James S. Green letters  1813-1818
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Biography

Albert G. Myrick and his brothers Samuel and John William were raised by their mother, Sophia, in Palmyra, N.Y. By the mid-1840s, Albert had begun to build up a substantial business designing and producing stone monuments for graves, and thanks to an impressive network of agents, his business soon extended from New York state to as far away as Kentucky and Michigan. Like many antebellum New Yorkers in his position, he furthered his financial position by speculating in lands in Michigan. By the mid-1850s, he had carved out a secure position in the economic and social elite of Palmyra, cemented through his Masonic ties and business contacts.

As a prominent and wealthy man living in a political and social hotbed, Myrick was almost inevitably drawn into politics. He was one of local movers in helping to found and rally support for the nativist American (Know-Nothing) Party during the mid-1850s, and when that party foundered, he helped to support the Constitutional Union Party. When that, too, dissolved, Myrick turned his allegiance to the Democratic Party, remaining in the Democratic fold for the remainder of his life. More an organizer than a figurehead, Myrick held only a few political offices in his life, most notably a position with the New York Canal Department in the 1850s and 1860s, but he never rose to greater prominence than mayor of Palmyra (ca.1861). Albert died in about 1875.

William W. Myrick, the son of Albert and his wife, Hellen, joined his father's monument business in about 1870. After several years as partners, Albert left the business -- whether due to death or retirement is unclear -- leaving William as sole proprietor. William was a capable manager, and oversaw the business into at least the late 1890s, like his father, investing in real estate to augment his income. An honest and apparently unassuming man, William's lone controversial business dealing appears to have been his use of a pneumatic marble-cutting tool which violated patent law. He had a wife, Mary.

Albert's younger brother, John William Myrick, also engaged in the monument business, though without attaining the same degree of success of his brother and nephew. Called "Will" by family members, he was a precocious young man, reaching his majority in 1845. However, within a few years of assuming responsibilities with the firm, the youthful entrepreneur immersed himself in debts, and in 1849, leaving his financial problems for Albert to solve, made the journey to California in search of easier wealth. John did enjoy some short-lived success in the gold mines, but lost much of his money when his partner embezzled the profits of a general store and ferry boat he had hoped to carry him to riches.

Embittered by his failures and feeling that his family and friends had deserted him, John turned to farming in the Napa Valley during the 1850s in the hopes of restoring himself to good standing. By the 1860s, he was working as a stockbroker in California and earning a strong, steady income, and by 1889, he had returned to the marble business. In that year, John established a firm in Spokane Falls, Washington Territory, that supplied stone for construction of the Cascade Locks on the Columbia River. Like his relatives, John allied himself with the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, supporting the war effort during the Civil War and even favoring Lincoln's reelection in 1864. He and his wife Ellen (d. 1870) married in 1852 and had three children, Percy, Ella, and William Albert.