Ruth M. Myers

Ruth Augusta (McGee) Myers was born August 7, 1889, Coles County, Illinois. She was the daughter of Charles H. McGee and his third wife, Phebe Jane (Brewer) Woods McGee. After the death of her father in 1907, Ruth moved to Chicago with her older half-sister, Ella Woods.[1] A graduate of the Mattoon School of Commerce, Ruth had obtained a good position in the city.[2] Seven years later, on 21 March 1914, Ruth married Lloyd H. Myers, a fellow Mattoon resident, in Chicago.[3]

The couple settled in Mattoon where Lloyd was the manager of the Hotel Byers; they lived there for over two decades. Ruth’s sister Ella eventually moved into the hotel as well, assisting Lloyd with the management of the hotel; she died there suddenly in 1933.[4]

Hotel Byers Mattoon Illinois

Hotel Byers, Mattoon, Illinois, circa 1913 (Image courtesy of the Illinois Digital Archive)

The following year, on November 4, 1934, Lloyd and Ruth were in an automobile crash and both were seriously injured. Lloyd’s knee and pelvis were shattered while Ruth crashed through the windshield, which resulted in a concussion as well as deep cuts to her face and other bruises.[5]  It took many months for the pair to recover. Both Lloyd and Ruth sued Victor H. McDonald for damages resulting from the accident.[6]

On January 27, 1942, a fire destroyed the fourth floor of the Hotel Byers. Two men were killed outright and many were injured.[7] A third victim died later of his injuries. The inquest ruled that the cause of the blaze was a lighted cigarette in a waste paper basket. Lloyd was one of many who testified.[8] Over the next two years, several lawsuits were filed against the hotel owners as well as Lloyd.[9] During this time, Lloyd left his position at the hotel.[10]

In April 1944, Lloyd and Ruth purchased from Claude D. Gilmore (and wife) four lots in block 17 of the original plat of the town of Kentland.[11] Presumably these were the lots where the Hotel Kentland stood. Lloyd and Ruth managed the hotel, and remained in Kentland until their deaths: Lloyd in 1957 and Ruth in 1973.[12] They never had children, and they were buried in Mattoon, Illinois, near their parents and siblings.


Hotel Kentland (Image courtesy of

You may be wondering what this has to do with the Yegerlehner family, other than the circumstance that Lloyd and Ruth lived in Kentland at the same time as the Yegerlehners. Lloyd and Ruth were members of the Yegerlehner family FAN club (Friends, Associates, Neighbors). After the death of Lloyd in 1957, Ruth “adopted” David Yegerlehner as her grandson. All of David’s grandparents had died when he was a young boy, so he did not really remember them. David explains his relationship with Mrs. Myers in a letter he wrote following her death on June 5, 1973:

“Many years ago Mrs. Myers was widowed and, within a matter of months, she broke her hip in a fall. She was one of my father’s patients, and, because she had no family (she had no children), my mother made special efforts to visit her while she was recuperating. I often accompanied her on these visits, and, in time, we frequently made shopping excursions with Mrs. Myers – just the three of us. I pushed her wheelchair all around the department store. We also sometimes went to see films together. She had not been to a movie in decades, since she and her husband had been tied down to the hotel which they owned and operated.

Since I cannot remember any of my grandparents, and since Mrs. Myers had no children, we agreed that I could be considered her “adopted” grandson. When I went away to college I wrote to her, although my letter writing was not very faithful for long periods….”

About thirty of Ruth’s letters survive and I will be sharing them over the next few weeks.

©2016 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found:

[1] Personals,” Journal Gazette (Mattoon, Illinois), 16 April 1907, p. 5, col. 3: “Misses Ruth McGee and Ella Wood have gone to Chicago to make their home.”

[2] “Mattoon School of Commerce Notes,” Mattoon Morning Star (Mattoon, Illinois), 14 May 1907, p. 6, col. 1: “The Misses Ruth McGee and Nellie Struck have each been placed in good positions in Chicago.”

[3] “Cook County, Illinois, Marriages Index, 1871-1920,” database, ( : accessed 3 August 2016), Lloyd H. Myers and Ruth McGee.

[4] “Eleanor Wood,” The Decatur Daily Review (Decatur, Illinois), 6 September 1933, p. 10, col. 6.

[5] “Crash Occurs in Highway 45 near Tuscola,” Journal Gazette (Mattoon, Illinois), 5 November 1934, p. 1, col. 8.

[6] “Asks Damages of $25,000,” Journal Gazette (Mattoon, Illinois), 17 October 1935, p. 1, col. 5.

[7] “Two Die in Hotel Fire at Mattoon,” Daily Independent (Murphysboro, Illinois), 27 January 1942, p. 1, col. 3.

[8] “Hotel Fire Attributed to Cigaret,” Journal Gazette (Mattoon, Illinois), 4 February 1942, p. 1, col. 6.

[9] “2 More Suits Result From Hotel Fire,” Journal Gazette (Mattoon, Illinois), 26 January 1944, p. 6, col. 3.

[10] Ibid.

[11] “Real Estate Transfers,” The Brook Reporter (Brook, Indiana), 27 April 1944, p. 2, col. 4.

[12] “Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-2011,” digital image, ( : accessed 3 August 2016), entries for Lloyd Henry Myers, 16 January 1957 and Ruth M. Myers, 4 June 1973.

4 thoughts on “Ruth M. Myers

  1. davidmadison1942

    “David explains his relationship with Mrs. Myers in a letter he wrote following her death on June 5, 1973…” Who did I write that to?

    We did have some nice times together. 🙂


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