Thomas J. Merrifield, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of Thomas J. Merrifield

THOMAS J. MERRIFIELD, attorney at law, is a native of Yates County, N. Y. Was born January 11, 1833, and until fifteen years of age, was reared on his father's farm. He then entered an academy at Starkey, N. Y. and studied law for fours years, and also engaged in teaching. In 1853, he came to Mishawaka, Ind., and studied under Mr. Cowles; at the end of six months, he started for Minnesota on horseback, with a view of locating, but returned and entered the law office of Judge Robert Lowrey, and afterward that of the Hon. Thomas Harris, then State Senator. In May 1855, he was admitted to the bar at Goshen, and two months later came to Valparaiso. Here he was associated with Hon. S. I. Anthony, State Senator, as partner until 1863. In 1858, he was elected by the Democrats, member of the General Assembly, and served in the regular and special sessions of that term, and was the author of several bills, among others that which makes persons holding moneys in a fiduciary capacity liable for embezzlement if such moneys be used for personal ends. From October 1866, until June 1869, he was partner with Maj. W. H. Calkins, now a Member of Congress, who had studied law under Mr. Merrifield for a year or more. Subsequently, he was associated with Col. Pierce until that gentleman was called to Chicago to assume editorial control of the Inter-Ocean. Since then, Mr. M. has been in partnership with the following gentlemen: A. D. Bartholomew, William Johnston, E. D. Crumpacker and John E. Cass. In December 1865, he was elected the first Mayor of Valparaiso and served two consecutive terms, declining a third election. In October 1856, he married Miss Paulina Skinner, who has borne him six children, viz., Kate, now Mrs. M. Johnson; Harriet, now Mrs. S. Bernard; Georgia Ann, now Mrs. William Dye; and John A., Dora Bell and George William. Mr. Merrifield is a son of John and Catharine (Schumacher) Merrifield, natives of New York, and of English and German descent. His paternal grandfather was a soldier in the Revolution, and his great-grandfather an English naval officer. Mr. M. is one of the leading attorneys of the county, and is a member of the Blue Lodge, A. F. & A. M.

Source: Goodspeed, Weston A., and Charles Blanchard. 1882. Counties of Porter and Lake, Indiana: Historical and Biographical, Illustrated. Chicago, Illinois: F. A. Battey & Company. 771 p.
Page(s) in Source: 262

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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