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James J. Myler and family – Larned Cemetery, Larned, Pawnee County, Kansas

On Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 1908, the James Myler home was destroyed by a fire. James replaced it with a brick, two-story house. However, around midnight on July 13, 1909, a tornado destroyed the newly built brick home.

James Jones Myler was born in Illinois on June 24, 1869, and accompanied his family to eastern Kansas about 1880. A few years later, James came to Pawnee County, where he married a local girl, Ede Nelle Baughman. The wedding took place on August 17, 1890.

The couple settled on a homestead six miles southwest of Burdett. Their first child was born a year later, followed by eight more, for a total of two daughters and seven sons.

The Myler family was sitting down to breakfast when a family member went upstairs and saw flames. The family was able to evacuate without injury. Unfortunately, nothing could be saved apart from the clothes on their backs. The community of Burdett rallied around the family after the fire providing the family with clothing and household goods. Upon further inspection, the fire began in an upstairs room caused by a clogged flue.

The Myler family constructed a new two-story brick home which was almost completed when the tornado struck. Ede suffered a broken collar bone, one son injured a leg, and a farm hand had lacerations on his hand. However, the most severe injury occurred to James when a cement block struck him in the stomach.

James’ body was severely damaged and bruised, and he passed away two weeks after the storm. Ede was left to raise nine children ranging in age from eighteen years old to one month old. However, she did remarry in 1913 to Frank Wyatt.

Of their nine children, three died early deaths. First, Lyman died at the age of ten from complications of measles. Then, at age eighteen, Vivian died from spinal meningitis. Lastly, Sherman died from appendicitis at age nine.

The remaining children grew up, married, and most had children. Myrle was one-month-old when his father died; like his siblings, he grew up in Larned and served his country during World War II as Cpl. Myrle A. Myler.

James was laid to rest with his two children in Larned Cemetery.

The rest of the story: Sadly, James was the only death from the storm. His outbuildings and barn were untouched. However, a farmer in the vicinity lost a barn.

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