Pages 220-221, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




GEORGE L. MERRILL, of the lumber firm of Adams & Merrill, of Moran, came to Allen County in 1883. At that time he located in the new and growing town of Moran, engaged in the business of contracting and building and for seventeen years has been regarded as an active moving spirit in the affairs of his town.

Mr. Merrill was born in Concord, Morgan County, Illinois, May 10, 1860. His father, Spafford Merrill, was a mechanic. He crossed the plains in '49 and remained on the Pacific coast several years, residing among the Indians and resting here and there alone, and without the sight of a white man for years. He made his way up into Washington and was one of the parties to name the city Whatcomb. He returned to Illinois with the proceeds of his trip, before the Rebellion, and engaged in mercantile pursuits in Concord. He joined the 101st Illinois infantry as a private soldier and served over two years.

Spafford Merrill was born in New York February 5, 1825. His father was Aaron Merrill, born in Geneseo, New York, in 1798. The latter left New York with his family in 1829 and settled in Mahoning County, Ohio. He continued his westward trip in 1871 and died in Morgan County, Illinois, in 1874. He married Electa Wright and his children were: Margaret, Charles, Spafford, Benson, George, John and Emily, wife of W. H. McCartney, of Hopkins, Missouri. Benson resides in Jacksonville, Illinois; the others are dead.

Spafford Merrill married Athalia Rush, of New York. She died February 28, 1878, in Morgan County, Illinois. Their children were: Oscar R., of Moran, Kansas; George L. and Eva, wife of Charles Orwig, of McDonough County, Illinois, Robert Merrill, of Warren, Ohio, is a half brother of our subject.

George L. Merrill put himself to the carpenter trade in Concord, Illinois, at an early age. By the death of his parents he was without a home at the age of thirteen years. He remained about Concord till 1883 when he started west and soon brought up in Iola, Kansas. He was in company with W. H. Berkihiser, known in Moran, and found work in that town at once. He followed his trade till 1890 when he engaged in the lumber business with Honstead & Berkihiser. The firm changed to Merrill & Honstead some months later and finally, in 1896, to its present name.

On questions of public policy, in Nation and State, the early Merrills


were Republicans. The faith of his fathers our subject has espoused and his politics is well known in Moran, where he has served as Clerk of the city.

November 30, 1884, Mr. Merrill was married in Moran to Ida M. Cox, a daughter of Peter Cox, of Vigo County, Indiana. The latter died in Moran and left two children, viz.: Amy, wife of A. Lisenbee, and Mrs. Merrill. Mr. and Mrs. Merrill's children are: Oscar L., Alma M. and Amy E.

Mr. Merrill is a Workman, an Odd Fellow, a Rebekah and a member of the ladies auxiliary to the Workman—the Degree of Honor.

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