Arch Merrill

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Archie Hayes Merrill[1] (August 5, 1894 - July 15, 1974) was an American journalist, author, and poet sometimes called the "Poet Laureate of Upstate New York".

Biography[edit]

Arch Merrill was born in Sandusky, New York,[1] near Olean, and attended high school near Buffalo,[2] and in 1915 attended Hobart College in Geneva, New York, for one year, during which time he worked on the student newspaper, The Herald.[1] He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1916 and served in France during World War I with Company B, 33rd Engineers.[1] Upon returning to the States in 1919 after the war, Merrill worked short stints as a newspaper journalist in Washington, D.C., Detroit, Michigan, and New York City through 1922.[2] While working in New York he married Katherine Marie Towell.[1] The Merrills had a daughter named Marion who was born in 1923,[3] the year Merrill became a copy reader with the Rochester, New York, newspaper the Democrat and Chronicle.[2] He was a reporter for the Rochester Journal-American from 1927 to 1937, and then returned to the Democrat and Chronicle as assistant city editor, and for the next 27 years, as Merrill recalled, he "held nearly every post in the city news room".[2]

There, in 1939, he began writing the first of an eventual 1,650 stories and columns for the Sunday Democrat and Chronicle, primarily chronicling the history of Rochester and environs. These articles were collected and expanded to form Merrill's long string of non-fiction books.[2] After retiring in 1963, he continued to write his column, "Arch Merrill's History", for 10 more years.[1][2]

A prolific writer, he was best known for his articles in the Sunday paper on history and folklore of the Genesse Valley and the Finger Lakes of upstate New York.[4] Sometimes called the "Poet Laureate of Upstate New York",[5] he authored a number of books, most of which are collections of his articles. His 1943 A River Ramble is an account of his walk of the entire length of the Genesee River, along with his notes on local history, folk tales, and people he met along the route.[citation needed]

Merrill died July 15, 1974, and is buried in the Brighton Cemetery at the end of Hoyt Place in Rochester.[2][3][6]

Bibliography[edit]

Original publishers and publication dates are listed below. Where shown below ISBN numbers are usually from reprints often published by another company at a later time.

  • (1943) A River Ramble: Saga of the Genesee Valley, 108 pp., Louis Heindl and Son; Rochester, NY.
  • (1944) The Ridge: Ontario's Blossom Country, 112 pp., Louis Heindl and Son; Rochester, NY.
  • (1944) The Lakes Country, 154 pp., Louis Heindl and Son; Rochester, NY.
  • (1945) Historic Tales of Western New York, Louis Heindl and Son; Rochester, NY. A republication of the three previous works in one volume.
  • (1945) The Towpath (Arch Merrill's New York part 4), 179 pp., Louis Heindl and Son; Rochester, NY; ISBN 978-1-55787-001-8
  • (1946) Rochester Sketchbook (Arch Merrill's New York part 5), Louis Heindl and Son; Rochester, NY.
  • (1947) Stagecoach Towns (Arch Merrill's New York part 6), 186 pp., Louis Heindl and Son; Rochester, NY; ISBN 978-1-55787-002-5.
  • (1948) Tomahawks and Old Lace: Tales of Western New York (Arch Merrill's New York part 7), 157 pp., Henderson-Mosher Inc., Rochester, NY.
  • (1949) Land of the Senecas (Arch Merrill's New York part 8), 146 pp., American Book-Stratford Press, ISBN 978-0-932334-82-4
  • (1950) Upstate Echoes (Arch Merrill's New York part 9), 152 pp., American Book, New York.
  • (1951) Slim Fingers Beckon (Arch Merrill's New York part 10), 184 pp., American Book-Stratford Press, New York.
  • (1952) Shadows on the Wall: Tales of York State (Arch Merrill's New York part 11), 152 pp., American Book-Stratford Press, New York.
  • (1953) Southern Tier - New York State (Vol I) (Arch Merrill's New York part 12), 213 pp., American Book-Stratford Press, New York.
  • (1954) Southern Tier - New York State (Vol II) (Arch Merrill's New York part 12), 212 pp., Stratford Press.
  • (1957) Our Goodly Heritage, 216 pp., American Book-Stratford Press, New York.
  • (1957) Pioneer Profiles, 215 pp. American Book-Stratford Press, New York.
  • (1958) Bloomers and Bugles, 214 pp., American Book-Stratford Press, New York.
  • (1959) Gaslights and Gingerbread, 227 pp., American Book-Stratford Press, New York.
  • (1960) Fame in Our Time, 202 pp., American Book-Stratford Press, New York.
  • (1961) The White Woman and Her Valley, 207 pp., American Book-Stratford Press, New York, ISBN 978-0-932334-88-6
  • (1961) Down the Lore Lanes: Oddities in Upstate History, 198 pp., American Book-Stratford Press, New York.
  • (1963) The Underground: Freedom's Road and Other Upstate Tales, 181 pp., American Book-Stratford Press, New York.
  • (1967) The Changing Years, 194 pp., American Book-Stratford Press, New York.
  • (1969) From Pumpkin Hook to Dumpling Hill, 212 pp., American Book-Stratford Press, New York.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Hughes, James P. "Down-Home Bard: Finger Lakes Great Arch Merrill", Life in the Finger Lakes magazine, Winter 2008. Accessed January 20, 2001. WebCitation archive.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Archie Hayes Merrill Papers, Hobart and William Smith Colleges Archives. Archived January 20, 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ a b http://www.mcnygenealogy.com/cem/brighton.htm accessed 7 April 2014
  4. ^ http://home.nycap.rr.com/pflass/Merrill/index.html accessed 15 February 2008[dead link]
  5. ^ http://campus.hws.edu/NEW/pss/lake/lake-cs8.html accessed 15 February 2008
  6. ^ http://academic.hws.edu/library/archives/pdfs/Merrill.pdf accessed 15 February 2008

External links[edit]