George Meyer, one of the largest farmers of Holt County, was
born 3 miles from Mullheim, Baden, Germany, March 5, 1827. His
father, Andrew MEYER, was a cabinet-maker and also farmed. His
mother's maiden name was Mary ADOLPH. George was the fifth born
of nine children. The family immigrated to America in 1834, landing
in New York City and proceeding to Wayne County, Ohio. The family
lived there 10 years.
George MEYER had some schooling, but was mostly self-educated.
In 1844, the family moved to Holt County, MO, settling in Lewis township
two miles northwest of Oregon. George engaged in farming with
his father until 1849. He joined the Gold Rush to California and
was one of the first to leave Holt County for the Pacific Coast.
He went with his brother Andrew and Judge McINTYRE; their wagon
was the first to cross the Mo. River at Iowa Point - the crossing
usually selected by emigrants from Holt County They left the Iowa
and Sac Agency May 1, 1849 and reached Hangtown, Calif. Aug 13,
beating the main body of emigrants from Holt County who started 3
days later on May 3 by more than a month. He searched for gold
mainly on the American River, usually within 2 miles of the initial
discovery by Sutter and Marshall. He started back to Mo. in Sept.
1850. He selected the water route via Isthmus of Panama and by
way of New York.
George MEYER married Mary Ann KUNKEL April 3, 1851. She is
the daughter of Jacob KUNKEL and came to MO from Morrow County, Ohio
about 1845. Mr. MEYER purchased the farm where he now resides
on Section 7, Township 59, Range 37 (this would be a very few
miles south-southeast of Oregon). This was one of the first settled
farms in the county and the site of the first store ever opened
in Holt County, established by George and Augustus BORCHERS in the
fall of 1840. Mr. MEYER first purchased 160 acres for his home
farm and 80 acres in the timber. Subsequent to the war (presumably
the Civil War) he bought 270 more acres and now in all owns 1,125
acres, 445 in his home farm and the balance in the upper part
of the county. He is engaged in farming and feeds livestock some
winters. He is prosperous, enterprising and progressive in his
disposition. He specializes in raising fruit and has perhaps the
choicest varieties in the county. His fruit displays have taken
premiums at Holt County fairs and the $200 premium at the first Grand
Exposition at St. Joseph for the best display of fruit and open
to entries from the whole state. The extent of his farming operations
may be judged from the fact that in 1876 he raised 270 acres of
corn averaging 40 to 50 bushels per acre; 950 bushels of fall
wheat; and 1,000 bushels of oats. He is feeding 40 head of cattle
and last winter fatted 100 head of hogs, many of his own raising.
Political affiliation: Formerly a Democrat and cast his vote
in 1848 for Lewis Cass. In 1860 he wagered on Lincoln to win,
but voted for Stephen A. Douglas. He was a strong Union man during
the Civil War, served several times in the militia, and since
the war has been a decided Republican.
Mr. and Mrs. MEYER celebrated 25 years of marriage April,
1876 and had a family group photograph taken, in which appear
the MEYER's and their nine children, all living at home. The names
of the children in order of birth are Jacob S., Julia A., Mary
Alice, Daniel, Peter, Fanny Ellen, Solomon, and twins Ida and
Ada. Mr. and Mrs. MEYER have been members of the German Methodist
church at Oregon for 20 years. Both his parents are buried in
the Oregon cemetery.
Source: "An Illustrated Historical Atlas Map, Holt County, MO.
Published by Brink, McDonough & Co., Philadelphia, 1877
Provided by Dave Roberts of Lyon County, Kentucky,
a former Holt County resident.