Marie Felicita Tortes Meyers grew up in the Cahuilla settlement at Spring Rancheria, an area now known as Indian Hill Drive. A member of the Santa Rosa Tribe, Felicita also frequently resided on the Santa Rosa reservation.
At age seven she started her lifelong role caring for others, placed with a San Bernardino family to help as a “nurse-girl.” Later she helped at the home of the citrus-pioneer Garcelon family, and at the home of John W. North. She married John Mayer, a civil war veteran, and they owned a downtown property between Seventh (Mission Inn Avenue) and Eighth (University Avenue) where John operated a saloon. Felicita is thought to be the first Native American woman to purchase land in California.
During their marriage, their name evolved to Meyers, and the couple had two sons and a daughter. Their care became Felicita’s main focus. In 1883 John died and Felicita, with three small children to raise, went to work for her friend Frank Miller in the laundry at the Glenwood (Mission Inn). Her son Jack “Chief” Meyers became a famous baseball player, playing for the New York Giants and the Brooklyn Nationals (later the Dodgers) from 1911 to 1917.