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Manuel R. Merritt

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Joined: 27 Nov 2007
Posts: 381
Location: Monterey County, California

PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 1:41 pm    Post subject: Manuel R. Merritt Reply with quote

MANUEL R. MERRITT, Esq., a native son of California, born in Monterey, June 8, 1855, son of Hon. Josiah Merritt, deceased, a pioneer of California of 1849, native of New York, born in Orange county, August 21, 1796. He received a college education in his native State, and then studied and entered the practice of law, being admitted to the bar in New York city, where he practiced his profession for several years. Later, in 1845, he Located and pursued his profession in Illinois a short time, coming to California via the southern route through Texas, arriving in 1849. In January, 1850, he reached Monterey and took a somewhat active part in organizing Monterey county in 1851, and was chosen first County Judge, serving from 1851 to 1854. As a lawyer, citizen, jurist and friend be was able, fearless, active and true. He was twice married, first in New York, where his wife died, leaving two sons, Caleb, of Newbury, on the Hudson, a successful business man, and Sylvander, an engineer on the Erie, railroad; served as Mayor of Port Jervis, New York, and died in 1886. Josiah Merritt came to California and married a second time, in 1850, to Juana, eldest daughter of Simeon Castro, deceased, Judge of the First Instance under Mexican rule, and a prominent and wealthy Spanish citizen of Monterey. Mrs. Merritt was an amiable Spanish lady of unusual graces of heart and mind, and was greatly admired for her personal beauty. She was born June 24, 1820, in Monterey, where she spent her entire
life. Here she bore and reared an attractive family, and died February 27, 1889. Her children were: Joseph Merritt, born April 19, 1851; Joseph, learned the art of printing in his native city, in the Monterey Gazette office, and was later one of the publishers of the Monterey Democrat, which he established and published for time, and also of the Castroville Argus; he was married in 1872, to Miss Annie Phillips, of Monterey, now deceased; in 1882 he was editor of the San Jose Mercury, and later, in 1884, on the editorial staff of San Jose Daily Herald. In August, 1887, he engaged in real estate and died November 21, 1887. He was a first-class newspaper writer, and able with his pen, astute in business, kind of heart and of gentlemanly bearing. The living children are: Lavinia, Herlinda, Jennie and the subject.

M. R. Merritt was born in the town of Monterey, June 8, 1855. He is the son of ex-County Judge Josiah Merritt, and was educated in the public schools of his native town. In 1869, his father having died, he left school and entered the office of the Monterey Republican, where he learned the printing business. He later became the editor and publisher of the Castroville Argus, and later published the Monterey Herald, in connection with E. E. Curtis, now telegraph editor of the San Francisco Chronicle. In 1878 he engaged in mercantile business, which he followed for several years. In 1882 he was elected Supervisor of Monterey county from the First District. He has been a delegate to the Democratic-State Convention four times, and served as Secretary to the Democratic County Committee for several years, and is now Chairman of said County Committee. For several years he was Clerk of the Board of Trustees of Castroville District, also Justice of the Peace, a Notary Public and ex-Postmaster of that town. He is Past President of Gabilan Parlor, No. 132, of the Native Sons of the Golden West. At present he is Chief Deputy in the County Assessor's office.

Several years ago he was married to Miss Lizzie W. Townsend, of Alameda, They have a charming home in Salinas city, and three children.

Source: A Memorial and biographical history of the coast counties of central California : illustrated : containing a history of this important section of the Pacific coast from the earliest period of its discovery to the present time, together with glimpses of its auspicious future, illustrations and full-page portraits of some of its eminent men, and biographical mention of many of its pioneers, and prominent citizens of to-day. Chicago; Lewis Publishing Co. 1893.
Claire Martin
CAGenWeb Monterey County Coordinator
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