E. T. Merriman


Feb 1st 1815

Died Aug 12, 1867

Rest in Peace



Footstone   -   E. T. M.

Photo Credit:  Rosa G. Gonzales

1.  Photograph of E. T. Merriman

Provenance:  Corpus Christi Public Libraries

2.  Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1867


3.  Corpus Christi History by Murphy Givens

            Corpus Christi Caller-Times (December 6, 2000). Available on microfilm.


4.  Corpus Christi History by Murphy Givens

            Corpus Christi Caller-Times (June 13, 2001). Available on microfilm.


5.  Corpus Christi History by Murphy Givens

            Corpus Christi Caller-Times (August 8, 2001). Available on microfilm.


6.  Corpus Christi History by Murphy Givens

            Corpus Christi Caller-Times (January 30, 2004).


7.  Corpus Christi History by Murphy Givens

            Corpus Christi Caller-Times (May 10, 2006).


8.  Corpus Christi History by Murphy Givens

            Corpus Christi Caller-Times (May 31, 2006).


9.  Biographical information from Pathfinders of Texas, 1836-1846


10.  Excerpt from The Story of Corpus Christi, by Mary A. Sutherland

Dr. Eli T. Merriman was among the prominent citizens of Corpus Christi fifty years ago, moving here from Banquete, Nueces County, at the close of the Civil War.  Born in Bristol, Connecticut, February 1, 1815, under the shadow of the Charter Oak, he graduated at Yale March 4, 1833, and subsequently obtained diplomas as an M. D. at the University of Pennsylvania and Bermont Academy of Medicine.  In 1838 he moved to Texas, first settling at Bastrop.  Removing thence to San Marcos, and afterwards to Edinburgh, Hidalgo County, thence to Banquete, in the early fifties, moving to Corpus Christi in 1865. He practiced his profession constantly for thirty-three years, serving the Lone Star Republic as a private soldier and as a surgeon.  When she changed into a State he became a Representative in her Legislature.  With a large majority of his friends and neighbors he embraced the Southern Confederacy, and as a surgeon gave the benefit of his skill and experience.  In 1867 he fell a victim to yellow fever, which visited the Texas Coast during that year.  As a citizen he was enterprising and liberal; as a practitioner he was efficient and obliging, full of kindness.  A true friend and a kind husband and father.  His death was regarded as a public calamity.  His widow, Mrs. Elizabeth Merriman, opened a private boarding house, which she kept for thirty-three years, the Merriman Hose being one of the favorite boarding places of Southwest Texas, from 1867 to 1900, when Mrs. Merriman retired, making her home with her eldest son, E. T. Merriman, until her death in July, 1911.

Dr. Merriman kept a hospital open during the War, where Confederate soldiers were cared for; also a hospital for contagious cases out at Banquete, giving freely of his time and means to the cause he had adopted.  His kindness and charity endeared him to the men under his care, and through this he did his greatest work.  When the war was over and chaos reigned, his influence with all classes averted more than one lawless act, and saved his city from a reign of terror.  A better man, a better citizen, a better Southerner never cam to West Texas than Dr. E. T. Merriman.



Sutherland, Mary A.  Edited by Frank B. Harrison. The Story of Corpus Christi.  Corpus Christi: Corpus Christi Chapter, Daughters of the Confederacy, 1916.

Research by:  Msgr. Michael A. Howell

Transcription by: Geraldine D. McGloin, Nueces County Historical Commission


11.  Article or reference in The Handbook of Texas online


12.  "Dr. E. Merriman One of Owners S. M. Townsite," 1936 by Henry Merriman

Dr. Eli T. Merriman was born in Bristol, Connecticut in 1815, graduated at Yale University in 1833 and subsequently got his doctor’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania and Vermont Academy of Medicine.

His first wife was Miss Jennette Bartholomew, who was also a native of Bristol.

He moved to Texas in 1838, settling at Bastrop, and incidentally, the writer has in his possession a letter written by Dr. Merriman on Dec. 2, 1838, from Houston, addressed to his father in Bristol in which letter he describes a trip he had just made in a carriage, to Bastrop, with a view of locating for the practice of medicine.  He relates seeing many deer and wild turkeys by the roadside and that the country was open and not a tree to be seen.  He says that the deer would stand a few feet from him and look at him.  Later, in about 1846, he moved to San Marcos and was one of the first settlers there, and with Gen. Edward Burleson and Wm. F. Lindsey, owned the tract of land on which the city of San Marcos is located.  These three men caused the land to be surveyed into lots and sold.  Dr. Merriman’s older children attended the first school taught in San Marcos.  The teacher was Miss Mary Sublet and the Moon cabin was used as the school house.

