George Milton Merritt

George Milton Merritt (1858-1927) and son George Wood Merritt (1895-1951) [Provided by Edward H. Preston]

Biographical Sketch of George M. Merritt
From Centennial History of Columbus and Franklin County, Ohio. By William Alexander Taylor, The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago-Columbus, 1909. Vol. II, pages 756-757. The spelling of the names of his wives varies. This article is transcribed as written.
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See pages 376 to 377 for another reference to the Merritt family in the sketch of Milton E. Thompson

What the world demands today is not that men shall be capable but that they shall do the things of which they are capable and Mr. Merritt has met the world’s demands in every particular. He has worked his way steadily upward by his earnest effort and is recognized as one of the forceful factors in business circles in Columbus, accomplishing what he undertakes and recognizing his own powers and capacities so that he never undertakes that which would be impossible to accomplish. He is a native son of Ohio, born in Vinton county, July 2, 1858. His paternal grandfather, William Merritt, was of English lineage but the family was founded in America during colonial days shortly prior to the Revolutionary war. Imbued with the desire to aid the country in her struggle for liberty William Merritt joined the Colonial army. William C. Merritt, father of our subject, was born in New Hampshire September 22, 1822, and on his removal westward to Ohio settled in Athens where he engaged in contracting and building. He became one of the contractors of the Hocking Valley lines and was prominently identified with many important building interests. He voted with the democracy but never took an active part in political work nor sought office as a reward for party fealty. He married Cynthia [Cynthian] Sisson, a native of Linton county, who was born in 1822 [she died in 1871]. Her family was from Massachusetts and came to Ohio at an early day in the development of the state. Her mother was a Fuller and belonged to the same family as Chief Justice Fuller of the United States supreme court. George M. Merritt was educated in the public schools of Lancaster, Ohio, passing through consecutive grades until he graduated from the high school with the class of 1875. On putting aside his text books he entered business life as a representative of the Hocking Valley Railroad Company, remaining in that employ for thirteen years during which time he was promoted from one position of responsibility to another until he became chief clerk of the shops. He left that service to become connected with the traffic association of western Ohio and eastern Pennsylvania and was secretary of this organization, serving for thirteen years. In 1902 he severed his connection with that company and began dealing in coal lands. He has since handled large contracts of this class of property in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia and has also operated coal mines extensively. No citizen of Columbus has a more comprehensive or accurate knowledge of business affairs of this character than has Mr. Merritt. He has made a close study of the coal resources of the state and has thus been enabled to carry on his business interests in a manner that has brought him gratifying success.

On the 28th of May, 1878, Mr. Merritt was united in marriage to Miss Katharine Schory and their children are: William, Mary, Lillabridge and Gladys. On the 7th of November, 1891, Mr. Merritt was again married, his second union being with Katharine Wood and to them have been born three children: Kathleen, George and Donally, They make their home in the Bryden apartments and Mr. And Mrs. Merritt have many warm friends in the city. Prospering in his undertakings Mr. Merritt has become identified with numerous important interests which have not only benefited by his financial investment but by his sound judgment and keen discrimination. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity and of the Presbyterian church—associations which indicate much of the interests which govern his life and the principles which control his actions. His political views are in harmony with the principles of the republican party and his influence at all times is on the side of justice, truth and right, of municipal progress and of civic virtue. He stands today as one of the prosperous men of Columbus not by reason of the fact that fortune has favored him above his fellows but because he has labored diligently, neglected no opportunity and used every chance that has come to him to the best advantage. His judgment is sound and he has always possessed the courage, which many men lack, of taking a forward step where favoring opportunity has offered.

Burial sites at Find-A-Grave

Identical stories in different newspapers.
Above: Ohio Democrat, Logan Ohio, March 17, 1904. W. C. Merritt probably stands for William Cummings Merritt, the name of George's brother.
Right: Hocking Sentinel, Logan Ohio, March 10, 1904

Railway Age, Volume 39, 1905, page 431 lists "ROCKBRIDGE & SOUTHERN. — Rockbridge to Portsmouth, Incorporated. George M. Merritt, Lancaster, O."

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