A Guide to the Nelson Merrill Papers, 1810-1879
Born in Connecticut in 1810, Nelson Merrill grew up in Ohio before immigrating to Texas in 1837. After arriving in Texas, Merrill joined a company of Rangers that defended Austin against the Mexican army. In 1839, Merrill raised hi own company that joined General Canales and the Mexican Liberals in their fight against Centrists. After his campaign failed, Merrill returned to Texas and settled in Williamson County where he devoted his time to hunting and farming. Following his marriage to Rachel McKennon, he moved to Travis County and was appointed postmaster. The town became known as Merrilltown, which is today part of Austin. In 1862, his wife died prompting Merrill to move near present-day Round Rock, where he married Martha Jane Pennington. Merrill died in 1879.
Composed of obituaries, a memorandum and account book, appointment certificates, and boarding school and college records, the Nelson Merrill Papers, 1810-1879, chronicle Merrill’s experiences in mid-19th century Texas. The obituary typescripts provide an overview of his life, while the Photostat memorandum and account book details various transactions from 1857 to 1886. Original and Photostat commencement schedules, pamphlets, and report cards provide information on numerous boarding schools and colleges, notably Harvard and the University of Virginia, which appear to have been collected by him. Photostats of appointment certificates relate to Merrill’s positions as the postmaster and as a member of the Royal Arch Society among others.
This collection is open for research use.
Nelson Merrill Papers, 1810-1879, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light project, 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers