MERRITT C. HENKLE, a progressive stock farmer of Jackson township, was born in Kankakee county, Illinois, August 19, 1852, and is a son of Asa S. and Anna (Michaels) Henkle, given mention at length elsewhere in this work, in connection with Henry C. Henkle. He accompanied his parents and the rest of the family to Benton county, Iowa, in 1856, and since has been a resident of the county. He received his education in the common schools and remained at home until twenty-three years of age; since then he has farmed for himself. He first purchased a farm of eighty acres in section 36, Bruce township, which he operated twelve years. He traded for his present home in March, 1895. He paid for this farm fifty dollars per acre, the highest price which had then been paid for land in that section; the farm had previously changed hands for the consideration of six dollars per acre, and is now worth one hundred and twenty-five dollars per acre. He has made many improvements, including a deep well, a large hay and cattle barn, and a hog house. He makes a specialty of horses, and for the past twenty-five years has been raising the Norman horse, owning now some fourteen head. He owns one hundred and sixty acres in section 6, Jackson township, which has been his home since 1895. He has been very successful, is industrious and energetic, and is considered one of the representative, substantial farmers of the community. Politically Mr. Henkle has always been a staunch Republican, and is now township trustee. He is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, of Garrison, and he and his wife belong to the United Brethren church.
Mr. Henkle married, in Kankakee county, Illinois, Mary D. Smith, born in Kankakee county, September 13, 1859, daughter of Thomas H. A. and Louisa (Noteman) Smith, early residents of Illinois, who came from Utica, New York. Her father died in Illinois, in September, 1877, at the age of forty-one years, and her mother spent her declining years in Benton county, where she died January 6, 1898, in her sixtieth year. Thomas H. A. Smith was born June 22, 1836, at Eden, Erie county, New York, and his wife was born January 18, 1838, in Otsego county, New York. They had seven children, namely: Mary D., Mrs. Henkle; Hattie A., of Vinton; Charles G., of Chicago; Edwin H., of Vinton; Viola, wife of George Miller, of Taylor township; and Carrie G., wife of George Stickney, of Taylor township. One child died in infancy.
Mr. Henkle and his wife had children as follows: Mina L., Charles M., Ethel 0., Mary L., Walter H., Derlie G., and Glenn W. Mina L., born September 30, 1877, is the wife of Charles E. Donnels, of Shellsburg, Iowa; they have three children, Lois, Leta and Clair. Charles M., born August 3, 1880, travels in the employ of a lumber company, and resides at Rapid City, South Dakota. Ethel 0., born September 8, 1885, is the wife of A. A. Brown, of Sheldon, North Dakota, and has one son, Carl. Mary L., born August 21, 1887, died March 11, 1888. Walter H., born May 6, 1889, died February 23, 1891; Derlie G., born July 25, 1891, died February 12, 1892. Glenn W., born May 9, 1893, lives at home.