EDWARD MERRITT. This worthy citizen and upright man has been a resident of Clark County for over half a century, and is widely and favorably known, his long residence giving him a large circle of acquaintances and his character winning their respect and admiration. He is a son of Thomas and Jane (GASKILL) MERRITT, both of whom were born in Burlington County, N. J. The mother was a daughter of Josiah GASKILL of that county in which our subject also was born in the little village of Mount Holly. Thomas MERRITT was a cabinet maker by trade, but after following the occupation for many years he abandoned it and moved on to a farm when his son Edward was but three years of age.
In 1831, Thomas MERRITT with his family, which consisted of a wife and four children, left his native State to found a home in the Mississippi Valley. Beginning their journey on the 2d of May, they reached the home of Mr. MERRITT’S brother near Circleville, Ohio, on the 2d of June. The caravan consisted of two covered wagons each drawn by two horses and in addition to the family mentioned, the party contained a maiden sister of Mr. MERRITT and a man who drove one of the teams. Miss MERRITT afterward became the wife of Isaac ENGLE of Warren County. During their journey the party, with the exception of Mr. and Mrs. MERRITT, slept in the wagons.
The summer was spent near Circleville while Mr. MERRITT looked around for a location, his first purchase being one hundred and seventy acres of land which forms a part of the present home of our subject. The next year he purchased forty acres adjoining where the fine residence now stands. Of the two hundred and ten acres but twenty were under plow, but the father and sons cleared the balance, which now forms one of the finest farms in the section. In 1852, one of the finest brick houses in the county was erected, which still stands as a monument to the energy and forethought of the original owner, and which even at this day is numbered among the best homes in this vicinity. When first built it was 36x42 feet in dimensions, with a kitchen 16x16 feet and a wing 16x36 feet. Thomas MERRITT breathed his last in 1868, being then in his eightieth year; his widow survived until May,1871, reaching the age of seventy-five years.
Edward MERRITT was about eleven years of age when his parents came to this county, in which he attained a man’s estate. On February 22, 1844, he took a companion in the person of Miss Susan Little of Madison Township, who lived but a short time after their marriage. She had given birth to two children who followed her to the grave in a few months. She was the daughter of Hamilton and Mary LITTLE, and was born a few miles west of Philadelphia. Her parents removed thence to this county where they lived to a good age, her father dying about 1850, and her mother surviving many years after.
In 1847, Mr. MERRITT contracted a second matrimonial alliance, his bride being Mrs. Myra BORTON, widow of James BORTON. She had one child Elizabeth Ann BORTON, who afterward became the wife of William T. HALEY of this county and has a family of six children. Mrs. Myra MERRITT was called from time to eternity about five years ago, mourned by many old acquaintances who sincerely sympathized in the bereavement that had befallen her husband and children. The union of this lady with our subject resulted in the birth of four children of whom we note the following: Charles H. married Alice, daughter of Peter BUFFENBARGER, who has borne him three children; his occupation is that of a farmer; Thomas E., who was unmarried, died at the age of thirty-six years; Susan M., is the wife of Reuben M. ROBERTS, who now has charge of the farm of our subject; they have one son, Merritt E; S. Ella is the wife of Edwin B. MICHENER, a farmer of Warren County.
The MERRITT family are of the Friend’s religion, holding membership at Green Plain. The deceased wife and mother was also a member of that religious body. Until recently Mr. MERRITT had been a Republican but he now votes the Prohibition ticket. He has been County Commissioner three years, and has also held the offices of Road Supervisor and School Director. He was Appraiser on the Pikes which were bought from the county.
Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio Chapman Bros., Chicago Copyright 1890.