JESSE THORNTON MERCER (1804-1874)
Thornton Mercer, the founder of the Mercer Family in western Iowa,
was born 24 Jun 1804, Morgantown, Virginia. He was married in
Morgantown 19 Nov. 1827 to Rachel Bouslog, b. 18 Feb. 1805, daughter
of John and Catherine Bouselog.
and wife Dr. James T. and Sarah (Vernon) Mercer were the first
Mercers to arrive in Iowa. They settled in Adams County in 1861.
Their enthusiasm with future prospects of the life in Iowa,
encouraged the rest of the family to come west. Quoting from an
article written for one of the Mercer Reunions by Stanford Martin
Mercer (grandson of J. T. Mercer) "Coming west Grandfather,
Grandmother, my mother (Mrs. Eliza Martin Mercer-wife of Levi Edmond
Mercer who died 1864 of wounds received in Civil War) and sister
Ella rode in the carriage with two horses attached. Uncle Charley
and Aunt Frone (Maria Suffronia Mercer- Mrs. Wm. Whistler) rode on
the seat and cousin John (Jesse) Uncle Lee's (Wm. Leroy) eldest son
and I were in the back on the bedding, etc. in the big wagon with
horses attached, one of which died on the way and we finished with
days on the road we arrived at Uncle Doc's (James Mercer) in Mercer
Township, Adams County, Iowa in the fall of 1864. Spring of 1865
moved to Sam Smith farm at Grant. Spring of 1866 moved to farm
Grandfather bought about 1 1/2 mile north of where Elliott now is
and about 1/2 mile south of the old Mewhirter graveyard, where he
and Grandmother are buried. Red Oak and Lewis were the nearest
The children of
Jesse and Rachel Mercer were William Leroy, Wilford Presley, James
Thornton, Levi Edmond, Earaly Norton, Charles W. Martin (father of
Wm. "Bill" Mercer of Elliott, Ia.) Eliza Monzidee, Maria Suffronia,
and Josephine Alice Boring.
Mercer died 10 Aug. 1874, his wife Rachel died 26 Nov. 1888, both
are buried in the Mewhirter Cemetery north of Elliott, Iowa.