The history of Forks is reflected in the lives of people who came here to settle from all over the world. Two of those people were Josephine and E. W Myers. The Myers came to Forks just after the big fire in January 1925, where most of the town burned to the ground.
He was an osteopath and general practitioner and she was a nurse.
Dr. Meyers graduated from the S.S. Still College of Osteopathy in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1905. Mrs. Myers graduated from the Iowa Sanitarium in the same city the following year.
They were married two days after her graduation and followed their chosen professions until 1912 when they went as medical missionaries for the Seventh-day Adventist Church to a part of Africa known as “the white man’s grave” Sierra Leone. The good doctor would later say, “The day of miracles is not over as we spent seven years in the grave and are still living.”
In 1919 they came back to America, took post graduate work and were advised not to return to Africa on account of Mrs. Myers’ health. After several years of practicing in the sanitarium connected with Walla Walla College they came to Forks.
It was 1925 and they were in search of a town that needed a doctor and heard Forks was desperate. They rented a house just off the main street and within a few years they built a home and office of their own on what is now the corner of Spartan Avenue and Division Street.
Their home also served as a small hospital with Mrs. Myers as nurse, where they delivered many of the town’s babies. Dr. Myers’ first patient was Frank Gaydeski for a minor ailment. His first major case came a few days later when Grandma Maxfield, one of the first white women to come to the Quillayute Prairie, broke her hip.
Dr. Myers not only took care of the town’s health, he also acted as secretary of the town’s volunteer fire department and when a regular fire district was formed, he acted as secretary and fire commissioner for many years. He served as school director for seven years during the 1930s and served on the Ration Board during World War II.
Although the Myerses never had children of their own over the years they cared for 40 foster children and one adopted African boy.
In the history of health care in Forks it seems the Myerses have been left out and his accomplishments don’t seem to be recognized anywhere. I personally always will remember him because he checked out my cat’s hurt foot when I was a child.
The Myerses lived in Forks until their deaths — Mrs. Myers in January 1964 and the good doctor in November 1967.