Samuel Merner, member of the House of Commons for South Waterloo, and the leading business man at New Hamburg, was born in the Canton of Berne, Switzerland, January 29, 1823, his parents being Jacob and Susan (Schluchter) Alerner. In 1837 the family emigrated to Canada and settled on a bush farm two miles west of New Hamburg, where the parents lived until their death, the father dying in 1873, aged 81 years, and the mother in 1876, aged 86 years. Samuel received a common school drill, and when fifteen years of age he went to Preston, County of Waterloo, learned the blacksmith trade, and after working at it in different places as a journeyman, came to New Hamburg in 1844, started blacksmith and wagon shops, managed them for ten or eleven years, then sold out to his younger brother, Frederick Merner, and a little later started a foundry, which he ran until 1873, when he gave it to his eldest son, Simpson, who is still managing it. Mr. Merner had also, at the same time, a foundry at Waterloo, which he gave to his son Absalom.
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In 1874 Mr. Merner bought a flouring mill in New Hamburg, and besides custom work, he is manufacturing from 10,000 to 12,000 barrels of flour, the mill having five run of stone, and doing first class work. He is also a silent partner in an extensive furniture factory at Berlin.
Mr. Merner has had striking success in his business ventures, and is the principal proprietor of the Village of New Hamburg, owning several business blocks and other property besides his mill and elegant homestead, with pleasant surroundings, in the heart of the village. He has also two fine farms in Wilmot Township, and has at times been quite active and prominent in agricultural societies.
Mr. Merner has been a leading man in the Village and County Councils-Councilman two years, Reeve seven years, Warden one year, and a member of the School Board a long time, being Chairman at this time, and doing a good work for the local schools.
In 1878 Mr. Merner was an Independent candidate for Parliament for the South Riding of Waterloo, and handsomely distanced his competitor in the race. He is a practical business man, a hard worker, is gifted with solid common sense, and will, no doubt, make a valuable legislator.
He is a Master Mason and an Odd Fellow, but rarely, we believe, meets with either body.
In 1845 Mr. Merner married Miss Mary Ann Grasser, a native of Alsace Lorraine, and they have buried four children and have ten living. Four of these are married; the two sons already mentioned; Ammon, who is a brewer at Baden, three miles east of New Hamburg, and Judith, wife of Solomon Weaner, book keeper in New Hamburg.