J. W. Merrill
J. W. Merrill was born in New York in 1795, a descendant of a noted family of Merrill's in West Hartford, Connecticut. After marrying in 1822, Merrill remained in the Northeast for a number of years before moving to Oberlin in 1848. Merrill served as a trustee of Oberlin College from 1855 until 1878, while simultaneously involved as a member of the college prudential committee. Merrill committed himself financially and actively to a number of reform associations, most notably the American Missionary Association. His moral beliefs extended, along with much of the religious community of Oberlin, to support of temperance, the disapproval of secret societies, and the evils of tobacco. Merrill served as mayor in 1851, shortly after moving to Oberlin. He died in November, 1884, in Oberlin.
Source: Oberlin Weekly News. December 12, 1884, page 3.
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