Frederick Merner, a prominent manufacturer, is a brother of Samuel Merner, M.P., mentioned on preceding pages, and was born in the same place, Canton, March 22, 1829. In 1837, when the family settled near New Hamburg, the country in this part was almost a dense forest; schoolmasters were scarce, and not of the highest grade, and Frederick acquired the best education he could, under the circumstances, at literary browsing. By additional application to books out of school, he obtained a fair knowledge of the several branches necessary for the transaction of ordinary business. His father raised no children to fill spheres of idleness, and Frederick, after farming until seventeen years of age, was sent to Preston to learn the trade of a wagon maker, spending three years there as an apprentice. Going thence to Grimsby, he there worked as a journeyman until of age (18.50), when he settled in New Hamburg, and engaged in business in company with his brother, he doing the wood work and Samuel the iron.
About 1855 our subject bought out his brother, and has since been carrying on business by himself, making carriages and sleighs, as well as farm wagons and buggies, having shops both here and at Waterloo, and usually giving employment from twenty to twenty-five skilled workmen. He manufactures a good substantial article, and finds his principal market in this Province, but has sent wagons to Australia and Van Dieman’s Land.
Mr. Merner is an enterprising man, and sometimes has more than one iron in the fire. In 1875 he commenced flax growing; sowed from 300 to 350 acres, and raised some years as high as $15,000 worth of this article, discontinuing the business at the close of 1878, but likely to resume it again before this work makes its appearance. In 1878 he opened a store, and keeps a large stock of general merchandise. As a business man he is a success; and he has made him self quite useful, as a citizen outside his several pursuits.
Mr. Merner was in the village council for fifteen or sixteen years; was reeve two or three terms, and is, and has been for sometime, a trustee of the common school. Like his brother, he thoroughly identifies himself with all local interests.
He is an Odd Fellow; a member of the Evangelical Association, and a Reformer, and is now Vice-President of the Reform Association of the village.
The marriage of Mr. Merner is dated November 19, 1853, his wife being Philipina Young, from Germany. They have nine children, three daughters and six sons, all the former being married: Jattate to Henry Ernst, Clarissa to Jacob Ernst, and Lovina to Louis S. Zoeger, all residing in New Hamburg.