Myron Eells was born to pioneer missionaries Cushing and Myra Eells in 1843. He was born near what is now Spokane, Washington, but the family relocated to the Willamette Valley after the Whitman Massacre in 1849. In 1859, Cushing Eells and his family returned to eastern Washington Territory and founded what is now Whitman College, in honor of Marcus and Narcissa Whitman.
Myron Eells returned to Oregon to attend Pacific University, and graduated in 1866 with his A.M. He then went home to Walla Walla to work on his father’s farm, but after two years went to the Northeast to study for the ministry. He graduated from Hartford Theological Seminary in Connecticut in 1871. He returned to the Northwest upon graduation, and led the Congregational Church in Boise, Idaho for a few years. In 1874, Eells moved to the Skokomish Reservation on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington Territory, and he lived there the rest of his life, working as a missionary and documenting the cultures and languages of the tribes he worked with in Washington. He wrote many articles, books, and pamphlets on the subject, and obtained a large collection of Native American artifacts and books on Northwest history.
Eells served on the Board of Trustees for both Whitman College and his alma mater, Pacific University. At the end of his life, he donated most of his personal papers and his personal library to Whitman College, which provided vital support to the institution his father founded.