and one daughter are settled on ranches in Colusa county, California.  Philip J., the other son, is a sheep-raiser in Nebraska.  The only sister became the wife of Edward Hopkins.

Andrew Myers, our subject, bought forty acres in Wisconsin in 1849 and farmed there until he came to California in 1852.  The party numbered only six: Peter Petrie, the husband of the wife’s sister, Jacob Myers, a cousin, two others not related, his eldest brother and himself.  They had six horses and one wagon, and united with a large company at Omaha.  At Elk Horn river twenty-eight wagons joined them, the Indians being somewhat troublesome.  A Pawnee chief visited their camp when they were still distant about thirteen miles from the Platte.  They entertained him hospitably and induced him to stay, Mr. Myers secretly keeping watch while he slept.  Whenever an Indian struck their camp they quietly induce him to remain over night as a precaution against attack by the roving band to which he belonged.  At Shell creek, on May 8, 1852, they were threatened by a band that seemed to be beyond the control of the chief whose friendship they had won, but they bought them off with some presents.  They here received a note from the captain of the train of emigrants who had preceded them, which contained the laconic suggestion, “If you are strong enough, give them fits.”  The Indians, as far as could be conjectured, were more sinned against than sinning through wanton and unwise outrages by some of the emigrant trains. 

Escaping without serious disaster they took Sublette’s Cut-off and reached Hangtown July 26, having left the Missouri on May 6.  Of the eighty-two days spent in the journey about twenty-two were passed in camp at different points, the actual traveling being done in less than sixty days.

Mr. Myers and his brother joined their brother, F.G., who after three years mining was then located in Yolo county, and all three went to Colusa county, where the other two took up land.  The subject of this sketch, being sick for some time after his arrival, did not take up land, but in 1853 he bought the claim of his younger brother, raised two crops on the same, the first being all barley and the second mostly wheat, and sold the land to the same brother in 1855.  He then bought a partnership with Peter Petrie 280 acres on Grand Island, which they farmed together five years.  In  1860 Petrie sold his interest, but Mr. Myers retained his 280 acres until 1877.  In 1875 he had bought 320 acres lower down, which he still owns.  He also owns five sections of land in Los Angeles and Kern counties.  In 1877 he settled in Oakland, chiefly for the benefit of his wife’s health, having invested the principal part of his capital here, still retaining his ranches in Colusa and Los Angeles counties.

Mr. Myers was married in what is now Kenosha county, Wisconsin, in 1847, to Miss Magdalene Nilles, born in Prussia, a daughter of Peter and Mary (Berger) Nilles.  The mother died in Germany in 1846, aged sixty-six.  Mr.

And Mrs. Myers are the parents of seven children, of whom four died in youth, and one, Katherine, the wife of Henry V. Weber, a blacksmith of Colusa, died in childbirth, leaving no surviving issue. Two children are living: Magdalen, the wife of William Hamilton, who was coroner of this city from 1880 to 1887, and is now an undertaker in San Francisco; and Margaret, born in Colusa county, now the wife of W. T. Wilkins, a rancher of that county, owning a place of his own and renting Mr. Myers’ 320 acres in that section.  Mrs. Myers died in Oakland, August 26, 1886; and Mr. Myers was again married in 1887, in San Francisco, to Mrs. Belle (Chambers) Shepherd, a native of that city and an amiable and accomplished young widow.  Mr.  Myers has usually taken an active part in politics; was a chairman of the Financial Committee of the German Republican Club in this city in 1888.


Transcribed David Rugeroni.

Source: "The Bay of San Francisco," Vol. 2, pages 32-33, Lewis Publishing Co, 1892.

© 2005 David Rugeroni.