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 Thomas Dickerson Mercer

Photo added by Nils M. Solsvik Jr.

Thomas Dickerson Mercer

  • Birth 11 Mar 1813 Harrison County, Ohio, USA
  • Death 25 May 1898 Seattle, King County, Washington, USA
  • Burial Seattle, King County, Washington, USA
  • Plot Lot 292, Grave NE 1/4
  • Memorial ID 10766

Seattle Pioneer. Born in Harrison County, Ohio, he moved to Princeton, Illinois with his parents in 1834. He spent his early years acquiring a general education and learning the woolen manufacturing trade from his father. Faced with increasing hostilities between Indian and white settlers, he joined with other local area citizens in seeking a new life and opportunities in the Pacific Northwest. Appointed as captain of a westbound wagon train, he left Princeton, Illinois for the Oregon Territory in April 1852. Among the notable individuals accompanying Mercer across the plains of the Midwest, were the families of Dexter Horton, Daniel Bagley and William H. Shoudy, all prominent figures that would shape the early history of pioneer Seattle. Losing his first wife Nancy to illness late in the journey, he arrived in the Oregon Territory in the Fall of 1852. After spending the Winter on the West side of the Cascades near the present day capital of Salem, Oregon, he arrived in Seattle the following Spring establishing a claim on Lake Union, adjacent to property owned by David T. Denny, brother of Seattle founder Arthur A. Denny. Speaking to a fourth of July crowd in 1854, he proposed the adoption of Lake Union and Lake Washington as names for the large bodies of water surrounding Seattle, both of which were favorably accepted by the local population. He was the brother of Asa Mercer, credited with bringing the first shipment of 11 single women to Seattle as potential brides on May 16, 1864. Active in civic affairs, Thomas served ten years as a King County probate judge. In 1860 Mercer Island, a large land mass located in the center of Lake Washington was named in his honor, and today Mercer Way, a major street arterial located north of the Seattle Center serves as a reminder of his civic legacy.

Bio by: Nils M. Solsvik Jr.


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 10 Jul 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 10766
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Thomas Dickerson Mercer (11 Mar 1813–25 May 1898), Find A Grave Memorial no. 10766, citing Lake View Cemetery, Seattle, King County, Washington, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .