Doctor James F. Myers, one of Rock Island County’s prominent physicians, was born December 29, 1856, at Hebron, Ohio, and was the son of Henry A. and Lavina Myers, both of whom are living in their eighties at Eureka, Illinois. Dr. Meyers’ father was a Baptist minister by vocation, but at an early age retired upon a farm in McLean County, Illinois. He was a native of Alleghany County, Pennsylvania.
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Doctor James F. Myers attended the common schools of his own neighborhood until he reached his eighteenth year, when he took up his studies at Westfield College. Before receiving his degree there he entered the business college of Marquam and Baker at Bloomington, Illinois, and after completing his course of study in this college, entered Rush Medical College and graduated from that institution February 20, 1883.
During the time spent in college he studied art, and during the last three years of his studies he taught music, namely: piano, violin and vocal.
James F. Myers was born on a farm and spent his boyhood days there. Even when a mere boy he was noted for his musical inclinations, if not his ability, and at the age of fifteen years was leader of a brass band also leader of an. orchestra, played the church organ and taught the old fashioned singing school in the school houses and churches and in the villages in his section of the country.
After graduating in medicine from Rush Medical College in 1883 he located at Farmer City, Illinois, for the practice of his profession. Not content with his country practice and the long rides over country roads he gave up his practice there and located in the City of Rock Island in the Fall of 1901, and has continued his residence in Rock Island since. His daily life was unobtrusive and he was not disturbed from following the “even tenor in his own way until after the second attempt by the Modern Woodmen to move their head offices from Fulton, Illinois, to Rock Island. Doctor Myers was the only physician in a party of five hundred who went from Rock Island to Fulton in a special train for the purpose of forcefully removing the books and fixtures of the Modern Woodmen of America, and a general riot followed, in which about one fourth of the participants were injured.
Doctor Myers was such a conspicuous figure in leading the attack upon the people of Fulton-or the “Fultonites,” as they were called-and in his attentions to his wounded comrades after the fight was over, though he himself had been shot, cut and bruised, made him generally known and spoken of with more than ordinary consideration.
Doctor Myers had not only accomplished much in medicine and music, but in politics, education and fraternal organization as well. In 1886 he was president of the school board an I in 1889 was president of the McLean County Agricultural Fair Association. In 1898 he was elected supreme medical director of the Court of Honor, a position which he held for eight years.
In the same year he was also elected a member of the board of supervisors and held the position for six years. He was appointed in 1902 by Sheriff Gordon as physician to the Rock Island County jail, and he was successively appointed to the same position by Sheriff Hemmenway and Sheriff Cralle. During the year of 1906 he was health commissioner for the City of Rock Island, and it might well be added that Doctor Myers was the organizer and first president of the first medical society organized in Rock Island County which was recognized by the Illinois State Medical Society.
Politically Doctor Myers was a Republican and is still of that persuasion.
He has been and is at the present time connected with many organizations, among which are the Masons, Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, Court of Honor, Woodmen, Royal Neighbors, North Star, Modern Brotherhood of America, Royal Americans, American Order of Foresters and others. He has held various offices in nearly all these orders and has held responsible offices in the supreme lodges of many of them. He was for years chairman of the law committee of the Fraternal Army. For eight years he was supreme medical director of the Court of Honor. For eight years he was a member of the board of directors of the North Star and is now in possession of the highest office, chief astronomer.
Doctor Myers was married March 15, 1882, to Miss Sarah J. Johnson, of Heyworth, Illinois. Her father was James Johnson, the most influential farmer in the community in which he resided. Two children have been born to Doctor and Mrs. Myers: Dacie, now the wife of a prominent dry goods merchant of Erie, Illinois; and Miss Nettie E. Myers at home. Miss Nettie is editor of the North Star, a publication devoted to the organization of which Doctor Myers is chief astronomer.