John H. Merritt, farmer, section 5, Clinton Township, is from the State of New York. His parents, Joseph and Esther (Dean) Merritt, were also native of that commonwealth, and passed their lives there.
The subject of this sketch, who was the third in order of birth of ten children, was born in Dutchess Co., N.Y., Oct. 6, 1828, and when about seven years old went to live with a family by the name of Hanford, in Westchester Co., N.Y. He lived there until 1849, when he came to DeKalb County, this State, and purchased 80 acres in Somonauk Township. He remained in that township until the summer of 1852, when he moved to the place where he now resides, and where he owns 100 acres of good land, and five acres of timber in Shabbona Township. Mr. Merritt has held the office of Road Commissioner, Overseer of Highways, School Director, etc., and politically is identified with the Republican Party.
He was first married at Freelandís Corners, this county, Oct. 11, 1854, to Rhoda S. Fay, a native of the State of New York, who died Nov. 12, 1862, in Clinton Township. She was the mother of two children, - Charles H. and Fred F. Mr. Merritt was again married Oct. 10, 1865, to Mrs. Betsey (nee Simpson), widow of Ira Chamberlain, who died in Orleans Co., N.Y., Feb. 8, 1857. She had had by her first marriage two children, - Clara V. and Kate. Mrs. M. was born in Clarendon, Orleans Co., N.Y., Dec. 20, 1830, her parents being Ira and Fanny (Cox) Simpson, natives of that State. Mr. and Mrs. M., by their present marriage relation, have had two children, namely, George and Emma. George died when about one year and three months old.
Source: Portrait and Biographical Album of DeKalb Co.