Fillmore, Myrtle Page

From collection Person List

Fillmore, Myrtle Page

Myrtle Page Fillmore co-founded the Unity movement with her husband Charles, inspired by her own personal experiences with healing and prayer.

Mary Caroline Page was the seventh of Marcus and Lucy Page’s eight children, born on August 6, 1845, in Pagetown, Ohio. At a young age, she contracted tuberculosis and was frequently ill. By her own account, Myrtle, as she preferred to be called, found the puritanical Methodist ideas in which she was raised troubling. Myrtle loved reading, however, and achieved a remarkable level of education for a woman of her time. In 1866, Myrtle enrolled in the “Literary Course for Ladies” at Oberlin College, earning a teaching certificate the following year. She left Ohio to teach public school in Clinton, Missouri, in 1868.

Seeking relief from another attack of tuberculosis, Myrtle spent 1877–1878 teaching in Denton, Texas, where she met Charles Fillmore. Although she returned to Clinton the following year, she and Charles corresponded with one another, and the two married on March 29, 1881. The couple moved to Gunnison City, Colorado, for a short time, before settling in Pueblo, Colorado. Their first two children were born there: Lowell Page on January 4, 1882, and Waldo Rickert on June 1, 1884. They moved to Kansas City in 1885.

Myrtle was quite ill during the Fillmore’s first years in Kansas City. She and Charles attended a lecture by Eugene B. Weeks, at which she discovered an innate potential for divine healing through affirmative prayer. “I am a child of God and therefore I do not inherit sickness” became her affirmation, and by 1888, Myrtle was completely healed of her tubercular condition. Upon hearing about the healing, many friends and neighbors requested that she pray with them, and Myrtle regularly led others in declaring affirmations.

This practice of metaphysical healing eventually led the Fillmores to publish the first issue of Modern Thought in April 1889, considered to be the official beginning of the Unity movement, and Myrtle wrote her own account of her healing experience. Myrtle welcomed their third son, John Royal, on July 16 of the same year. In 1890, she and Charles formed the Society of Silent Help (now Silent Unity). Myrtle served as the Director of Silent Unity and could often be found at her desk writing letters to the people who requested prayer or advice about their lives. The hundreds of letters Myrtle wrote in that capacity became the foundation for two books, Myrtle Fillmore’s Healing Letters and How to Let God Help You. In 1893, Myrtle’s early experiences as a teacher led her to create Wee Wisdom, a magazine aimed at teaching children Truth ideas. She served as editor of the magazine until 1922. She also wrote a children’s book, The Wee Wisdom’s Way.

Myrtle remained active in the Unity movement as a healing practitioner, teacher, and writer for the remainder of her life, first in Kansas City and then at Unity Farm. In 1906, she and Charles were ordained by the Unity Society of Practical Christianity, and in 1914, she was named vice president of the newly incorporated Unity School of Christianity. In 1931, she celebrated her 50th wedding anniversary with Charles. Later that year, on October 6, 1931, Myrtle Fillmore made her transition at age 86.