Catherine "Cassie" (Younkin) Myers was born on Sept. 5, 1837 in Turkeyfoot Township, Somerset County, PA, the daughter of Henry F. and Mary (King) Younkin. She was a pioneer of Kansas and the wife of a Civil War soldier.
As a girl, she attended the Evangelical Lutheran Church.
She wed Daniel Henry Myers (1838-1920), son of Henry A. and Mary Ann "Polly" (Faidley) Myers of Somerset County. They were united in marriage on March 23, 1860, when she was age 22 and Daniel was 21.
By the time of their marriage, Daniel already had gained a substantial amount of life experience. A few years earlier, at the age of 17, he had migrated to Illinois, where he labored for two years on a farm in Carroll County. Then in 1856 he moved on to Kansas and earned a living working in Lawrence and LeCompton. Later in 1856, he traveled again to Utah where "he enlisted as government teamster in an expedition sent to quell Mormonism," said the Clay Center (KS) Times.
After his service in the army his spirit of adventure prompted him to go on to San Francisco, arriving there in 1858. In 1859 he returned to his old home in Pennsylvania, going by way of Panama and New York City, the trip consuming thirty-three days. On March 23, 1860, he was united in marriage to Miss Catherine Younkin at his home in Somerset county, Pa., and his and his young bride embarked by boat from Pittsburgh, Pa., landing at Leavenworth, Kan., after a tedious journey of five weeks. From Leavenworth Mr. and Mrs. Myers came by ox-team to Clay county and settled on a ranch near Wakefield. This ranch Mr. Myers still owned at the time of his death. Here they endured all the privations of pioneer life, hauling the lumber with which their first house was built from Atchison and building it with his own hands; also bringing their groceries from Leavenworth by ox-team. Here their children were born and here they lived for eighteen years, when the family came to Clay Center. Since coming to Clay Center they have entered largely into the social and business life of the city.
The couples' 1860 migration was part of a broader Younkin family movement to Kansas over the sweep of several decades involving Catherine's siblings and parents, as well as Daniel's brothers and sisters John, Jack, Henry, Uriah, Mary A. Pogue and Mrs. Enfield. [The two families were close, and Daniel's brother John Myers married Cassie's sister Rachel, while Daniel's brother Uriah Myers married Minnie Frances Younkin.]
The Myerses had seven children -- Mary Alice McIntire, Sarah Ellen Myers, William Henry Myers, Martha Ann Myers, Catherine Dell "Kate" Gregory, Frank Howard Myers and Ada Leah Miller.
In the early 1860s their post office was Gatesville, KS. During the Civil War, on May 20, 1864, Daniel enlisted in the 15th Regiment of the Kansas State Militia, Company C, a unit which his brother in law Moses had joined almost three years earlier and became captain. Daniel received the rank of second lieutenant. More about his service will be added here when learned.
Heartache shook this family when daughters Sarah Ellen and Martha Ann died within a few days of each other during Christmas 1871.
After the war, Daniel began working in a local bank in Wakefield, where he built "a record as one of the most successful bankers in the entire state," said the Times.
Progressive and yet conservative, his name has stood at all times as a tower of financial strength and no period of financial panic or business depression has ever been severe enough to raise any question of doubt as to the soundness and safety of the institution with which he was connected. His sound judgment and exceptional business sagacity combined with an unusual kindliness and sympathetic interest in men made him a man whose advice was much sought and succeeding events usually proved the soundness of his judgment. In 1884 Mr. Myers was made president of the First National Bank of this city and this position he has held continuously until his death.
Said the Clay Center Times, in a piece authored by Rev. Mathis of the local Presbyterian church, Catherine "lived a quiet and unobtrusive Christian life. In her home she was queen and mother, a devoted mother and loving wife." In 1874, her aged parents sold their farm in Somerset County, PA and moved to Wakefield. After the father's death in 1880, the widowed mother later moved into the Myers home in about 1892. "During the last years of her life [the mother] was helpless, receiving the constant care and attention of a child," said the Clay Center Times. "The devotion of Mrs. Myers to her mother during all the years of her failing health has been a matter of much favorable comment and certainly deserves much praise." The mother passed away in August 1903.
