Mercer was born to James H. and Laura Ann Search Mercer on August 4, 1880 in Kerr Township, Champaign County, Illinois where his father farmed and attended school in nearby Paxton, Illinois. He began his career as a printer's apprentice with the St. Louis Republic.
He later wrote for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, before the St. Louis Browns hired him as their road secretary in 1906. The following year, Mercer was hired at the New York Evening Globe. He later wrote for the New York Evening Journal and Hearst's American (later known as the New York Journal American). He died June 19, 1945 in New York City and is buried in Glen Cemetery, Paxton, Illinois.
- Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936–2007 [database on-line]. Provo, Utah, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.
- Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Death Index, 1862-1948 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.
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