Dr. Merriman moved from San Marcos to the Brownsville section in the early 50's — and from there to Banquette, where he owned a ranch and hose stock and practiced medicine, his practice extending many miles in every direction.  This he covered on horseback and in a buggy.

It was about 1850 that Dr. Merriman married the second time – his second wife was Miss Elizabeth Fusselman.  To this union were born four sons, all of whom are living.  They are: Eli T. of Corpus Christi, founder of the Corpus Christi Caller and recognized as the oldest living newspaper man in Texas; John C. of Hondo, Texas; George of Muskogee, Okla., and Jeff D. of Laredo, Texas.

During the Civil War, Dr. Merriman served his country with the rank of a commissioned officer and did much hospital work.  He had one son in the Union army and two sons in the Confederate ranks.

Prior to the Civil War and shortly after Texas became a state, he served as a Representative in the legislature.

At the close of the war he moved to Corpus Christi and resumed the practice of medicine.  Shortly after this, an epidemic of yellow fever raged in Corpus Christi and after working hard, with little rest and in a weakened condition, Dr. Merriman fell a victim to the disease and passed away at Corpus Christi in 1867.  It was a mere handful who witnessed the burial of Dr. Merriman in Bayview cemetery, Corpus Christi on that morning, for the town was under strict quarantine, no one allowed to enter the town nor leave the town without special permit.


Source:  San Marcos Record, September 25, 1936

Transcription by: Rosa G. Gonzales


13.  "Lindsey, Merriman, Burleson Mapped City of San Marcos From Mexican Land Grants,"  1936

         By: B. Fitzgerald of the Hays County Abstract Co., San Marcos

A large area of lands including the city of San Marcos and all additions is embraced by the Veramendi and Chambers grants, the earliest, the Veramendi, being dated November 10, 1831, and the Chambers on September 23, 1834.  These, as well as the grant to Juan Vicente Campos were granted by the Government of Coahuila and Texas; the one to Campos, dated April 28, 1832, is all in Spanish, covers eleven leagues of land, the filed notes of which embrace the entire City and a large part of the surrounding country, some being the most valuable land in Hays County, all of which, being now covered by other locations, is held by title emanating from such other locations.

A few parties holding under the Veramendi, Chambers and other grants adjacent to San Marcos secured deeds from Ortega and wife, heirs of Campos, between 1870 and 1880, but the Veramendi and other grants are generally regarded as Superior to the Campos Grant and no title is actively asserted at this time under it. 

Three men, William Lindsey, Gen. Ed Burleson and Eli T. Merrimean, subsequently became joint owners under the Veramendi Grant of a 640 acre tract of land, proceeded on March 1, 1851, to lay out the original town of San Marcos, pursuant to their written agreement of date January 10, 1851.  At the time of such laying out of the town tract they divided and partitioned it among themselves, except certain lots donated for public use.  This was all witnessed by T. Durham and C. R. Johns and acknowledged before C. Erhard, Clerk of the County Court of Hays County.

It appears that contemporaneously with such division and partition a Map or Plat of the property was prepared by Clem R. Johns, approved by the parties at interest and placed of record in the deed records by order of the Commissioners’ Court.

What is commonly called “the head of the river” was originally included in a 340 acre tract set apart in the year 1855 in partition among the heirs of General Edward Burleson to his widow, Mrs. Sarah G. Burleson.  On October 15, 1857 she sold the tract to Cephas Thompson.  The tract was subsequently owned by various persons down to the time of the conveyance to the San Marcos Water Company on August 7, 1900, by Ed J. L. Green, those owning prior to Green and after Thompson being L. M. McGhee, Harvey North, F. M. Noble and E. S. Jemison.

Adjoining the town of San Marcos on the South near the M. K. & T. Railroad is located the Oil Mill, Compress, Katy Addition, (which includes Jordan’s, formerly Rogers, Park), McKies second Addition, the Riverside Addition and also the Old fair grounds.  These, with the exception of the Katy Addition, are located on an original tract of 400 acres conveyed in the year 1852 by H. D. Redwine to Stephen R. McKie, the grandfather of Attorney R. E. McKie.

