codfish border

residence of George Merchant, Jr.
the home of George Merchant, Jr.
30 East Main Street Gloucester Ma


In the prosecution of the seining industry he came into conflict with the Maine authorities on several occasions and once when his vessel was "seized" as a porgy pirate, he promptly ordered the men ashore at the point of a pitch fork, being backed up by his crew.

From the time of his establishment of the seine repairing industry up to within a few years, he has been much consulted by the United States Fish Commission as an expert on the fisheries; at many of the exhibitions where the commission has been an exhibitor, his handiwork could be seen in models of seines, boats and fishing appliances.

In his early days, Mr. Merchant, inheriting his talent from his father who was a musician of some note, playing the "fiddle", the guitar and cornet with no ordinary skill. With the late Professor J. Jay Watson many happy hours were spent on sea and shore together making melody which brought cheer to all who listened.

Mr. Merchant, while deeply interested in town and city, aspired to public office on but two occasions, being elected councilman from ward one in 1885-6, the latter year being the first year of service of his son, Ex-Mayor George E. Merchant, and it being the only time the father and son served together. He served on several important committees, notably highways and claims and he was largely instrumental in the establishment of the main drain on Washington Street.

Mr. Merchant has been a consistent member of the First Baptist Church since 1869, and regularly attended the services until failing health forbid. Some twenty years ago he organized and for several years conducted a neighborhood Sunday School, holding sessions in the building owned by the late Deacon Andrew Parker on the corner of East Main and Parker Streets.

At one time Mr. Merchant contemplated the life of a marine artists, and to this end he studied with the lamented Fitz H. Lane. While the project was given up later, numerous canvasses in the possession of his family and friends attests his skill with the brush.

Mr. Merchant married in 1852 Miss Mary Douglass, a descendant of Jeffery Parsons the first, who bore him nine children, six of whom, together with the widow, remain to mourn his death. Mary J, wife of James M. Woodbury, Hon. George E., Orlando, Robert Clifford, Joseph Carlton, and Percy W. Merchant.

Of the original family of 15 persons, he is the seventh to cross the dark river. His father died in 1899 aged 91 years, his mother dying in 1860, One brother, Gorham A. and three sisters, Lucy A., Julia A., and Isabelle Bowen are dead, while three brothers, Sidney of Wakefield, Edwin and Albion H., and five sisters Sarah E., wife of Soloman Rowe, Mary E., widow of Elisha Lufkin, Miranda, wife of Charles Jackman, Emily C., widow of Abraham Tarr, and Laura J., widow of Edwin McIntire survive him.

The funeral will take place from his late residence on East Main Street at 2 o'clock Monday afternoon.

From the House of Jabez -- Chronicles of the Merchant-Marchant Family by Frank R. Merchant

Purse-block for Seines Patent
(click to view)


codfish border

This page is the property of the Shute & Merchant website.