Corporal James K. Merrifield, Co. C, 88th IL Infantry, USA

Merrifield, James-1.png


  • August 20: James K. Merrifield was born to John and Jane Widener Merrifield in Hyde Park, PA.


  • August 29: The U.S. Federal Census enumerated in Providence, Luzerne County, PA showed 6-year-old James living with his parents. His father, John, is a merchant.

***At some point between 1850 and 1857 James’ mother, Jane Merrifield, died and his father remarried.***


  • August 25: The U.S. Federal Census enumerated in Grand Bend, Susquehanna County, PA showed 15-year-old James living with his father, John, a physician and his step mother Charlotte.


  • August 8: James enlisted in the U.S. Army in Manlius, Bureau County, IL. He was just shy of 18 years old. He mustered into Co. D of the 88th IL Infantry.


  • November 30: James fought at the Battle of Franklin.


  • June 9: James mustered out of the US Army in Nashville, Tennessee.


  • June 27: The U.S. Federal Census enumerated in Great Bend, Susquehanna County, PA showed James’ wife Rhoda living with her parents. It is entirely possible he isn’t listed as he is a conductor on the railroad and gone.


  • June 7: The U.S. Federal Census enumerated in Lexington, Lafayette County, Missouri showed James, a railroad conductor, and Rhoda living with their son.


  • November 3: Chillicothe Morning Constitution, Chillicothe, Missouri.
Merrifield, James-2.png


  • April 3: The Winston County Journal, Louisville, MS.
Merrifield, James-3.png


  • April 9: Chillicothe Gazette, Chillicothe, OH.
Merrifield, James-4.png


  • April 9: The Sedalia Democrat, Sedalia, MO.
Merrifield, James-5.png


  • June 11: The U.S. Federal Census enumerated in St. Louis, St Louis County, MO showed James, a railroad conductor, and Rhoda living as boarders with a Winkoop family.


  • June 17: Sedalia Weekly Democrat, Sedalia, MO
Merrifield, James-6.png


  • August 4: Mower County Transcript, Lansing, MN.
Merrifield, James-7.png
Merrifield, James-8.png


  • April 21: The U.S. Federal Census enumerated in St. Louis, St. Louis County, MO showed James, a rail road conductor, living with his wife Rhoda.


  • September 7: James Merrifield died of a cerebral hemorrhage and was buried at Valhalla Cemetery.
  • September 8: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, St. Louis, MO.
Merrifield, James-9.png
Merrifield, James-10.png

September 9: The Beloit Daily Call, Beloit, KS.

Merrifield, James-11.png

A History of Southern Illinois: A Narrative Account of Its Historical Progress, Its People, and Its Principal Interests, Volume 3 by George Washington Smith, pg 1391.

A short biographical sketch of James’ son Walter, filled with information about James’ life.

     “Walter E. Merrifield. A citizen whose sterling worth and integrity, as aligned with exceptional business ability, have won for him the important and responsible position of superintendent of the Illinois division of the St. louis, Iron Mountain & Southern Railway Company, is Walter E. Merrifield, who maintains his business headquarters and residence at Chester, Illinois. Mr. Merrifield was born at Great Bend, Pennsylvania, on the 9th of November, 1867, and he grew to manhood under the influence of a railroad atmosphere. His father Conductor James K. Merrifield, who runs a Missouri pacific passenger train between St. Louis and Kansas City, has spent forty-two years in the service, beginning at Scranton, Pennsylvania, soon after the close of thewar coming to the Mississippi valley country. Conductor Merrifield was born in the old Keystone state of the Union in 1844, and at the outbreak of the Civil war he was in Illinois, where he enlisted as a soldier I n the Eighty-eighth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, in La Salle county. He was with Sherman’s army that divided the Confederacy with its Atlanta campaign and then returned with Schofield in pursuit of General Hood and fought the battles of Franklin and Nashville, two of the momentous engagements of the war. Returning to his home in Pennsylvania after the close of hostilities, Mr. Merrifield, Sr., entered the field of railroad work, as already stated, and he was married at Great Bend, that state, to Miss Rhoda Crandall. He settled in the city of St. Louis, Missouri, many years ago, and as a Republican made the race in 1890 for railroad commissioner as the nominee of his party. Missouri had not then turned its back upon the Democratic party and the whoe ticket met defeat.”