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Rogers Historical Museum  


Photo of the Month

John Myler

“We are very fortunate here in Rogers,” as James Hales commented in Rogers, Arkansas, 1881-2006, “to have such a fascinating history with most of the old buildings preserved . . . It is mind-boggling to think that most of these interesting buildings, with various complicated architectural designs, were built when Rogers had only dirt streets, wooden sidewalks, no sewers or indoor plumbing, no water system, no street lights, no phones, no concrete, and no heavy equipment other than horses and wagons.” In less than six years from its founding in 1881, Rogers had three churches, with another under construction, the Rogers Academy, mills, business houses, and many new homes. By the mid 1890s most of the simple, false-front stores that lined First and Walnut Streets were being replaced with substantial stone and brick commercial blocks.

One contractor in particular stands out as a leader in the construction field during this period. John Byron Myler (1879-1970) arrived in Rogers at the age of 16 with his step-father C.R. Crowe in 1895. The family, experienced in brick and stonemasonry, was originally from San Antonio, Texas, but saw great opportunity for builders in Rogers as the new town took shape. Crowe convinced merchants that stone and brick buildings were superior to frame structures in appearance and longevity, but not much more expensive to construct.

Crowe and Myler soon started to work on the first brick commercial building at First and Elm Streets known as the Burnham Block. Crowe went on to build six more buildings over the following four years, but moved to Joplin for another building boom. Even though most of the downtown commercial buildings had been completed by the early 1900s, Myler decided to stay in Rogers.

Building opportunities still abound and he found personal reasons to stay. When the family first moved to Rogers, Myler met his future wife, Effie Camden. Effie was born on May 10, 1881—the same day the first Frisco train arrived and the town was founded. The couple not only helped build Rogers, they also grew up with it. By 1950, every building with stone trim had been built by some member of the Crowe-Myler family. Stone trim was their trade mark and they believed that no building was complete without it.

Working on his own in 1899, Myler earned approximately 30 cents per hour and worked 10 hour days. Most of the early building was done with less formal plans than might be expected today. Typically, Myler would determine the number and size of rooms needed by the owner and make a basic sketch to work from. Many embellishments would be added as construction proceeded, and, in some cases, as an afterthought. This, however, changed in the early 1900s with the arrival of architect A.O. Clarke.

Many of the building materials Myler used during the early years were produced locally. Bricks were made at job sites or at brickyards such as Barnett’s kiln on North Second Street and the yard located at the present site of the Tyson plant. Stone and lime was quarried in the bluffs east of town where Lake Atalanta now exists. Sand for mortar came from the White River and lumber could be milled from local stands of timber.

Cement was unavailable during these early years, so mortar was made from a mixture of sand and lime. Myler eventually worked a great deal with cement and laid the first curbs and sidewalks in town. He was proud of the longevity of the family’s work, but freely admitted that some of their early buildings had to be reworked to replace the sand and lime mortar with more stable concrete. Regardless, none of their work was torn down due to deterioration.

By the 1950s, Myler had helped build nearly all of the brick and stone buildings in the business district, an uncounted number of homes, three churches, the first street curbs and concrete sidewalks on West Walnut Street, as well as served as foreman in building the city’s first sewer system. In looking back, Myler reported that his favorite project was the Progressive Life building designed by A.O. Clarke in 1911 and located at Second and Elm Streets. In fact A.O. Clarke used Myler as a stonemason and contractor on many of his projects.

Many of the structures that Myler built or supervised construction of are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. His son, John E. Myler, joined the family business and served Rogers as a bricklayer for over 50 years. When we see the many stately brick and stone structures that line our streets today, we should remember the skills and contributions of the Myler family.
 