We have a number of Spanish Grants in Hays County.  Generally these are in leagues, (4428 acres) but manly the title begins with a Patent issued by the State of Texas.  Quite a few Patents were granted as compensation to the heirs of various men killed while serving under General Sam Houston in the conflict with Mexico.  So far as we have observed, they were from other States.

Some three or four miles easterly from San Marcos is situated the Thomas G. McGehee League bounded on the Eastern side by the old San Antonio and Nacogdoches Road.  This league (partially embraced by the Veramendi, an older grant) was issued to said McGehee as a member of Milam’s Colony, by the Spanish Government on February 19, 1935.  He was the father of Mr. A. D. McGehee, who now lives in San Marcos.  This was before Hays County was organized and thereafter a number of the citizens in early days received patents to various locations in the County among whom we note the following: T. Durham, Jas. L. Goforth, Jno. Owens, Jno. W. Bunton, A. D. Porter, and others.


Source:  San Marcos Record, 1936

Transcription by:  Rosa G. Gonzales


14.  News item

Episcopalian Diamond Dr. and Mrs. Eli T. Merriman

Out on the borders of beautiful Corpus Christi Bay, with the sun's first rosy glow bathes the Memory Garden, on Ocean Drive, there is a beautiful memorial shrub planted by Hon. Eli T. Merriman in honor of his sainted mother, a tribute that will blossom and grow for years to come. What changing mental pictures were presented to the young Mrs. E. T. Merriman, as the wife of the distinguished Dr. E. T. Merriman, born in Connecticut, educated in Yale university, and finally becoming the leading physician in different sections of the State of Texas, his chosen field of service, Out where the West begins.  Mrs. Merriman looked out upon a rolling landscape, of beauty when her husband became the first settler of San Marcos, but of the loneliness and hardships of that early day of 1849, Mrs. Merriman never complained. Influenced by the lack of medical attention in various sections of the state, young Dr. Merriman and his devoted wife made several changes of residence, each time his greater skill serving a greater community. Atascosa county, Brownsville, Hidalgo, and in 1857, Banquete, Nueces County furnished a marvelous panorama of Mexico and Texas to the observing eyes of Mrs. Merriman. A great mother, she has four sons still living, Hon. Eli T. Merriman of

Corpus Christi; John C. Merriman of Hondo; George Merriman of Muscogee and J. D. Merriman of Laredo.Energy moves the world and Mrs. Merriman was a fine illustration of

industry and energy, for when left a widow during the yellow fever plague of 1867, in Corpus Christi, Mrs. Merriman opened a private boarding house, which proved to be a veritable home to many distinguished men and women who were hospitably entertained in her home.

A devout Christian, Mrs. Merriman was ever found at her post of duty in the Dorcas Society and other activities of the Episcopal Church, until her death.

Dr. E. T. Merriman had two hospitals during the war between the states; one at Banquete, where he resided, and one on South Bluff, Corpus Christi. The government of the confederacy accepted all decisions by Dr. Merriman as to the health of confederate soldiers.

A story told by Eli T. Merriman will illustrate the fact. A soldier, by the name of Stockton was taken very sick in the town of San Patricio. A friend advised him to go to Banquete to see Dr. Merriman. Being unable to go to Banquete without conveyance, this same friend, took the buggy of another man, and when the other man protested, the friend said: I

am taking this horse an buggy in the name of the Southern Confederacy. No further objection was made by the owner. Mr. Stockton, the soldier of this story, visited Corpus Christi some

twenty-five ago, coming to see is son, Hugh Stockton, a cotton farmer out in the London settlement in Nueces County. While here he related the story to Hon. Eli T. Merriman, who resided on Water Street. Stockton said he only saw Dr. Merriman for a short time, the Dr. giving him a prescription which soon made him a well man.  Mr. Stockton bought a farm in the interior of the State and raised cotton as well as a number of find sons. In closing I would say that since Hon. Eli T. Merriman has done so much for his city, his state and his nation, all of which is recorded history, there should be planted by the city a native Memorial Tree in

the Woods of Remembrance,  where already a number of trees have been planted, opposite the Memory Garden of Corpus Christi.


From Episcopalians are Paid Respect in City Memory Plot 

Source: Corpus Christi Caller Times Oct. 29, 1939, Page 11 section C, col. 5-6

Research: Msgr. Michael A. Howell

Transcription: Geraldine D. McGloin

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