Heritage Gateways

Official Sesquicentennial K-12 Education Project
sponsored by the Utah State Board of Education, the BYU-Public School Partnership and the Utah Education Network

Historical Pioneer Biographies

John Myers

Born: 1814 Died: 1900

Came across the plains to the Great Salt Lake valley in 1852.

Biography: The source of this history is unknown but it was copied it as it was, with no changes in content or spelling. ME Lyon Apr 1995

John Myers was born February 6, 1814 of English ancestry and came across the Atlantic Ocean when he was six months old, with his parents Richard Myers and Mary Close Myers, and the following brothers and sisters: Thomas, Sarah, Mary, Nancy, Richard, William, and Anthony.

His father was a sailor and followed this profession for a while and finally located in the Providence of Canada. Here John Myers grew to manhood, marrying Miss Sarah Dixon who was fifteen years old and him twenty four. (A little story goes--that he courted his wife's sister who was his age, but because he wasn't a member of the Latter-Day Saint Church she would not marry him and he said that he would not join the Church just to win a wife so he gave her up.) Just a short time after marrying her sister, he and his brother William joined the Church and left their folks who not members of this Church to go and live among the Mormons. They settled at Council Bluffs and Winter Quarters,

He was a personal bosom friend of the Prophet Joseph Smith. He spent many hours playing ball with the Prophet, while he had to disguise himself to keep the mob away. Brother Myers was away on a mission in Maryland when the Prophet was murdered. At this time all the Elders were called home; his companion being Elder Jacob Hamlin. Mrs. Myers walked three miles to see Joseph and Hyrum when their bodies were brought home.

He was a very useful man, being a mechanic. Therefore, he was very useful in the early history of the church. While living in Canada, he worked as an apprentice to his father who was a gun-smith, Just before his father's death he was going to make him a present of a gun-lathe and had it all packed to sent him. But after his father's death, the family was so bitter against him and his Mormon followers that it was never sent to him.

Sometimes Brother Myers had to turn to the soil for a living, but his main line of work was in a mechanical line and it was for this purpose he was called out at various times to help build up the country. His main work was in iron working, like black smithing so to speak. Anyone in the early days visiting the blacksmith shop at Panguitch could see some of the rifles hanging on the wall that Brother Myers had made.

They had to make what they used in those days. The made their hoes, plows, shovels, guns, harnesses, and almost every thing they used to farm with. Brother Myers proved to be very essential at times as he was an all-around man, and gave his time freely to others in teaching them how to make different farm implements. He made all the shoes that his family required for years until his daughters were grown.

He crossed the plains in 1852 and was six months on the way. He was in charge of fifty people who reached the valley nearly a month before the rest came. He settled after coming to the valleys of this country a little north of Salt Lake at a place called Kaysville for a short time. Here he found that he couldn't make a living farming because of the grasshoppers. From here he went to Centerville where his work as a blacksmith was required. He made all the plows that were used there, he also made guns.

From here he was called to the Muddy River Mission, but he did not remain there so very long because the climate was not very good there. It was damp and many of the saints were sick and some of them lost their lives with chills and fever, so it was found advisable to come back. So the people that were called down there were called back and Brother Myers located at Panguitch. It was on their march back that his wife died on the 14th of December 1870, just ten miles from "Meadow Valley," which probably received its name from that historical event the "Mountain Meadow Massacre." It was during these early privations that the sturdy characters of the family were formed. There were four children then: Tyresha, John Ephraim, Adeline, and Joseph William. Their father told them that they had lost a good mother and him a faithful wife who had stood by him in all that he did.

Three years later he married a second wife, Barbara Pace from Payson, Utah. He was the only man around that could shoe an oxen properly.

He was at the Hans Mill Massacre and was personally acquainted with the Prophet Joseph Smith. No one could ever call Joseph Smith anything but "the Prophet" when talking to him.

He died May 11, 1900 at age 86 and was buried at Panguitch, Utah.

Source: Miscellaneous personal histories This information has been gathered by various people interested in Utah history. These are unpublished biographies.