A. W. Merrick

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A. W. Merrick
A. W. Merrick
A. W. Merrick
BornAlbert Walter Merrick
(1840-12-24)December 24, 1840
New York, United States
DiedFebruary 26, 1902(1902-02-26) (aged 61)
United States

Albert Walter Merrick (December 24, 1840 – February 26, 1902) was an American journalist who published the first newspaper in Deadwood, South Dakota, the Black Hills Weekly Pioneer, along with W. A. Laughlin. The newspaper continues to be published today, but has moved its offices to Spearfish, South Dakota.


Merrick was born in New York in 1839 and served in the Civil War, rising to the rank of sergeant.[1] Census records indicate that Merrick was living in Deadwood in 1880, when his occupation was listed as editor.

Merrick was married to Rachel Margaret Davis (1845–1924),[2] known as "Ray" Merrick, who was born in Tredegar, Monmouthshire, Wales.[3][4] She immigrated to the United States in 1864.[5]

The Merricks had at least five children. In 1880, they had two children; Walter M. Merrick (1872–1880), who died in Deadwood after the census was taken, and Marie Blanche Merrick (b. 1876 Colorado). Albert and Rachel also had a daughter, Louise May Merrick, born in Butte, Montana around 1881;[6] another son, Albert Wilbur Merrick, born in Deadwood in 1882;[7][5] and another daughter, Zeta Marguerite Merrick, born in Deadwood in 1888.[8][9] Albert Wilbur Merrick also entered the newspaper industry and became a printer.[4]

In 1899, Merrick was listed as an invalid in veteran pension records.[1] He died in 1902 and was buried at Mount Moriah Cemetery in Deadwood.[10]


Merrick created the Black Hills Weekly Pioneer in Deadwood in May 1876. The first paper was published on June 8, 1876, and is still printed today as the Black Hills Pioneer.[11]

In popular culture[edit]

Merrick is portrayed by actor Jeffrey Jones in the television series Deadwood (2004–2006) and the film continuation Deadwood: The Movie (2019).[12]


  1. ^ a b U.S., Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934
  2. ^ California, Death Index, 1905-1939
  3. ^ 1861 Wales Census, 1851 Wales Census
  4. ^ a b 1920 United States Federal Census
  5. ^ a b 1910 United States Federal Census
  6. ^ Montana, County Marriages, 1865-1987
  7. ^ U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918
  8. ^ South Dakota, Birth Index, 1856-1917
  9. ^ California, Federal Naturalization Records, 1843-1999 for Albert Wilbur Merrick
  10. ^ 1880 United States Federal Census
  11. ^ "A.W. Merrick, Journalist and the Pioneer". Black Hills Visitor. Archived from the original on 10 March 2015. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
  12. ^ "AW Merrick played by Jeffrey Jones". HBO.com. Retrieved 26 August 2017.

External links[edit]