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Location: Princton Illinois

Biography of Thomas Mercer

THOMAS MERCER. – This well-known and highly respected resident of Seattle, Washington, whose portrait, together with a view of his beautiful home, is appropriately placed in this volume, was born in Harrison County, Ohio, March 11, 1813, and was the eldest son of Aaron and Jane Dickerson Mercer, – the latter a native of Pennsylvania and the former from an old Virginia family. Thomas resided at his birthplace until twenty-one years of age, and after his school days entered his father’s woolen factory and learned the trade thoroughly. In 1834 he moved with his parents to Bureau County, Illinois, and located on a farm near Princeton. April 20, 1852, with his wife and four children, he left the Illinois home, and with horse-teams crossed the plains to Oregon, being captain of the Mercer train. On arriving at the Cascades, Oregon, he buried his wife, who had been stricken with disease at The Dalles. His first winter in Oregon was passed at Salem; and in the spring of 1853, with one of his companions of the plains, Mr. Dextor Horton, now a well-known banker of Seattle, he came to the present site of that city. He took up a claim of one hundred and sixty acres adjoining that of D.T. Denny, – now having all undergone the wonderful transformation from a tract of wooded, rugged hillside to lots graded and...

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