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X. Merrill as a Place Name
      Alabama
      Arkansas
      California
      Georgia
      Indiana
      Iowa
      Maine
      Maryland
      Michigan
      Mississippi
      Montana
      New Hampshire
      New York
      Oregon
      Texas
      Utah
      Wisconsin

 
A Merrill Memorial


    Samuel Merrill, 1928, reprint 1983

Merrill as a Place Name - Chapter X, pp117-124

    Many places in the United States bearing in some form the Merrill name are evidence of the spirit of enterprise which has led members of the family to seek homes or business careers in newly-settled territory. I have gathered such facts as I can of the origin of these names. In some cases I have failed to discover in what way the one in whose honor the name was given was related to the early settler of Newbury, but in more cases I have succeeded. The task of finding these facts will become no easier as time goes on. If, meanwhile, however, I am assisting some future compiler of a town history to record the family antecedents of one whose name will survive as a geographical designation, my work will not have been wasted.

Alabama

   Merrellton is a small village, with post-office, on the Tallahatchee River in Calhoun County, Alabama. It is a junction point of the Seaboard Airline and Southern Railroads, and has a population of about eighty. The village is in a farming section which is rich in various minerals.

   The name was given to the post-office in 1883 in honor of Merrill Day Frank, then only two years of age. Joseph Frank of Birmingham, Ala., wrote me some years ago that he was a chief clerk in the railway mail service at the time when the post-office was established, and chose the name in honor of his daughter. The little girl, following a custom which is not uncommon in the South, had received a family name at her christening, instead of one of the names which are supposed to be especially reserved for girls, being named for her grandfather, Merrill Thomas Castlebury. The latter was named for Merrill Collier of Gwinnett County, Georgia. My efforts to follow the name to its source elicited a letter from Judge John Collier of Atlanta, who told me that Merrill Collier was named for one of a family of Merrills in Carrollton, Carroll County, Georgia. W.-W. Merrill, and his sons George and Henry, were, he said, successful lawyers in Carrollton many years ago. Of their ancestry I have no information. (See page 639.)


Arkansas

   In some cases where places which seem to have been named for Merrills are found on State maps, closer investigation yields negative results. On a certain map of Arkansas appears Merrell, in Clay County. The postmaster of a neighboring town, answering a letter of inquiry, said:

     In Reply To Your Letter I Will Say There Is Not,
     Any Place Here By The Name Menchened In Your,
     Letter But There Is Some People Living In This,
     Vicinity By The Name Of Merrell. . . .

     I pursued my inquiries no further.


California

   Merrillville, Cal., is a village, with post-office, in Lassen County, in the northeastern part of the State. The population is 142. It was named in 1874, in honor of Capt. Charles-Alfred9 Merrill (Henry8, Samuel7, Thomas6,5, John4,3, Nathaniel2), (see page 418) president of the Lassen County Land and Cattle Company, who formulated the project of tapping Eagle Lake and conducting the water by a tunnel and flume to a desert area thirty miles distant for the purpose of irrigation. The undertaking became involved in litigation, and was never completed. Merrillville is four miles below Eagle Lake, in a territory rich in timber. The nearest railroad station is at Susanville, on the Southern Pacific Railroad, fifteen miles distant.

   A map of northern California shows Merrill, in Sierra County, near the Nevada line. A postmaster in the vicinity writes that this Merrill is a lumber camp, long deserted, and that the source of the name is unknown.


Georgia

   Merrillville is a township in a farming section of Thomas County, southern Georgia, with a post-office and a station of the Atlanta, Birmingham & Atlantic Railroad. The population, according to the census of 1920, was 1204. Of these none bear the name Merrill. The township was given its name in 1900, in honor of Joseph-Hansell9 Merrill of Thomasville, Ga., attorney for the railroad company, who was instrumental in securing the building of the railroad, and the establishment of a station at this point. Joseph-Hansell9 Merrill is a son of Joseph-Styles8 Merrill (Lemuel7, Joseph6, Stevens5, Abel4,3,2). (See page 566)

   There was formerly a village known as Merrell in Greene County, northern Georgia. Henry7 Merrell (Andrew6, Bildad5, Eliakim4, Isaac3, John2) (see page 494) settled there about 1850, organized a cotton manufacturing company, and erected mills. Owing to business difficulties incident to the Civil War the factory was abandoned in 1863, and the village has ceased to exist. The place is now known as Long Shoals. Henry7 Merrell was born 8 Dec. 1816, in Utica, N.Y., and died 28 Jan. 1883, in Camden, Ark.


