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Ringgold County Biographical Sketches

Biographical and Historical Record of Ringgold and Decatur Counties, Iowa
Lewis Publishing Company, 1887. pp. 235.

WILLIAM J. MERRITT

"William J. MERRITT, deceased, was one of the first pioneers of Ringgold County, and the first settler in Athens Township. He was born in Belmont County, Ohio, September 5, 1803, son of Daniel and Nancy Merritt.

He was married in his native county to Maria Snedaker, who was born in 1805. After marriage they removed to Morgan County, and later to Jackson County, In 1854 Mr. Merritt, with wife and ten children, came by team to Iowa and settled all alone in Athens Township.

He first built a log cabin on Lott's Creek, and in a few months removed to section 17, where he built a log cabin with a loft. He was proprietor of Merritt Station -- as his farm was called -- and furnished food for the hungry traveler and the stage horses. It was called the half-way station between Ottumwa and Nebraska City. His farm contained 120 acres of prairie and forty acres of timber.

The children were -- Daniel, Peter, Nancy, A. J., Elizabeth, Jane, John, Ellen, Alice and William H. Jane died at the age of eighteen years. Mr. Merritt died in 1879, and Mrs. Merritt, December 10, 1873."

Submitted to the Ringgold County IAGenWeb Project by Christy Jay, email: Jaygenie@aol.com

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