Patriarch & Matriarch
Founders of Myers Family Reunion 1969
In the 1800's slavery was a way of life for the majority of black people. There were many who hoped that one day they would breathe as free men. In those days, there were only three way to obtain freedom; some bought it, some stole it and others just waited through prayer to become free.
Today, as we come together as a family, we think of a man who bought his freedom for a price of $150. This man came from virginia 163 years ago. Before he was sold we do not know what his master called him. He was bought by Master Shuler as they would say in those days. He was called Louis Myers! We know nothing about his parents today. Louis was raised near the pringle town community which is now the site of the Macdougal Youth Correction center.
At an early age, Louis got married to one of the housekeepers from the Shuler plantation, Mariah Shuler. Louis knew Mariah all of his life. Their marriage vows were not as ours today. They jumped over the broom and became man and wife. It was the custom in those days that if the bride and groom touched the broom stick, their life together would be unhappy. We assume that they did not touch the stick and the lived happily ever after.
Louis and Mariah had eight children. Brantley, Isaac, Mary, William and Lavinia are the five children that we can account for today. Three male children left home and never returned. Louis Myers was a man of great vision. He desired a place to raise his children independent of the white man's plantation. In 1871, Louis bought 226 acres of land from Shuler for $1 per acre. This land today is still the homestead for the Myers family. Louis died when he was 60 years old. Because there was no assistance, everyone had to contribute to the family well being. Brantley being the eldest son of Louis and Mariah, got married to Eliza Smith, daughter of Shedrick and Eliza Warren Smith. Brantley and Eliza had five children: Adam, Lillie, Hester, Mary and Benjamin. Brantley also had a vision for the future for his family. He wanted his family well cared for and to always have a place to call home. He was not just satisfied with what he inherited from his father so he purchased an additional 100 acres of land for $1500 in 1891. Brantley died on June 19, 1920 at the age of 61. His wife, Eliza lived many years after his death until she departed this life in 1951.
Adam, The oldest child of Brantley and Eliza married Mattie Husser, the daughter of Lymus and Mimi Ellis Husser in 1919. To this union twelve children were born: Louis, Heyward, Joseph, Edna, Edith, Frank, Wilson, Jessie Mae, John, Marion, Bettye Jean and Earline. All of their children were raised on the present homestead that Wilson continues to call home to this very day.