Elliott Centennial, 1879 - 1979

Elliott Centennial Committee

Page 137




    Jesse 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.

    Their son 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 three.

    After 42 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 towns."

   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.

    Jesse T. Mercer died 10 Aug. 1874, his wife Rachel died 26 Nov. 1888, both are buried in the Mewhirter Cemetery north of Elliott, Iowa.




~ Elizabeth Mercer Adams