Table top for parlor side table of Olivia “Ollie” Graham Meyer
Marble table top for black walnut wood table belonging to Olivia “Ollie” Graham Meyer. Marble top broken in three places.
Items in donation (matching armchair, sofa, and table; ashtray, what-not shelf, vase, books, and clothing) originally belonged to Olivia “Ollie” Graham Meyer (1890-1945), possibly passed down from her parents. Ollie Graham Meyer was the daughter of Red Cliff, Colorado pioneers, Aaron F. Graham and Mary E. Graham. Ollie was born in Red Cliff on January 18, 1890. She was a widely known and respected music teacher and schoolteacher in Red Cliff. She married Oscar William Meyer (1888-1937) on June 11, 1919. Oscar worked as a miner, carpenter, as well as a certified embalmer, undertaker and funeral director. He served in WWI as part of the 341st Field Artillery Company E as a mechanic; he was stationed in France for 11 months. Oscar was also a deputy sheriff in Eagle County, Colorado. On November 2, 1937, Oscar was shot and killed while attempting to arrest robbery suspect, Jim Sherbondy on Tennessee Pass. Sherbondy fled the scene, causing a nationwide manhunt and highly publicized arrest. (For additional information regarding Oscar’s death, events that took place after the shooting, and Jim Sherbondy, see manuscript collection, MSS.2381) The couple had no children. After her husband’s death, Ollie remained in the area, later renting rooms in her home to other schoolteachers. Offered positions in larger cities at a higher salary, Ollie refused to leave Red Cliff because she believed the town needed her “much more than any other place does.” She died on March 19, 1947 and is buried beside Oscar in Red Cliff’s Greenwood Cemetery.
More items related to the Meyers can be found in the Oscar and Olivia Graham Meyer Collection (MSS.2381). The manuscript collection consists of autograph book presented to Oscar Meyer on his 18th birthday and Oscar Meyer and Olivia Graham wedding booklet; Bachelor of Pedagogy diploma from Colorado State Normal School (now University of Northern Colorado) at Greeley for Olivia J. Graham; business and membership cards for Oscar Meyer. Photograph of Oscar Meyer in casket, newspaper clippings related to Oscar Meyer’s death and capture of Jim Sherbondy, and three books are also included in collection.
Table donated to History Colorado by Mr. and Mrs. Al Reder of Red Cliff, Colorado in July 1963. The relationship between the Reders and Oscar and Olivia Graham Meyer is unknown.