Merrill, James Emery (History - 1854)


Janet Schwarze





History of Clark County, Wisconsin (1918)

JAMES EMERY MERRILL, a thriving stock farmer of section 4, Beaver Township, was born in Tioga County, Pennsylvania, Oct. 25, 1854, son of Elliott and Catherine (Hebe) Merrill. Elliott, also a native of Pennsylvania, was the son of James Merrill, one of the earliest settlers of Liberty, Tioga County, Pa. The family trace their ancestry back to an immigrant who came to this country on the Mayflower, early in the seventh century, and the family name is said to have been derived from a place in Scotland, called Merry Rill, which was the ancient home of the Merrills. By the father of the subject of this sketch the name was spelled Merrell. Elliott Merrill, or Merrell, served in the Union army during the Civil War, and was later a member of the Grand Army Post at Wellsboro, Pa. also of the masonic lodge there. Coming west to Wisconsin, he settled in Jackson County, at a place in Garden Valley, six miles west of Alma Center, where he developed a farm from a tract of wild land, erecting frame buildings. He was married in Pennsylvania to Catherin Hebe, who was born in Schuylkill County, that state. They had four children: Eliza and Evelyn, who remained in the East and Mrytie and James E. The latter first came West, and after him the parents, Eliza also coming after the death of her husband. James E. Merrill, after beginning industrial life worked in the coal mines of Pennsylvania until reaching the age of 18 years. He was then engaged for awhile in railroad work and subsequently coming West, was employed on the Omaha Railroad. He then came to Clark County and was engaged as stationary engineer by A. A. Graves of Loyal, until 1904. At that time he bought his present farm of eighty acres in section 4, Beaver Township, five acres of land being chopped. There was also an old log building on the place. Mr. Merrill built the present house in 1906, and the next year erected the barn, which measures 34 by 60 feet. Forty-seven acres of his land are now cleared and he is profitably engaged in raising Guernsey and Jersey cattle.


Mr. Merrill was first married to Martha Green, daughter of Samuel Green, of Garden Valley, Jackson County, Wis., where she was born. She died at the age of 41 years, leaving six children: Harry, Wauneeta, Sam, Nettie, Percy and three others that died young. Subsequently Mr. Merrill contracted a second marriage, with Minnie Mueller, of Sherman township, of which union also six children have been born: Violet, Maude, Fern, Lawrence, Ruby and Leland. Minnie (Mueller) Merrill died Jan. 17, 1917, at the age of 38 years.



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