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., p. 35
Submitted by Dave Roberts, Lyon County, Kentucky, former Holt County resident.