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Myers, George M., 633 E. Armour Boulevard

George Myers

George M. Myers may well be termed one of the captains of industry of the west. He has been the promoter of a large number of business concerns and enterprises of importance having direct bearing upon the up-building and prosperity of this great and growing section of the country. His birth occurred in the American metropolis November 25, 1855. His father, Philip Myers, a native of Germany, came to America in his boyhood and for over forty years was connected with the freight department of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway Company but is now retired. Possessed of the German characteristics of thrift and industry, he has always been very energetic and, although now seventy-six years of age, is as active as many men of half his years. He wedded Margaret Mulchy, a native of Cookstown, near Belfast, Ireland, whose father, a refined and cultured Irish gentleman, came to America with his family in her childhood days. She has reached the age of seventy-three years and with her husband is living at Monroeville, Ohio, where they have made their home for many years.

Like most of the successful men of the west, George M. Myers spent his boyhood on a farm and conned his lessons through the winter months. Telegraphy had for him the strongest attraction and, determining to engage in business in that field, his leisure hours were devoted to the mastery of the telegraphic system at Monroeville and at eighteen years of age he secured a position as night operator at Berea, Ohio. He became expert and through close application to business gradually arose, first becoming a train dispatcher of two divisions and later manager of the Toledo office. In 1874 he resigned and removed to Kansas City, where he was connected with various telegraph lines until they were absorbed by the Western Union Telegraph Company. He then retired and branched out for himself, organizing the Pacific Mutual Telegraph Company and building its lines, which extended from St. Louis to Denver, Omaha and Sioux City. Later he sold this business to the Postal Telegraph Company and retired from the management. He next organized the Commercial Telegraph Company, now the American District Telegraph Company, in Cincinnati, St. Louis and Kansas City, but later sold to the Western Union. He has probably been the promoter of more water and light companies than any one man in the west. All of these are now in prosperous condition, the principal ones being of Joplin and Carthage, Missouri, and at Fort Smith, Arkansas. Mr. Myers was associated with the late Jay Gould in the construction and operation of all his telegraph enterprises and was his trusted agent in the capturing the Western Union wires that extended along the Union Pacific system in 1881. While associated in business enterprises with Mr. Gould, he handled about fifteen million dollars of the Gould money, nor was there ever a discrepancy of a cent in his cash balances, nor a single voucher ever returned to him for explanation. When he terminated his connection with Mr. Gould, the latter showed his appreciation by sending Mr. Myers a complimentary check for five thousand dollars.

Mr. Myers is now president of the Standard Fire Extinguisher Company, which he organized in 1890. This company installs automatic sprinkler devices for the protection of property from fire and millions of dollars have thus been saved annually. He is also largely interested in Kansas city real estate and has erected many buildings which are a credit to the city. These include a number of fine apartments and modern office buildings. His own residence at the corner of Holmes and Armour boulevard, which he erected five years ago, is considered one of he most beautiful homes in Kansas City and occupies one of the choicest locations on the citys finest thoroughfare.

For over three decades Mr. Myers has been identified with Kansas City and has taken an active part in every movement for its betterment. For twenty-one years he has been connected with the Priests of Pallas and for several years was and is a present treasurer of that organization. For many years he has been a member of the Commercial Club in the work of which he has always taken an active and helpful interest. He labored ardently and effectively in raising funds for the Convention Hall and has been associated with other movements in which Kansas City has been a direct beneficiary. Mr. Myers at the request of Mayor Crittendon served as one of the members of the commission on public utilities, which pass on public franchises. He resigned after serving a little over two months and was appointed to the water and fire commission, which has control of the water works and fire department. Neither of these offices were sought by Mr. Myers but as it as shown him that he could benefit the city by serving on these committees he gladly gave his services. At one time he was a member of the old Kansas City Guards, a military organization which later became known as the Craig Rifles. He is a member of the Kansas City Athletic Club and the Evanston Golf Club and is an ardent lover of fishing, which furnishes him his principal recreation. He has enjoyed that sport inmost of the famous fishing points of the United States and in many foreign waters as well. Two years ago, while on a fishing trip to the island of Catalina, off the Pacific coast near Los Angeles, he caught the largest yellowtail of that season, weighing thirty-five pounds. He has just returned from a trip to Cuba and the eastern coast of Florida, where he spent several weeks, and pronounces the climate ideal. He has traveled largely both in the country and abroad and his ideas of life have been greatly broadened thereby, while his pleasure has been much enhanced.

Mr. Myers belongs to the knight Templar Commandery and to the Mystic Shrine. He has been urged to accept office in the latter but as always declined, preferring to spend his evenings in the companionship of his family. On the 20th of September, 1882, he was married to Miss Laura V. Boyd, the only daughter of J. C. Boyd, a highly respected, prominent and public-spirited resident of Kansas City, who was formerly well known as a hardware merchant but is now retired. Mrs. Myers is very active in social and club circles and is an accomplished musician and vocalist but employs those talents only for the enjoyment of her family and the immediate circle of her friends. Mr. Myers is a man of athletic build, well developed, of genial nature and cordial disposition. He is extremely modest and unostentatious in manner but all who know him speak of him in terms of praise. In his life are the elements of greatness because of the use he has made of his talents and his opportunities, because his thoughts are not self-centered but are given to the mastery of life problems and the fulfillment of his duty as a man in his relations to his fellowman and as a citizen in his relations to his state and country.