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Samuel Merrill (Iowa): Wikis


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Samuel Merrill

Samuel Merrill (August 7, 1822 – August 31, 1899) was the seventh Governor of Iowa from 1868-1872, as well as an officer in the Union army during the American Civil War.

Merrill was born in Turner, Maine. After deciding to become a teacher, he moved to the South, but found himself unpopular due to his strong abolitionist views. He returned to New England, tried farming, and then entered the mercantile business. In 1854 he was elected on the abolitionist ticket to the Legislature of New Hampshire.

In 1856 he decided to leave New England and moved to MacGregor, Iowa. Before long, he was elected to the Iowa Legislature. In the summer of 1862, Merrill was commissioned Colonel of the 21st Iowa Volunteer Infantry, serving in that regiment until seriously wounded in the hip at the Battle of Big Black River Bridge on the Big Black River in May 1863. He rejoined his regiment in January 1864, but the lingering effects of his hip wound forced him to terminate his military service the following June.

In 1867 he was elected Governor of Iowa on the Republican ticket, and served as Governor for two terms, from 1868 to 1872.

Merrill suffered a paralytic stroke in Los Angeles, California, and died there several days later. He was buried at the Woodland Cemetery, Des Moines, Iowa.


  • "Samuel Merrill". Portrait & Biographical Album: Washington County, Iowa.
  • "Samuel Merrill Dead: Parlaytic Stroke, Which Occurred at Los Angeles, Caused Death". The New York Times. September 1, 1899, p. 2. (Accessed via ProQuest Historic Newspapers, New York Times (1857-Current file), Document ID 102413539.)
Political offices
Preceded by
William M. Stone
Governor of Iowa
January 16, 1868 – January 11, 1872
Succeeded by
Cyrus C. Carpenter


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