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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Herbert M. Merrill

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 730, 733 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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The activities of Herbert M. Merrill in state politics have made him a well known person throughout the length and breadth of New York. In Schenectady, his home city, he is known as president of the Citizens Publishing Company and a leader in the Electrical Workers Union. He was born in Campton, New Hampshire, September 13, 1871, the son of Edgar and Abbie (Sanborn) Merrill, who were also natives of that place. His mother died in 1875, when he was a very small child. The father was a New Hampshire farmer all of his active life and passed away in July, 1913, in Plymouth, which had been his home for some years previously.

Herbert M. Merrill attended the primary and grammar schools of Boston in the acquirement of his early education and is a graduate of the Plymouth, New Hampshire, high school. In 1900 he went to Schenectady, where he was employed by the General Electric Company for eleven years. He was elected to the state assembly in December, 1911, and served one term in the legislature at Albany. During the years he had been working in the establishment of the great General Electric Company, Mr. Merrill had become deeply interested in the work of the Electrical Workers Union. It was quite logical for him to become business agent of the district council of that union in 1913, when his term at Albany had expired, and he held this office in the union until the spring of 1919. Returning to the General Electric Company at that time, he remained with them for about two years. Meanwhile, he had become president of the Citizens Publishing Company of Schenectady, of which he has been the head for about five years. In the spring of 1922 Mr. Merrill accepted his present office in the socialist's party as state secretary for New York, with headquarters in Albany. His experience as business manager for the Electrical Workers Union had already put him in touch with a movement that seeks fuller political and economic opportunities for the worker and had served as an excellent preparation for the position he now holds. Mr. Merrill possesses first-rate organizing and executive powers, which he has placed whole-heartedly at the disposal of the party whose cause he has championed. Indeed, he is recognized within party circles and without, as one of the ablest of the socialist leaders in his state and a man whose influence is a force to be reckoned with in every political contest in which he participates.

Mr. Merrill is not married. He belongs to the Electrical Workers Union, No. 247, of Schenectady and when in that city makes his home at No. 228 Liberty street. Religiously he ranks as an agnostic. In recent years his political work has taken him away from Schenectady much of the time and he is most easily found at his office in Albany, at No. 467 Broadway. Mr. Merrill's work has brought him into close contact with men of similar interests all over the state and he has many friends in Albany and the other New York cities as well as in Schenectady, all of whom admire him for the unselfish and devoted manner in which he has given so much of his time and ability to helping others better the existing social, political and economic conditions in this country.

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