Indiana

   Merrillville, Ind., is a village in Ross township, Lake County, about twenty-five miles from Chicago. The population of the village in 1916 was estimated at 209. William and Dudley Merrill settled there in 1837, and were joined later by their brothers John-F. and Lewis-B., and by their father Oliver Merrill. They are said (*) to have come from Corinth, Vt. From them the village received its name. Some of their descendants were living recently in the village. The land in the vicinity is valuable for farming purposes. There is a station of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad of Indiana at this point.


Iowa

   Merrill, Iowa, is a village, with post-office, in Plymouth township and Plymouth County, eighteen miles north of Sioux City. The population in 1916 was estimated at 620, the people being interested in grain and dairy industries. At this point there is a station of the Illinois Central, the Great Northern and the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railroads. The name was given to the place in honor of Sherburne-Sanborn7 Merrill (see page 425) (Moses6, Jonathan5, John4,3, Nathaniel2) of Milwaukee. Mr. Merrill was a prominent railroad manager in the Northwest for twenty years prior to his death in 1885.


Maine

   Merrill, in Aroostook County, Maine, received its name from Capt. William6 Merrill (Levi5, Israel4, James3, Abel2) of Portland, who purchased the southeast quarter of Township No. 6, Range 4, 7 June, 1842, for $1932 (see page 615). The township received the name of Merrill Plantation at its organization in 1876, and was incorporated as a town in 1911. Its population in 1920 was 361. William-George7 and Edward-Thomas7 Merrill, sons of Captain Merrill, settled on the land which he purchased, and some of their descendants now live in that vicinity. Lumbering and potato-raising are the chief industries.

   Merrill's Corner is a village in Brownfield, Oxford County, Maine. It received its name about 1810 from Nathaniel6 Merrill (Nathaniel5, John4,3, Nathaniel2), a farmer (see page 427) who lived there. None of his descendants have lived in the village in recent years.

   Merrill Hill in Auburn, Maine, received its name from Elias5 Merrill (Daniel4, Moses3, Daniel2), who, in 1791, bought five hundred acres of land (see page 367) there from various settlers. Elias5 Merrill's sons, Elias6 Jabez6, Daniel6, and Marshfield6 (and James6) all occupied portions of this land.


Maryland

   Merrill is a small village in a farming section on the Savage River, a tributary of the Potomac. It is in the eastern part of Garrett County, the westernmost county in Maryland. The region is mountainous, Big Savage Mountain of the Alleghany Range casting its shadow at daybreak over the quiet settlement. A post-office was established at this point about 1900. The place was given its name in honor of Elias Merrill, who was born in 1838 in Garrett County, Md., and died 28 Aug. 1909. He was a farmer, and lived in Merrill. His father, John Merrill, was born in 1814 in Frostburg, Md., and died in 1860. Andrew-Jackson Merrill of Piedmont, West Virginia, a brother of Elias, writes that he thinks John Merrill's father was Nicholas, and that Nicholas was a native of Massachusetts. Most of this branch of the family are members of the Church of the Brethren, commonly known as Dunkards, and two brothers of Elias Merrill were ministers of that church.


Michigan

   Merrill, Saginaw County, Mich., is a village of 505 inhabitants in Jonesfield township, on the Pere Marquette Railroad, twenty miles west of Saginaw. The occupation of the inhabitants is chiefly farming and lumbering. The name was given to the place about 1880 in honor of Nathan-Weston8 Merrill, at that time superintendent of the railroad upon which it is situated. Mr. Merrill was a native of St. Albans, Maine, (see page 520) a son of James-Levi7 Merrill (Levi6, James5, Joseph4, Daniel3,2). He died 18 April, 1903, at his home in Saginaw, aged 67.


