Benjamin P. Merrick

Page 638-639 - Benjamin P. Merrick, of the law firm of Travis, Merrick, Warner & Johnson, 1004-1009 Michigan Trust building, Grand Rapids, is one of the leading attorneys of that city, where he as practiced law for more than twenty years. He was born in Holyoke, Massachusetts, March 19, 1877, the youngest of six children born to his parents, Timothy and Sarah (Congdon) Merrick, the former of whom was born in Connecticut, December 2, 1823, and the latter of whom was born in June, 1834, dying in 1883. Timothy Merrick moved to Holyoke, Massachusetts, in 1865, where he engaged in the manufacture of spool cotton, the firm being known as the Merrick Thread Company. He operated this business until his death, which occurred March 19, 1894, after which the company became a subsidiary of the American Thread Company. He was a prominent business man of the town in which he lived and attained success. Benjamin P. Merrick attended the graded and high schools of his native city and then prepared for college at the Boston Latin School. He then matriculated at Harvard College, from which he received the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1899. He elected to study law and in 1903 took his degree of Bachelor of Laws at the Harvard Law School, being admitted to the Massachusetts bar in the same year. In the fall of that same year, he came to Grand Rapids where he entered practice with the law firm of Bundy & Travis. In 1904 he was made junior partner in the firm, which then adopted the name of Bundy, Travis & Merrick. He has since continued with that firm, which now bears the name of Travis, Merrick, Warner & Johnson. It is one of the leading law firms of Grand Rapids and has built up a large practice. Mr. Merrick is not only one of the most successful and best-known lawyers in the city, but he has also been active in social welfare work, in which he has been one of the moving figures for many years. From 1913 to 1922, he was president the Social Welfare Association. He was instrumental in the organization of the Federation of Social Agencies in 1917, and for his work in this connection, he was elected president of the federation in February of that year, serving in that capacity until 1921. Mr. Merrick has also served as chairman of the Home Service section of the Grand Rapids Chapter of the American Red Cross and is now a director of the Grand Rapids Welfare Union, the successor to the Federation of Social Agencies. He is second vice-president and a trustee of Butterworth Hospital. For several years he has been a member of the executive committee of the Michigan State Conference of Social Work and in 1916 was elected president of that body. In 1916, he was appointed by the governor as chairman of the state commission created by legislature to investigate and report on public outdoor relief work being carried on in the state. He assisted in the drafting and procuring the adoption of provisions for the Grand Rapids city charter relative to public welfare. On October 26, 1918, Mr. Merrick married Roberta Mann, of Muskegon, Michigan, and to them have been born two daughters Elizabeth Louise, who was born August 24, 1919, and Eleanor Congdon born October 19, 1924. Mr. Merrick is held in high esteem by the members of the legal profession for his integrity and ability as a lawyer and by the people of the city at large for the public-spirited manner in which he has given time and energy to the promotion of social welfare work in their city.

Transcriber: Nancy Myers
Created: 7 January 2004