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from Biography & Historical Record of Ringgold County, Iowa

Lewis Publishing Company of Chicago, 1887, Pp. 320-21


Peter MERRITT, farmer, section 21, Athens Township, has been identified with the interests of Ringgold County for thirty years. He was born in Belmont County, Ohio, November 4, 1828, son of William J. MERRITT, whose sketch appears on another page of this history. When he was two years old his parents removed to Morgan County, Ohio, where he resided until nineteen years of age. His early life was spent at farm work. He received a limited education in the subscription schools of the back woods. In 1847 the family removed to Jackson.

February 23, 1850, Mr. MERRITT was married to Miss Minerva J. SKINNER, born in Perry County, Ohio, daughter of Charity and Samuel SKINNER. In 1853, accompanied by wife and one child, he came to Iowa by team. His father and a brother-in-law named FOSTER came with them. The first winter was passed in Washington.

In 1854 he removed to Marion County where he resided until the spring of 1855, when he located in Athens Township, on 120 acres of Government land, entered the fall before, built a log cabin, 12 x 14, with puncheon floor, and clapboard roof. He afterward removed to section 27, where he resided until 1879, when he sold out and re-purchased the old homestead, known as Merritt Station, which he still owns. The farm contains eighty acres, well cultivated. He has a fine residence, 16 x 24, with L 14 x 16, built in 1880. He also owns eighty acres on section 21, with good house and orchard, 160 acres on section 27, well improved, making in all 377 acres.

Politically he is a Democrat. They have one daughter, Martha, wife of C. H. LEWIS, of Athens Township.

Mr. MERRITT started in life without means, but by good management he has acquired a good property. He is classed among the leading citizens of Ringgold County.

NOTE: Peter MERRITT died on May 4, 1902. Minerva Jane (SKINNER) MERRITT was born in Perry County, Ohio, on September 19, 1829, and died on February 19, 1915. They were interred at Merritt Cemetery, Ringgold County, Iowa.

Peter's father, William Johnston MERRIET was born in 1803, Ohio, and died in 1879, Iowa. Peter's mother, Maria C. (SNEDAKER) MERRITT, was born in ohio in 1805, and died in Iowa in 1883.

Peter's sister Nancy Jane MERRITT was born in Belmont County, Ohio, on January 30, 1831, and died in Albany, Missouri on April 20, 1898. She was married on February 24, 1849, Jackson County, Ohio, to Andrew FOSTER. Andrew was born in Muskingum County, Ohio, on February 23, 1823, and died March 19, 1889, Riley Township, Ringgold County, Iowa. They were interred at Merritt Cemetery, Ringgold County, Iowa.

Civil War Flags.jpg Martha A. MERRITT, daughter of Peter and Minerva Jane (SKINNER) MERRITT, was born in Ohio on December 23, 1851, and died in Shenandoah, Iowa, on November 21, 1938. She married in Iowa on August 17, 1866 to Clark Henry LEWIS, who was born in Marshall County, Illinois on December 25, 1845/46, and died in Shenandoah, Iowa, on March 3, 1925. Clark served as a Private during the Civil War with the 11th Illinois Cavalry. Martha and Clark were interred at Rose Hill Cemetery, Shenandoah, IA. Martha and Clark were the parents of ten children:
1) Byron LEWIS, born 07 Dec 1867, Kellerton IA; died 1949, Kellerton IA
    married 1890 Daisy DAVIS (ca. 1870-?)
    married 04 Oct 1898 Frances F. BARKER, born 14 Sep 1879, Grant City MO; died 1955, Kellerton IA
    Byron and Frances interred Maple Row Cemetery, Kellerton, IA
2) Willie LEWIS, born 23 Feb 1869, Kellerton IA; died at age 6 months 2 day 24 Aug 1869, Kellerton IA
    interment Lewis Cemetery near Kellerton IA
3) Peter W. LEWIS, born 07 Oct 1879, Kellerton IA; died 21 Sep 1904, Leon, Decatur Co. IA
    married circa 1890 Florence BULLARD (ca. 1871-?)
4) Effie LEWIS, born 03 Sept 1872, Kellerton IA; died circa 1873, Kellerton IA
5) John E. LEWIS, born 04 Oct 1874, Kellerton IA; died 20 Mar 1956, Glenwood IA
    married 14 Jun 1898, Mount Ayr IA Elvina Cramlet GRAY, born 02 Sep 1881; died 09 Jul 1959
6) George Truman LEWIS, born 01 Jan 1877, Kellerton IA; died 22 Feb 1957, Shenandoah IA
7) Clark Dell LEWIS, born 28 Feb 1879, Kellerton IA; died 10 Jan 1949, Omaha NE
    married 1904 Ida DAVENPORT (ca. 1885-1948)
8) Martha Ella LEWIS, born 13 Nov 1883, Kellerton IA
    married 21 Jul 1905, Mount Ayr IA Fred KETTLE (1879-?)
    married 2nd Frank A. JOHNSON (1879-1952)
9) Clara Naomi LEWIS, born 11 Jul 1885, Kellerton IA; died 02 May 1960, Red Oak IA
    married 05 Dec 1911, Kansas City MO George William STANLEY (1888-1918)
10) Grover C. LEWIS, born 05 Aug 1887, Kellerton IA
      married 21 Dec 1910, Mount Ayr IA Florence POWERS, born 19 Sep 1890, Kellerton IA

Mary Jane MERRITT, daughter of Peter and Minerva Jane (SKINNER) MERRITT, was born in Ohio on August 23, 1854, and died in Ringgold County, Iowa, on December 17, 1858, with interment at Merritt Cemetery, Ringgold County, Iowa.

Biography & Historical Record of Ringgold County, Iowa, Pp. 320-21, 1887.

WPA Graves Survey

Transcription and note by Sharon R. Becker, March of 2009

Biographical Sketches Pages Index: A - F,   G - L,   M - R,  S - Z

To submit your Ringgold County biographies, contact Sharon R. Becker at
Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.

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