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Merritt was originally from Maine and moved to California. He bought land in what is now the city of Oakland in 1852 and moved there in 1863.
In 1867, he donated 155 acres (627,000 m2) of dammed tidal water from the headwaters of Indian Slough, which became known first as "Merritt's Lake" and later known as Lake Merritt.
He left plans for a hospital and nursing school to be built in his name after his death. In 1909, Samuel Merritt University and Merritt Hospital opened. He is buried in Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland.
- Samuel Merritt from Camron-Stanford House Preservation Association
- History of Samuel Merritt College
- History of Alta Bates Summit Medical Center - also photo of Dr Merritt
- Lakeside Park/Lake Merritt
William Watrus Crane, Jr.
| 13th Mayor of Oakland
November 3, 1867-February 18, 1869
John B. Felton