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Myrover, James Henry (Harry)

23 June 1843–23 Jan. 1908

James Henry (Harry) Myrover, teacher, newspaper reporter, editor, publisher, and Confederate officer, was born in Fayetteville, the son of Henry L. and Urbanna Cooper Myrover. He attended Donaldson Academy in Fayetteville and Caleb Howell's Quaker school in Alexandria, Va., before entering the University of Virginia, where his education was interrupted by the Civil War. On 6 June 1861 he enlisted for six months in the First Regiment of North Carolina Infantry as a private. He was mustered out in November at the end of his enlistment, but on 1 Mar. 1862 he enlisted as a sergeant in the Thirty-sixth Regiment. Myrover was wounded at Goldsboro Bridge in December, promoted to first sergeant in March or April 1863, and transferred in the same rank to the Thirteenth Battalion, North Carolina Light Artillery, on 4 Nov. 1863. There he was named second lieutenant to rank from 1 Dec. 1863; on 1 Nov. 1864 he was promoted to first lieutenant. After extensive service, particularly across eastern North Carolina, and again suffering a wound, he was paroled at Greensboro on 29 Apr. 1865.

Returning home, he participated in political activities during Reconstruction, with the goal of returning North Carolina to the control of the Democratic party. At the same time, he embarked on a newspaper career that later earned him a reputation for excellence across the state. In 1865 Myrover began printing a daily, The News, and from July 1866 to 1868 his father (whose occupation was listed in the 1860 census as grocer) joined him in publishing the weekly Fayetteville News. For a time Benjamin Robinson, the husband of Myrover's sister Celia, was co-owner of this paper with the younger Myrover. With his brother, George G. Myrover, the Daily Gazette was established in 1873 and continued until 1892. Between 1881 and 1884 James published the Carthage Gazette, and in October 1883 he became assistant editor of a Fayetteville weekly, The Sun. Although he spent most of his life in his native city, Myrover worked for varying periods on newspapers in New York City and in Greensboro (after 1888); he was employed by the Charlotte Observer for about a year in 1892. In addition, he served as correspondent for numerous other papers, including those in Durham, Wilmington, Winston, and Richmond, Va. His contributions frequently were of a historical nature.

For a time Myrover also taught in the Fayetteville graded schools. In fact, the 1870 census recorded his occupation as schoolmaster, and he was superintendent of schools in 1893–94. He was a member of the board of managers of the Howard School, which evolved into Fayetteville State University.

Myrover wrote the history of the Thirteenth Battalion for Walter Clark's Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina in the Great War, 1861–1865 (1901), and he was the author of a Short History of Cumberland County and the Cape Fear Section (1905), sponsored as a promotional piece by the Bank of Fayetteville. In addition, he contributed biographical sketches to all but the first of the eight volumes of the Biographical History of North Carolina, edited by Samuel A. Ashe and published between 1905 and 1917. In 1906, when serious consideration was being given to tearing down the Market House in the center of Fayetteville to make way for a new post office, Myrover rallied wide support to save that historic structure.

According to the 1870 census, he and his wife Maria, aged twenty-five, were the parents of a four-year-old son, James Goelet. Maria Goelet Myrover, of Washington, Beaufort County, died many years before her husband. Their son, who worked for a Savannah, Ga., newspaper, also died before his father. Myrover himself later was a part of the household of his elderly mother. He died suddenly after a brief illness; his funeral was conducted in the First Presbyterian Church, and he was buried in Cross Creek Cemetery, Fayetteville.

References:

Walter Clark, ed., Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina in the Great War, 1861–1865, vols. 1, 4 (1901).

Cumberland County Census, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, and Marriage Bonds (North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh).

Fayetteville Observer, 27 (daily), 30 (weekly) Jan. 1908.

Louis H. Manarin, comp., North Carolina Troops, 1861–1865: A Roster, vols. 1, 3 (1966, 1971).

John A. Oates, The Story of Fayetteville and the Upper Cape Fear (1981).

Additional Resources:

"J. Harry Myrover: Death of a Distinguished Citizen of Fayetteville." The Times-Dispatch [Richmond, Va.], January  25,1908. http://virginiachronicle.com/cgi-bin/virginia?a=d&d=TD19080125.1.6# (accessed November 25, 2013).

Bryant, H. E. C. Tar heel tales. Charlotte, N.C.: Stone & Barringer Co. 1910. Preface. http://archive.org/details/tarheeltales00brya (accessed November 25, 2013).

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Copyright notice

This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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