Early Days of Greenbush

Frederic Henry Merrill


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Frederic H. Merrill was born in Amherst, Mass., July 25, 1819. He was a son of Horace and Deborah (Paine) Merrill. His boyhood days were spent mostly in his home town, where he received superior educational advantages. In early manhood he removed with his parents to Orwell, Vermont, and was for some years employed in a large mercantile house at what was then known as ChipmanÕs Point, on the shore of Lake Champlain. He parents having, in 1836, moved to Chardon, Geauga county, Ohio, he about one year later followed them there, where for a time he engaged in business for himself. About 1840, he came to Illinois. For several years he was a prominent and successful teacher in the district schools of Warren and Henderson counties. On October 7, 1847, he was married at Denny, Warren county, Illinois, to Lucretia Paine, daughter of Charles Henry and Parthenia (Mason) Paine. She was born at Freedom, Portage county, Ohio, August 27, 1825. About 1849 or Ō50, he came with his wife and one child, Mary Emily (now Mrs. George Albro Johnston), to Greenbush, IllinoisÕ, and associated himself with Alfred Osborn under the firm name of Osborn & Merrill. They for years did a large general merchandise business, and were widely known. Their store was noted for fair-dealing, and the word of Frederic H. Merrill was always as good as his bond. He was interested in everything calculated to better the condition of his home town and the welfare of his fellow-citizens. In his religious affiliations he was a Congregationalist, but his views were broad and charitable.

There were born to them eleven children, namely:

  • Mary Emily, born July 4, 1848; married George Albro Johnston, April 26. 1868.
    Charles Henry, born January 11, 1850.
    Effie Maria, born November 19, 1853.
    Frederic Horace, born April 20, 1860; married Mary Alice Belding, June 2, 1892. He is now engaged in the grocery and hardware trade at Avon, Illinois.
    Giles Edward, born December 13, 1862; married Catherine M. Snyder, May 28, 1885. He is extensively engaged in the poultry and egg business at Avon, Illinois, and is a member of the firm of Merrill Brothers, doing a general merchandise business at Greenbush, Illinois.
    Frank, born October 6, 1867; married Pearl Meachum, December 14, 1893. He, in company with his brother, Giles E., is engaged in the mercantile business at Greenbush, Illinois.
    Arthur, born November 20, 1869; married Elizabeth Bliss, July 18, 1894. After receiving a divorce from her, he married Catherine Robey, October 12, 1898. She was a daughter of T. A. and Emma (Baldwin) Robey. He was appointed postmaster at Avon, Illinois, July 15, 1897, which office he still holds. He is a strong advocate of the rural route system, having obtained three routes as early as November 1, 1900.
    Cora Eliza, born April 17, 1865; died May 10, 1879.
    Three children died in infancy.

  • Mr. Merrill and his family removed to Avon, Illinois, in the fall of 1863, where he continued in the same line of business. He was for several years postmaster at Avon; also school director. In his political belief he was a republican. After years of a busy life he transferred his store interest to his two sons, Giles E. and Fredric H. Merrill. He died in Avon, Illinois, August 14, 1892. His wife followed him to the better world April 28, 1897. Both have left behind them names that will ever be honored and cherished by all who knew them.

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