 

More Photos of the Month

People:
Rogers Academy Class of 1896
Applegate Family
Bingham, George H.
John Black and Hugh “Tater” Black
Blackburn, J.A.C.
Blaylock, Sarah
Carter, C. Jimmie
Clarke, A.O.
Curry, Dr. William Jasper
Decker, Charles
Felker, William R.
Ford, Edsel
Funk, Erwin
Harvey, Coin
Hawkins, Harold and Frank Jr.
Hill, Fred
Jacobs, Thomas
Keck, Jack
Key, Vera
Kirksey, Birch
Lingle, Greer
Lockhart, Tracy
McNeil, Tom
Means, Joe
Morgan, Tom
Morsani, Al
Myler, John
The Sagers
Sikes, J. Wade

J.L. Shinpaugh, Rogers City Marshal
Steele, John Bell and Mary Van Winkle
Thaden, Louise
Rice, Dr. Rufus S.
Rogers, Betty Blake
Rogers, C.W.
Rogers Dough Boys
Rogers, Will

Tribble, Letsie
Truman Boling, Master Builder

Vick Will

Places:
Beaver Dam
Beaver Lake
Butterfield Trail
Camp Joyzelle
Confederate Monument
Coin Harvey’s Spring Lake and Falls
Lake Atalanta
Monte Ne
Old Highway 12 Bridge
Park Springs Park
War Eagle
The Amphitheater at Monte Ne
Silica Mining
Frisco Tunnel at Winslow
Wonderland Cave in Bella Vista
The Ozark Bluff Dwellers
Fisherman's Camp
Kruse's Gold Mine
Highway 71
Hanging Tree

Businesses:

The Apple Industry
Callahan's Station
Cattle Ranching
Coca-Cola Bottling Company
Daisy Manufacturing
Decker Motor Co.
Dyke Lumber Co.
Hailey Motor Co.
House of Webster
McNeil Chevrolet
Munsingwear
Poultry Industry
Pressing Sorghum Cane
Rogers Champion
Rogers Hardware Co.
Rogers Transfer & Storage
Suzie-Q Malt Shop
Wal-Mart

Wendt-Sonis

Schools:
Rogers Academy
Rogers High School
Sunnyside Elementary School

Buildings:
The Applegate house
112 South First Street
Bank Of Rogers Building
Benton County Jail
B.F. Sikes Log Cabin
Central Methodist Episcopal Church
J.B. Steele House, 303 South First Street
Juhre Building (1894)
Golden Rule Building (circa 1894)
Lane Hotel
Love's Sanitarium
Mutual Aid Union Building
Palace of the Ozarks
Rogers City Hall
Rogers City Jail
Rogers Milling Company
Rogers Opera House
Rogers Post Office
Rogers Wholesale Grocery Company
The Key Wing
The Stroud Building (1899)
The Victory Theater
James and Sally McDaniel Home

The Stroud Home
The Tribble House
The Rocky Branch School

Organizations:
206th C.A. A.A
Home Demonstration Club
Rogers First Elks Lodge
Rogers Garden Club
Women's Study Club/Mas Luz Club
Benton County Possum Hunters
Rogers High School Football Team 1921
Rogers High School Marching Band 1942
936th Field Artillery Battalion in the Korean War
1960's Rogers High School Spirit
Arkansas State Guard in WWII

Events:

Apple Blossom Festivals
Benton County Fair
Bolin Murder Inquest 
Ozark Golden Jubilee
Rogers Centennial Posse
Rogers Diamond Jubilee (1956)
Santa's Rocket Sleigh
Sledriding
The Arrival of Santa Claus (1945)
The Brightwater Train Wreck (1907)
The Great Car Skate on Lake Atalanta (1940)
Thanksgiving (1904)
The Last Reunion of Pea Ridge Veterans

Other:

Baseball
Cars
Chemical Engine
Christmas Memories
Frisco Railroad
Halloween
Mining in Northwest Arkansas
Natural Resources
Rogers' Congregational Church
Rogers Fire Department
Rogers Police Cars
St. Mary's Hospital
Tobacco and Benton County
Still Busting near Bentonville
Roadwork
John Boat
Quilts
Tall Tree Tales

Civil Defense in the 1960's
Early Cars
Rogers Yuletide
Brick Streets
Rural Road Work

 


 

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