Reverend George I. Merritt Family
The Merritts’ were born in Scotland. They settled in Virginia and followed the lumber industry north. Grandfather George I. Merritt settled at Algonac, Michigan. They moved to Tawas, Michigan and then to Curtisville, Michigan, still following the lumbering industry, driving logs to Au Sable, Oscoda down the Au Sable River.
Some member of this Merritt family has served in every war this country has ever engaged in.
Rev. Merritt was the first full-time pastor of the newly organized Curtis Baptist Church in 1888. He is remembered by a few old timers who told of his fiery, straight-from-the-shoulder preaching. He loved the Lord and his neighbors knew it. Rev. Merritt was assistant pastor of Reno Baptist Church under Rev. Mallon. There is a record that he preached the closing sermon for the organization of the Reno Baptist Church, September 6, 1888. Reno Church paid him a salary of $10.60 in 1887. Wherever he preached, he walked his circuit----from as far as East Tawas to Reno to Curtisville, He was also Justice of the Peace.
Merritt Family Tree
George Isaac Merritt, born Dec. 18, 1831 at Merritt Township, York State, Scotland, died Dec. 11, 1911 in Curtisville, Mich. Interment Curtisville Cemetery, Row 5, Lot 46. Age 79 years.
Sarah A. Sloot Merritt , born Feb. 2, 1834 at County York State, Scotland, died Nov. 15, 1913 in Curtisville, Mich. Interment Curtisville Cemetery, Row 5, Lot 46. Age 76 years.
George and Sarah Merritt had two children that we have records of. Clarissa married John Bowser. John Quincy married Sarah Pemberton.
John Quincy Merritt, born Dec. 19, 1865 at Port Huron, Mich. Died June 10, 1917, age 52 years in South Branch, Mich. Interment Curtisville Cemetery, Row 5, Lot 45.
Sarah Pemberton, Merritt, King, Johnson, born Sept. 18, 1870 at Detroit, Mich. Died Jan. 16, 1955 services held at Clock Chapel on Thurs. afternoon by Rev. Harold Iben. Interment White Chapel Memorial, Gardens, Muskegon, Mich. Age 85 yrs
Children of John and Sarah Merritt
1. Orila E. Merritt Wilkinson-Born April 23, 1893 at Curtisville, Mich. Married Joe Wilkinson died Clare, Hospital.
2. Livica Mable Merritt, Driosky, Alick, born Jan. 22, 1895 at Curtisville, Mich.
3. John Henry Merritt, born Aug. 3, 1897 at East Tawas, Mich, died at the veteran’s Hospital. Witchita, Kansas following an operation for Appendicitis, on April 27, 1939. Interment at Luthern church of which he was a member, at Burdick, Kansas. Services conducted by American Legion. Age at death 42 years.
4. William Thomas Merritt, born Oct. 23, 1899 at Curtisville, Mich, retired from Santa Fee Railroad. William Merritt was married to Mayme E. Benedict (Nee Hickelson) of Jackson and White Cloud, Mich. At the United Methodist Church at Calico Rock, Arkansas. Bill passed away April 8, 1976 at Bull Shoals Hospital following major surgery.
5. Leslie Robert Merritt, born Feb. 7, 1902 at South Branch, Mich. Township of Mentor, Ogemaw County. Leslie went west in 1922. Hired on the Union Pacific Railroad as a fireman, promoted to Engineer in 1946. He ran the largest steam and diesel engine in the world; also pulled passenger trains for a year. He retired in 1970. Leslie says he is very happy and enjoying retirement.
6. George Isaac Merritt, born July 9, 1905, South Branch,Mich. Now living at Ellas Kansas. Retired engineer of the Union Pacific Railroad.
7. Fred B. Merritt, born April 15, 1903 in Mintor Twp. Mio, Mich. Now living at 3081 Stratford Ave. Muskegon, Mich. Retired
8. Laura Hannah Merritt Johnson, born Aug. 15, 1906, Mintor Twp. Mio, Mich.Presently living in St. Petersburg, Florida.
9. Kenneth Merritt, born Jan. 24, 1909, Mintor Twp. Mio, Mich. Lived in Grand Rapids, now deceased.
10. Harry S. Merritt, born Sept.2, 1911-Died Feb.16, 1911, died when the family home, near South Branch burned. Buried in Curtisville cemetery.
11. Sylvester F. Merritt, born Nov. 10, 1916 in Mentor Twp. Mio, Mich. Now lives at Fruitport, Michigan.
Sarah Pemberton Merritt’s parents were: Mother- Hannah J. Winters Pemberton, born March 25, 1916 in Algonac, Mich. Died at Muskegon, Mich. Feb. 9,1922 at 77 yrs. Of age. Buried at South Branch cemetery
Father- Will Thomas Pemberton, born Aug. 5, 1850 at Algonac, Mich. Died at Sault Ste Marie, Jan. 12, 1915 at the age of 65, buried South Branch cemetery.
Information supplied by William Merritt and Leslie Merritt. This family tree was taken from the Family Bible. Bill was very ill and asked his wife to send the information to be entered in the Curtisville History.