CPT John Festus Merry

CPT John Festus Merry

Peninsula, Summit County, Ohio, USA
Death 30 Jan 1917 (aged 72)
Manchester, Delaware County, Iowa, USA
Burial Manchester, Delaware County, Iowa, USA
Memorial ID 35716807 · View Source
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Tuesday, August 8, 1876
Paper: Dubuque Daily Times (Dubuque, Iowa)
Page: 3
Capt. John F. Merry had one of his eyes operated on for cataract several years since, and the sight of that eye was entirely destroyed. Recently he has found that there was an enlargement of one side of the ball of the same eye, and a few days ago went to Cleveland, Ohio, to consult an eminent oculist, who found the eye in such a condition that he took it out, on the second day of this month. But as Mr. Merry still has the full use of his well eye, he will hardly miss the loss of the other. He is expected home soon.



Was Farmer, Merchant, Soldier and Railroad Official - - Held Many positions of Trust and Honor

Capt. John F. Merry passed peacefully away at his home in this city after many weeks of illness, which was due to a gradual physical decline.

Funeral services will be held at his home on Franklin and Union streets Friday afternoon at two o'clock, Rev. C. K. Hudson, pastor of the Methodist Episcopal church, will preach the sermon.

The remains will be placed in the receiving vault and in the spring will be laid to rest in the family lot in Oakland cemetery.

Mr. Merry is survived by his wife and one sister, Mrs. C. H. Cruise of Earlville and one brother, H. J. Merry, of Hartley, Iowa, besides a number of nephews and nieces and a host of intimate friends.

John F. Merry, was born in Peninsula, Summit County, Ohio, March 24th, 1844, a son of Horace C. and Pamelia (Trowbridge) Merry. The father, born at Phelps, Ontario County, New York, on the 15th of July, 1914, was an early settler of the Western Reserve of Ohio, residing in Summit, Portage, Geauga, and Cuyahogn Counties. He came to Iowa from Geauga County in 1856, settling first in Elk Township, Delaware County, where he purchased a farm and made his home until 1866. In that year he removed to Oneida township and during the remainder of his life resided near Earlville, passing away on the 18th day of January 1882. He gave his political allegiance to the republican party and for seven years served as justice of the peace in Elk township, while he also held the office of school director for a similar period and for three years acted as assessor in Oneida township. He was Presbyterian in religious belief and a man of strong character and high integrity. On the 21st of February, 1838, at Solon, Ohio, he wedded Miss Pamelia Trowbridge, and who died in Oneida township the 28th of January, 1892. To them were born six children, as follows; Martha E., Adeline, John F., Henry J., Caroline M., William H.

Comes to County in 1856

John F. Merry came to Iowa with his parents in an immigrant wagon during the month of October, 1856, his father locating the following spring on a farm in the northern part of Delaware. A few years later he taught school a couple of winter terms in what was known as the Merry District. In August 1862, he enlisted Co. F. 46th Iowa Infantry. At the March, 1863, was discharged for disability. In April, 1864, he again re-enlisted, recruited a company, and as second lieutenant was mustered into Co. F. 46th Iowa Infantry. At the close of the war he entered the service of Conger Brothers and Company, a mercantile firm at Manchester, Iowa. Two years later he engaged in the same business on his own account, and at different times was a member of the following firms; Sherwood, Wheeler & Merry, William Cattron & Company, and Merry & Goodell.

Enter Service of I.C.R.R. in 1880

In 1880 he entered the service of the Illinois Central Railroad company as excursion agent. After three years he was promoted to General Western Passenger agent, then to Assistant General Passenger agent of the western lines, after which he was assistant general passenger agent of the entire system--a position he held until July 15, 1905, when he was promoted to General Immigration Agent. In the latter position all his time was devoted to the settling up of the country adjacent to the Central's Southern lines. On the first day of July, 1911, he retired on a pension after thirty-one years of continuous service.

Captain Merry was twice married. On the 26th day of November, 1866, in Manchester, he wedded Miss Emma J. Cattron, her parents being William and Judith Cattron, pioneer residents of Delaware county. Mr. Cattron is deceased, while his widow resides at Tacoma, Washington, at the age of 94. To Mr. and Mrs. Merry were born four sons, all of whom died young. The wife and mother passed away on the 18th of January 1903; and on the 4th of February, 1904, Captain Merry was again married, his second union being with Miss Katherine Shimmin, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Shimmin of Pecatonica, Illinois.

Was a Worker and Leader.

Captain Merry has been a great worker, as he was a natural leader. He was a member of the Iowa Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition Commission, held at Omaha. He was a member of the Iowa Commission, for the erection of a state soldier's monument at Des Moines. He also was the originator and promoter of the Vicksburg, Mississippi, National Military park, and in Grand Army circles he was known as the "Father of the Vicksburg Park", an attraction annually visited by thousands of people. He was chairman of the Vicksburg Monument commission that had in charge the expenditure of $150,000 appropriated by the Iowa legislature for the erection of monuments and markers to commemorate the part Iowa troops had in the campaign and siege at Vicksburg. For years Mr. Merry was secretary to the Dunlieth & Dubuque Bridge Company. He prided himself on being a Lincoln Republican. In 1896 he was a delegate to the national Republican convention held at St. Louis, and was prominent in urging the adoption of a gold plank in the republican platform. Captain Merry was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and in 1900 was a lay delegate to the general conference of that church held in Chicago. He is a past commander of W. A Morse post, G. A. R. ; was a member of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion, and also of the Society of the Army of the Tennessee. He was Department Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic of Iowa for the term of 1915-1916. He was director of the Delaware County State bank for many years.

Had Keen Interest in Farming

He owned for years a model farm of 280 acres, three and one half miles from Manchester, and which is known as "Merryland". He was affiliated with the Delaware County Farmers Institute and the Jones MIll Grange. Few men have been more interested in the young people of the community than Mr. Merry, and many of them are indebted to him for good positions.

Mr. Merry's rugged honesty, constructive ability and humanity loving heart gave him a place among leading men of national repute. His achievements extended far beyond the boundaries of his home state. His name will be held in grateful remembrance as far southward as rolls the great river that holds Iowa in its arms. Around his bier many friends and kindred will gather to deplore his departure from earthly activities; and, in a broader sense, his city, his county, his state and his country will be there to mourn along with the chief mourners. May Mr. Merry's life of service be dully rewarded by the Judge of Judges who doeth all things well.

Manchester Democrat - Manchester, Iowa - January 31, 1917

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: GERALD (FORSJORD) OLSEN
  • Added: 10 Apr 2009
  • Find a Grave Memorial 35716807
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for CPT John Festus Merry (24 Mar 1844–30 Jan 1917), Find a Grave Memorial no. 35716807, citing Oakland Cemetery, Manchester, Delaware County, Iowa, USA ; Maintained by GERALD (FORSJORD) OLSEN (contributor 46817791) .