Mississippi

   Merrill is a village of 328 inhabitants in George County, southern Mississippi. It is a station of the Gulf, Mobile & Northern Railroad, at the point where the road crosses the Pascagoula River. The place was given the name in 1898 in honor of Frank-Babson Merrill, who built the Mobile, Jackson & Kansas City Railroad (now the Gulf, Mobile & Northern), and became its president. Lumbering, farming and stock-raising are the chief industries. Mr. Merrill now operates a sawmill at this point, but makes his home in Mobile, Alabama, fifty miles distant.

   Mr. Merrill wrote that he is a son of Joshua-Babcock Merrill (1811-1894) of Barnstead, N.H., and grandson of Samuel Merrill (1788-1827) of Amesbury, Mass. Samuel6 Merrill (Isaac5,4, Abraham3,2) was born 28 Jan. 1782, and lived in Amesbury, and he had a brother Joshua. Mr. Merrill wrote that his father was named for an uncle Joshua. He was inclined to the belief that his father was a son of this Samuel6, an error with regard to the date of Samuel Merrill's birth having in some way found its way into his family papers.


Montana

   Merrill, Stillwater County, Montana, is a station on the Northern Pacific Railroad fifty miles west of Billings. It is on the Yellowstone River, about sixty miles from the northeastern corner of the Yellowstone National Park. It is a shipping point for Montana range cattle. The place was named in honor of Gen. Lewis8 Merrill, who was in command of the Seventh U.S. Cavalry, stationed in the Yellowstone Valley in 1877, protecting the men engaged in the construction of the road. (See pages 13-16.)


New Hampshire

   Merrill's Corner is a village in Farmington, Strafford County, N.H. Isaac7 Merrill (Joseph6, Jacob5, Isaac4, Abraham3,2), a native of Amesbury, Mass., settled there about 1830 and established a country store, and this fact gave the name to the neighborhood. The post-office (see page 501) formerly maintained there has been discontinued, mail being delivered by rural carrier from Rochester.


New York

   Merrill, N.Y., is in Clinton County, in the northern Adirondacks. It is a small village in the southern part of the town of Ellenburgh. It is chiefly known as a Summer resort, but some farming and lumbering is done by the inhabitants. Two brothers, Enoch6 and Paul6 Merrill (Paul5, Enoch4, Joseph3, Abel2), natives of Gilmanton, N.H. (see pages 608-609), settled in Belmont, Franklin County, N.Y., early in the nineteenth century and engaged in farming. Paul's son, Darius-Warren7 Merrill, went up Chateaugay Lake eight miles to the site of the present village of Merrill about 1858, and built a log cabin on the shore of the lake. Here he entertained sportsmen from the cities, and gradually increased his accommodations until, at his death in 1887, his house would accommodate sixty guests. The family name in recent years has been common in Belmont and Merrill village. The village of Merrill is four miles from Lyon Mountain station on the Delaware & Hudson Railroad.

   Besides the village of Merrill there are in the State of New York two places known as Merrillsville. In the town and County of Franklin, twenty miles south from the village of Merrill, is Merrillsville, a farming village in the Adirondacks. John7 Merrill (John6,5,4,3, Nathaniel2) (see page 423) removed in 1835 from Chelsea, Vt., with his four grown-up sons, and made the first clearing in the forest in that vicinity. In 1838 he caused a post-office to be established there under the name of Merrillsville, and it remained more than forty years, when it was removed to Loon Lake, a Summer resort two miles distant. John7 Merrill was a native of Concord, N.H. He died at Merrillsville 19 Oct. 1872, aged 89. The village is six miles from Loon Lake station on the Delaware & Hudson Railroad. A number of the descendants of John7 Merrill now live in the town of Franklin.

   In Madison County, N.Y., 135 miles southwest of Merrillsville in Franklin County, is another village of the same name, in the town of Lenox. The inhabitants of this Merrillsville, who in 1916 numbered about 105, have been chiefly interested in hop-growing and farming. The name was given to the place half a century ago or more by Gerrit Smith, the noted Abolitionist, who lived in Peterboro in the same County, in honor of Solomon Merrill, who, before 1830, was one of the first settlers there, and who lived there more than thirty years. Solomon Merrill went West with his brother Allen, and died in Wisconsin. A post-office called Merrillsville was established in 1891, but it has been discontinued, mail being delivered by a rural carrier from Oneida.


Oregon

   Merrill, Oregon, is a town of four hundred inhabitants in Klamath County, at the extreme southern edge of the State. The nearest railroad station is Klamath Falls, twenty-two miles distant. Farming and sheep and cattle raising are the chief industries. The village was laid out in 1894 by Nathan-Smith Merrill, and was named in his honor. In 1919 Mr. Merrill wrote that he lived in Merrill, and was a farmer. He was born 22 Aug. 1836, near Hillsboro, N.H. He was a son of Nathan Merrill, who was born 8 Jan. 1806, in Nashua, N.H., and grandson of Capt. Nathan Merrill of Hollis, N.H., a drover.


Texas

   Merrelltown is a small village in Travis County, Tex., sixteen miles north of Austin. It has borne the name since about 1850. Nelson7 Merrell settled on Brushy Creek in what is now Williamson County, Texas, in 1837. He was born in Connecticut in 1810, the son of Erastus6 Merrell (Stephen5, Benjamin4, John3,2) (see page 463). The family had migrated to Concord, Ohio, in 1818. In 1839 Nelson Merrell raised a company of "rangers" for the protection of the infant city of Austin, which had just been selected as the capital of the Republic of Texas, and he was chosen captain of the company. Hostile Indians still roamed the woods in the immediate vicinity. Nelson Merrell moved to Walnut Creek, in Travis County, in 1846. A post-office was established at this point, and he was appointed postmaster, the place being given the name Merrelltown. After the Civil War he moved to Brushy Creek, and his descendants now live at Round Rock, in the same vicinity. The post-office at Merrelltown has been discontinued, a rural delivery route from Round Rock serving the community in its stead.


Utah

   Merrill's Spur, Cache County, Utah, is a station on the Oregon Short Line Railroad and on the Ogden, Logan & Idaho Electric Railway, at the northern edge of the State. Its mail service is through the office at Richmond, one mile distant. The station was named for Marriner-Wood Merrill in the last decade of the last century. (See page 644.)


Wisconsin

   Merrill, the County seat of Lincoln County, Wis., is a thriving city having, according to the census of 1920, a population of 8068. Merrill town has an additional population of 909. The chief industry of the place is the manufacture of lumber, which is shipped in large quantities. It is on the Wisconsin River, and a lumber boom at this point has a capacity for 100,000,000 feet of logs. An abundance of hardwood timber grows in the vicinity. Two newspapers are published in the city. The town was originally named Jenny, but this name was changed to Merrill in 1880 in honor of Sherburne-S.7 Merrill (See pp. 119, 425) of Milwaukee, general manager of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway. The Wisconsin Valley Division of this road passes through the city. It was said a few years ago that there were no persons named Merrill living in the city.

   Merrillan, Wis., is a village in Jackson County, at the junction of the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha and the Green Bay & Western Railroads. Its population in 1920 was 628. It is devoted to lumber interests, and is the center of a good farming section. Leander-Gage7 Merrill and his brother Benjamin-Hammond7 Merrill, sons of Humphrey6 (Nathaniel5, Humphrey4, James3, Abel2), went to Wisconsin in 1849, and settled in 1871 upon some pine land which they had purchased in the present town of Merrillan. They built a saw-mill and invested heavily in other improvements. The name of the town is derived from the fact that there were many copartnerships in which the senior member was a Merrill--"Merrill & Loomis," "Merrill & Ice," etc.--and the repetitions of "Merrill and" suggested "Merrillan" as a name.

   Merrill Park is a station on the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway in the city of Milwaukee. It is two miles from the union station of the company in that city, and within a few rods of the late residence of Sherburne-S.7 Merrill, formerly general manager of the company, in whose honor it was named. (See page 119.)

* Oliver Merrill was born 20 Jan. 1782; died 7 Oct 1854; married 1806, Elizabeth Fellows of Corinth. He moved to Owego, Tioga County, N.Y. in 1820, and later to Indiana.

Chapter XI


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