While many other Younkin soldiers of the War of the Rebellion received pensions later in life, there is no record that Daniel received such a benefit.
In March 1886, Daniel was among several men of the community who received a charter for the Bank of Wakefield. Seven years later, Daniel was sued in his capacity as a bank director when the local board of education erroneously placed funds in the bank, and the funds wrongfully were used in the business of the bank (Myers vs. Board of Education of City of Clay Center, Supreme Court of Kansas, 51 Kan. 87). He served as its president and board director, along with F.H. Myers, W.H. Myers and grandsons James B. McIntire and Daniel Stewart McIntire.
On Dec. 18, 1895, a letter was published in the Somerset Herald newspaper back in Pennsylvania, written by Cassie's cousin Nessly Younkin of Wakefield, in which he recounted his own railroad trip to Wakefield from Upper Turkeyfoot and how Daniel and others had been pioneer settlers of that town. The letter also noted that Cassie's 88-year-old mother -- "in the enjoyment of good health" -- then resided in their home. Daniel was a Clay County delegate to the Kansas State Board of Agriculture and in 1899 his views on farming were printed in the Eleventh Biennial Report of the Kansas State Board of Agriculture:
I have had 30 years' experience in Kansas in the production of beef, both with cattle of my own raising and purchased. Shorthorns and Herefords are the best breeds, and, of western stock, Colorado natives are preferable; Texans do not fatten well until acclimated. I like hornless cattle, but have never done any dehorning. Fat cattle bring 10 to 20 cents more per hundred without horns. It does not pay to handle spayed heifers and cows; they fatten no more rapidly than when unspayed, nor so well as steers of a like grade....
Daniel attended the 30th annual meeting held in Topeka on Jan. 9-11, 1901. Cassie was named in the Clay Center Times obituary of her brother Jeremiah in March 1907, a text that later was republished in the book Collections of the Kansas State Historical Society. Circa 1905, the bank was known as First State Savings Bank, with $20,000 of capital, and in 1915, with Daniel now as president of First National Bank of Clay Center, the bank had $349,161 in outstanding loans and $50,000 worth of United States bonds. He had a firm belief in the future of electricity to modernize Clay Center and in October 1907 purchased $15,000 worth of electric-light-plant bonds. When her brother W.J. Younkin died in Bellingham, WA in 1909, Cassie was named in the newspaper obituary.
She died in Wakefield at age 80 on May 22, 1918. In a lengthy obituary, the Clay Center Times noted that she had "been kill for sometime and friends knew the end was near, but nevertheless regret the passing of one who has lived more than fifty years in this community. Mrs. Myers was very well and favorably known over Clay county. Funeral services were held in the Myers residence, led by Rev. Mathis of the local Presbyterian church. Said the Times, "Many relatives and friends from over the county were here to pay their last respects to a good woman.... Her loved ones will greatly miss her. Now 'she rests from her labors and her works to follow her'." [Find-a-Grave]
Daniel lived beyond her for another two years. He passed on in Wakefield on March 10, 1920 at age 82. In an obituary in which he was pictured, the Clay Center Times noted with regret that "His going marks the end of a long and eventful life. For some time past his health has not been very good, but friends had hoped that his desire to pass another spring in the old home might be realized, but it was not so willed." The Times said he was survived by 16 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Cassie and Daniel are described in the 1928 book by William Elsey Connelley, History of Kansas, State and People, Vol. 5.
~ Daughter Mary Alice (Myers) McIntire ~
Daughter Mary Alice Myers (1861-1915) was born on March 25, 1861.
In December 1880, when she was 19 years old, she married S.S. McIntire ( ? - ? ).
They had seven children: Rebecca Lingenfelter, James B. McIntire, Stella Doniphan, Arthur McIntire, Daniel Stewart McIntire, Juanetta McIntire and Wilton Henry McIntire.
Mary Alice died at the age of 53 on March 18, 1915.
