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Melvin Leroy Merritt, Sr
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Birth: Oct. 19, 1879
West Union
Fayette County
Iowa, USA
Death: Apr. 13, 1961
Portland
Multnomah County
Oregon, USA

Melvin L. Merritt's parents left Forestville, Chautauqua County, New York in 1870 and moved west to Iowa. Although Melvin was born at West Union, Iowa, he grew up on his family's farm near Grundy Center and graduated from Iowa State College in 1904. After teaching horticulture for one year at Iowa State, he worked as a forester for the Philippine Bureau of Forestry from 1905 to 1909. After an extensive trip by ship from Manila via Singapore and the Suez Canal to Europe (which included visiting his maternal Allnatt relatives in England), he sailed from Southampton to New York in June 1909. He arrived at Ellis Island, New York on June 30, 1909. Melvin later wrote in his diary that after going to Washington, D.C. to finalize his transfer to the U.S. Forest Service, he visited relatives at Forestville, New York. From there, he took a train to Cedar Rapids, Iowa and "when I boarded the branch train, there sat Father and Mother in the single coach. They had just returned from California. Neither of us knew the other was due on that particular day. It was a surprise to all of us and a very happy reunion."

After returning from the Philippines, Melvin initially worked for the Forest Service at Sumpter, Oregon. He later served as Forest Supervisor in Bend, and transferred in 1917 to the Regional Forest Service Office in Portland.

Melvin Merritt transferred from Portland to Juneau, Alaska as Assistant Regional Forester in 1921. He subsequently returned in 1934 from Juneau back to Portland, where he served as Assistant Regional Forester for Oregon and Washington. He retired from the Forest Service in 1943. One of the highlights of his retirement years was a sentimental trip to England in the late 1950s with his wife. They flew on a Pan Am B707 from Portland to London, visited Allnatt relatives in England and returned by ocean voyage via the Cunard Line. Melvin Merritt was a member of the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Portland, the Shrine Masonic Lodge of Oregon and had many interests including woodworking, stamp collecting and genealogy. He also maintained extensive correspondence with many friends and relatives until his death in Portland, Oregon in 1961.

Copies of Melvin Merritt's correspondence and articles on the early history of the Forest Service are held in the Special Collections Library at the University of Oregon and Duke University Forestry Library and his correspondence continues to be quoted in Forest Service publications. 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Morris Merritt (1844 - 1935)
  Jennie Sophia Allnatt Merritt (1848 - 1940)
 
 Spouse:
  Nellie Isabell Brown Merritt (1882 - 1969)*
 
 Children:
  Alice Merritt Petterson (1914 - 2013)*
  Melvin L. Merritt (1921 - 2012)*
  Morris Merritt (1923 - 1997)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Lincoln Memorial Park
Portland
Multnomah County
Oregon, USA
Plot: Mt. Scott Mausoleum
 
Created by: RonYanbu
Record added: Jan 08, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 32742199
Melvin Leroy Merritt, Sr
Added by: RonYanbu
 
Melvin Leroy Merritt, Sr
Added by: Jan Fenter
 
Melvin Leroy Merritt, Sr
Added by: Jan Fenter
 
 
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