James Edgar Myers, Sr.
September 13, 1913 - September 19, 1999
Married Gladys Geraldine Ward on September 22, 1936

James Edgar "Ed" Myers, Sr.

My Dad

If you asked anyone about dad, they would all say "he loved his family, enjoyed his work, was faithful to his church, and kept his word."  Dad was born on September 13, 1913 and weighed 13 pounds -- 13 was dad's lucky number.  He left us on Sunday, September 19, 1999.  

In between those two dates, he graduated from Cleburne High School, went to the World's Fair in Chicago, married the love of his life (Gladys Ward), established Myers Plant Company in 1936 with his best friend (his dad James Henry Myers), served as a radio operator instructor in World Ward II, became our father, took a lot of pictures (we even had a darkroom), built his business, was a faithful member of his church (and a deacon), became a grandfather & great grandfather.

Dad did what most of us dream of -- he spent his life working at what he loved. He loved plants. We spent many hours, especially lunches, looking through nursery magazines and newspapers, searching for plants we didn't have in our greenhouses or growing in our field. At the height of his career he operated seven greenhouses that were filled with the most unusual and exotic plants from around the world and lots of people traveled from many place to Cleburne, Texas to see Ed's plants. The slogan he created and placed on every piece of mail and advertisement was -- "Myers Plant Co. Home for 50,000 rare and unusual plants."  Botany and biology teachers brought students to see those plants and for many years buses from Texas A & M came by every year on field trips. Professors and students wandered through Ed's gardens.

Dad was always experimenting - cross pollinating, grafting, etc.  I was his favorite student and he spent many hours teaching me his "secrets" for doing those things. We would search through tables of plants, especially the coleus, looking for a variation that we could clip, root, and begin a new type of plant. He planted a huge ivy plant in the main greenhouse that climbed to the top and spread out to become a huge plant. It was just a little older than me. 

We also had a lot of fun going to watch Cleburne High School football games and listening to Southwest Conference football games on the radio on Saturdays while we worked. You could always find us by following the extension cords through the greenhouses or out into the field. Dad hired a neighborhood kid that was my age to work with us -- Danny Bodine. We had a lot fun back then and are still close friends today.

Left to Right -- me, dad & Danny

I grew up in a world before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, when our world was separated by skin color. There were water fountains for "Whites" and "Colored." We had separate schools, churches, etc. But there was one place where skin color didn't govern who was allowed in or where they could go -- Myers Plant Co. I never thought about it until I was grown, but the love of plants brought people together. All kinds of people could be found wandering through the greenhouses talking with each other about the plants they were seeing or looking for.

In the final years of his life his eye sight grew dim, but at 80+ years of age, he went to his greenhouse office everyday and sat in his chair so he could welcome every visitor.  He always had time to answer questions about plants and amazed many with his vast amount of knowledge.

Dad was a very special man. His example, ideas, humor, and wisdom continue to touch lives of many people, especially his family. He came into the world at the beginning of the 20th century and left just before it ended. It was a better century because he was here. 

This article written by his oldest son, Jim Myers.

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