Crawford County, Iowa, IAGenWeb


Charles W. Merrill

Charles W. Merrill, who stands today as one of the representative and progressive business men of Denison, was born July 7, 1855, in Ohio, a son of John W. and Julia (Heaton) Merrill, both of whom were natives of New York state.

In 1869 they removed to Linn county, Iowa, where the father rented one hundred and sixty acres of land, upon which he resided until 1882 and then took up his residence in Montezuma, Iowa, remaining there during the rest of his life. Seven children were born to this couple, of whom but two survive, namely: Harriet, who became the wife of R. C. Ring and lives in Linn county; and Charles W. Those deceased are James, Quincy, Rufus, William and Lucy.

After passing through the public schools Mr. Merrill served an apprenticeship to the wagonmaker's trade and has since continued to successfully follow this branch of industry. His first employment was obtained at Center Point, Linn county, where he remained about five years and then moved to Thomburg, Iowa, where he spent fifteen years. He next lived in Greene, Iowa, there engaging in the same occupation for two and a half years. He then came to Denison, opened up a carriage and wagon shop and by unremitting industry, and his unquestioned ability in this line of work has succeeded in building up a large and lucrative business.

On December 28, 1879, Mr. Merrill was united in marriage to Miss Addie L., a daughter of J. M. and Eliza J (Torrence) Potter, who were the parents of seven children, four of whom, including Mrs, Merrill, survive, the others being: Ella M., who became the wife of H. C Printy and lives in Center Point, Linn county; Franklin, who is a farmer near Columbia Falls, Montana ; Artie Mabel, who married George W. Lee and resides in Sac City, Iowa. Mr. Potter is a native of Indiana and followed farming in that state and in Iowa until he retired and came to reside with his daughter, Mrs. Merrill. At the age of eighty-four he is enjoying a serene old age. His wife departed this life in 1907 in her seventy-fourth year.

Mr. and Mrs, Merrill are the parents of four children, two of whom are living, namely: Clifford C, who resides in Omaha, Nebraska; and Mabel J, who became the wife of A. L. Moeller and lives in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Mrs. Merrill is president of the Women's Christian Temperance Union, of which she was also for a short time district president. Mr. Merrill casts his vote for the republican party and although he takes an abiding interest in all local affairs that tend to improve his town he has never sought political preferment. In religion he holds membership in the Methodist Episcopal church. In his business career he has made an excellent record and has not only become favorably and well known but has gained a gratifying measure of prosperity, while personally he is a man whose worth and high principles are well appreciated by his many friends.

Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.