ORLANDO MERRILL was born April 27, 1828, at Tuscumbia, and is a son of Thomas B. and Ann E. (Rhea) Merrill, natives, respectively, of Kentucky and Tennessee.

He received a good education, and spent a short time at the University of Texas. During the war he was in the Ordinance Department at Jackson, Miss., in the capacity of clerk and inspector of arms. After the surrender of Vicksburg he went North and lived in St. Louis and Chicago, in which places he was engaged in the jewelry business. In 1871 he removed to Memphis, where he remained for a few years; thence came to Tuscumbia, where he has since been engaged in the jewelry business.

Mr. Merrill was first married in February, 1862, to Sue Dunham, of Newark, O. She was a daughter of Asa and Susan (Whales) Dunham, natives of Connecticut. To this union two children were born: Louella and Clark. Mrs. Merrill died in Burlington, Iowa, while on a visit in 1867, and in May, 1871, Mr. Merrill was married to Miss Emily Shaw, daughter of James P. Shaw, of Rochester, N. Y. She bore him three children, of whom two are living: Ruth and Percy. The family are communicants of the Episcopal Church.

The father of our subject, with his brother, B. Merrill, came to Alabama in 1832, and located in Tuscumbia, where they were engaged in merchandising. They did an extensive business, and in connection with their merchandise business they leased and operated the Tuscumbia, Courtland & Decatur Railroad, afterward known as the Tennessee Valley Railway. They also ran the line of steamers on the Tennessee River. Before the war Mr. Thomas H. Merrill moved to Memphis, where he speculated in real estate, and died in the fall of 1860. He reared a family of eight children: Angie, Orlando, Edwin, Ella, Emma, William, Thomas and Lulu.

[SOURCE: Northern Alabama Historical and Biographical. Illustrated. Smith and De Land, Birmingham, Ala. 1888., p. 442] Typed for inclusion here by Linda Ledlow.

Return to Biographies