Circa 1918, sons J.B. McIntire and D.S. McIntire served with their grandfather Daniel Henry Myers on the board of directors of the Bank of Wakefield. Genealogy notes made in the mid-1930s by Pennsylvania researcher Otto Roosevelt Younkin show that some of the McIntire children lived in Denver.
~ Daughter Sarah Ellen Myers ~
Daughter Sarah Ellen Myers (1863-1871) was born on April 20, 1863. Sadly, she died at age eight on Christmas Eve 1871. The cause of her untimely death is not yet known. Nearly a half century later, she was named in her father's Clay Center Times obituary in March 1920.
~ Son William Henry Myers ~
Son William Henry Myers (1865-1954) was born on March 7, 1865.
He wed Wilhelmina M. Schoepf ( ? - ? ), daughter of John G. Schoepf, a noted designer and sculptor. Their two sons were Clifford Leslie Myers and Daniel Henry Myers.
William assisted his father in the work of the First National Bank, moving by 1904 into the position of cashier. In 1887, the bank's paid-up capital was $5,000. He also served as treasurer of St. George's Episcopal Church of Wakefield, a congregation organized in 1875 and incorporated in April 1895.
He is profiled in Connelley's History of Kansas, State and People, Vol. 5. William succumbed on Dec. 8, 1954 at the age of 89.
Son Clifford Leslie Myers assisted his father in the work of the First National Bank, but his preferred talents were in the arts.
Son Daniel Henry Myers was a graduate of Kemper Military School in Boonville, MO.
~ Daughter Martha Ann Myers ~
Daughter Martha Ann Myers (1867-1871) was born on June 27, 1867. Not surviving childhood, she died at the age of four on Dec. 27, 1871, just a few days after the death of her elder sister Sarah Ellen. She was named in her father's Clay Center Times obituary in March 1920.
~ Daughter Catherine Dell "Kate" (Myers) Gregory ~
Daughter Catherine Dell "Kate" Myers (1869?-1951) is thought to have been born in February 1869.
On Sept. 21, 1891, at age 22, she wed Brook M. Gregory ( ? - ? ). This couple resided in Denver at 1480 High Street.
Their three offspring were Margaret Richardson, Morgan M. Gregory and Donald Gregory. They also raised their daughter's son, Harvey B. Gregory.
By 1920, when named in her father's Clay Center Times obituary, she and her family were now dwelling in Alameda, CA. When named in Connelley's History of Kansas, State and People, Vol. 5, in 1928, they made their residence in Berkeley, CA.
~ Son Frank Howard Myers ~
Son Frank Howard Myers (1872-1936) was born on April 25, 1872.
His wife was Clara Ebinger ( ? - ? ). They wed on Jan. 10, 1893 when he was age 20 and she (?). They produced four children: Buenta Ora Arpke, Harvey Dee Myers, Lafayette "Lafe" Myers and Frank Howard Myers Jr.
In 1920, their home was in Wakefield.
~ Daughter Ada Leah (Myers) Miller ~
Daughter Ada Leah Myers (1880-1965) was born on Nov. 3, 1880.
At the age of 19, she was united in matrimony with Will Fisher Miller ( ? - ? ), son of Henry C. and Sarah "Sadie" (Fisher) Miller.
They lived in Clay Center in 1920.
During the early winter months of 1935, Ada Leah became aware that a reunion of Younkins had been held the previous September in their old home land of Kingwood, Somerset County, PA. She wrote to the reunion's organizer Charles Arthur "Charley Charley" Younkin in Pennsylvania about her interest. He in turn wrote to a friend, saying "Have received more very interesting news from Mrs. Ada Miller Daughter of Mrs. Myers, of Clay Center Kan. Mrs. Myers is dead, but her daughter Mrs. Miller who happens to have the familay bible of her Grandfather Henry Younkin, who was married to Mary King, from Somerset Co., Pa. She gives me a full detailed list of his 12 children even naming as far as the 5th generation in a few instances, though she was not able to name the descendants of Harrison, Jonas, and Ross, who have lived here in Pa. She seems very much interested in this great family group. She seems to not know of our former nationality [German]."
Ada Leah died at the age of 84 on April 26, 1965.