When Myrtle Belle was born in 1877, she had four older siblings. When she was only one year old, her brother, Robert, died at age two. That same year her parents lost a baby, Daisie, and a year later her sister Grace died at age four. The loss of three children in such a short span of time must have made Myrtle Belle especially cherished by her parents, and she continued to be a companion and help to her mother Isabella for the rest of her life. Myrtle Belle attended Walla Walla public schools and Whitman Academy, a private school associated with Whitman College. At Whitman she was a member of the First Girls Glee Club. She was an active member of the First Congregational Church and took part in many of the church's organizations and functions. Myrtle Belle died in 1928 of what her obituary described as "apoplexy" (probably a stroke) at the age of 51.