Jan 30, 1862
Jan. 22, 1934
Photo Credit: Rosa G. Gonzales
Funeral services or Mrs. Eli T. Merriman, who died Monday at her home on North Broadway after a months illness, were held yesterday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock from the church of the Good Shepherd Episcopal. The Rev. Kenneth Holder, pastor of the Episcopal church in Kingsville, officiated. Mrs. Merriman was a life long resident of CC, having been born here Jan. 31, 1862. She was married to Mr. Merriman at the age of 18 on April 5,6. 1880. She is survived by her husband; one son, George J. Merriman, vice president of the State National Bank; two daughters Mrs. Genevieve Holworthy of Lakeland, Fla., and Mrs. A. Clemmer of Corpus Christi; and one sister, Mrs. Jesse Clark of Corpus Christi; and six grandchildren. Mrs. Merriman was a member of the Episcopal Church of Corpus Christi. Pall bearers were H. D. C. Gussett, Robert Bluntzer, H. S. Guy, John G. Elliott, Moise Weil, and George C. Westervelt. There were no honorary pallbearers. The State national Bank closed at 1:00 o'clock, and the Corpus Christi National Bank, the Texas State Bank Trust Company, the Citizens Industrial Bank, and the Corpus Christi Bank and Trust Company closed at 2:00. Burial was in the old Bay View cemetery where many member of the Merriman family are buried. David T. Peel was in charge.
Source: Corpus Christi Caller Times, January, 24, 1934
Merriman Scrapbook, Corpus Christi Public Libraries
Research by: Msgr. Michael A. Howell
Transcription by: Geraldine D. McGloin, Nueces County Historical Commission
MRS. ELI TODD MERRIMAN
by Kate D. Bluntzer
Not all who would, may enter the sacred gates of Old Bayview, but last night the moon in all its silvery splendor shone softly down upon a new-made grave. Beneath that sea of flowers, each a messenger of love, Mrs. Eli Todd Merriman claimed her right to wrap the mantle of sleep around her and lie down among her sainted dead in this consecrated spot.
And would you ask of what mortal mould was she, so rare, so loved, so mourned, we would answer that her parents were Dr. and Mrs. George Robertson, and that they were of the dauntless band that came to Col. Kinney’s call for aid from the Old World to transform an almost uninhabited land into one teeming with people, happy, smiling, prosperous. Did they realize his dream? Their answer is, “we found your vision built upon sand, we left it firm upon a rock. Lest might be forgot the price exacted of us, pray let our names be often spoken, let our story be often told, guard our memories, hold to them as your priceless heritage.”
On that ship turned towards sunset seas, that goodly company gazed wistfully back upon their fast dissolving island homes. “Merrie England, when shall we behold you again? God keep you Ireland, Mother we’ll never forget you, and Oh, Scotland, how we shall long for a glimpse of your banks and braes, your lochs and heather hills, all purple in the sunlight.”
“Farewell, if it is forever still forever fare-the-well.”
After a stormy voyage of three months, threatened often with a watery grave, these that may truthfully be called Corpus Christi’s immortals sailed into Corpus Christi Bay. Dr. Robertson, with his wife and two children, William and baby Jessie, took up his residence here. He, in his native city of Keith, had a most lucrative practice, besides being a physician he was a graduate pharmacist. With him he brought the first complete stock of drugs ever opened in Corpus Christi. The young doctor, in his professional role, was a boon to the settlers on this far away land. He was famed for his cheerfulness and his generosity with his profession.
That Mrs. Robertson was of gentle birth was easily recognized by her charm, grace and dignity of bearing, coupled with her broad intellect so gracefully cultivated. She was Miss Eliza DeGeorgues, a descendent of a noble French family of that name, a scion of which went early to Scotland. Another, Cavalier Dominque DeGeorgues, has written his name indelibly in the annals of the New World. Two and seventy years ago, on the 31st of January glad tiding floated around the town of Corpus Christi. They were doubly glad for twin babies had been born to Dr. and Mrs. Robertson, a boy and a girl. The boy was called George and the girl Helen Mar, a name at whose sound every Scottish heart begins to beat, for it brings back the memory of Wallace, Sir William Wallace, the best and the bravest of the proud chieftains of Scotland.
While the war clouds gathered these children grew in beauty side by side, they filled their home with glee. At last the was over in 1865 and Corpus Christi was just beginning to live again when in 1867 the yellow plumed scourge swooped down upon a helpless people and there was no home from which it did not take toll. Dr. Robertson and his co-worker, Dr. E. T. Merriman, died on the same day like heroes on a battlefield, fighting for their people against a fearful foe.
All was changed for Mrs. Robertson and sickened unto death with the loss of Dr. Robertson and so many friends, who longed to go back to her native land. With her children she sailed away and remained for a year. There was an invisible tie that was never broken, the graves on the hillside were beckoning to her. She would take up the thread of life that was broken and carry on what Dr. Robertson had planned for her. Her children who had the benefit of a school _____________ their studies ___________________ their association with their mother was a never ending source of culture for them.
The home of Mrs. Robertson was long a most charming center for hospitality in Corpus Christi. her daughters graced it and from it went forth Miss Helen, known to her many friends as Ellen Robertson, as the bride of Mr. Eli T. Merriman, the young editor of the Corpus Christi Free Press. Dr. Horace Clark of the Church of the Good Shepherd performed the ceremony. Young though she was she assumed all the grace responsibilities of the married state, and with a strength of purpose that was startling, and allegiance to duty and ambition to advance her husband in his career, that is rarely found. For forty-three years their wedded lives swept in harmony and her labors have born their fruits for today Mr. Merriman is honored at the city’s gates and his name has stood for naught but what becomes the gentleman that he is.
As a mother she was ever watchful, counting as naught sacrifices made for the welfare of her children, and they have been, with their children the glory of her declining years. For her mother and brothers and sister she nurtured the love that only the deep natured feel.
For her friends she maintained a loyalty that never wavered and those that she elected as such were bound to her soul with rivets of steel. The reverence she felt for friendship almost reached religious fervor. She lived abreast of the times, always with strong convictions upon the topics of the day.
There was a very deeply spiritual side to her. In youth she chose the Episcopal Church as the one that she would follow. Through all the years she has been a zealous member, sparing herself in no way that would hinder her from fulfilling the duties it imposed. her loyalty of nature shown in her church work. Well did it do her honor, justly earned, when with all the solemn heartfelt services the Church of the Good Shepherd opened its portals for the last time. It had been a part of her very existence and its final benediction was all that she would ask. Dr. Holder of Kingsville held the impressive services at the church and at the grave.
To her religion meant action, doing good day by day to those in need, be it material or only a smile or a kindly word. Of all her admirable traits of character charity was the outstanding one. No appeal to her was ever refused. She fed the hungry, she clothed the naked, she comforted the sick, and she counseled the weak. Not before the garish crowd did she follow the mandate of the lowly Nazarene. “Love you one another.” Hidden from all but those who knew her best, no sun descended but somebody did not feel the warmth of her generous nature and called blessings down upon her head.
And now we come to the parting of the ways, oh friend of years long gone! Our barks, side by side glided along the river of life, and the light of Love shone brightly and never dimmed, while never a ripple passed our way, while never a cloud marred friendship’s sky. And then one day the tide came rushing in for we were nearing port, and her fra_____ bark went back with the tide and out into Eternity’s Sea. But its light still shone looking back with a smile and “I loved you always she reached out for the Pilot’s hand. Then a voice so sweet and tender came back through the darkness and it said “Daughter I have come to take you to your heavenly home for when you fed the hungry begging at your door, when you clothed the cold and naked, when you sol______ the sick and weary, you were ________ing it for an eye has seen, nor ear has not heard, nor it entered into the heart of _________ what I have prepared for those who love Me.”
Source: Corpus Christi Caller
Transcription by: Rosa G. Gonzales