A man endowed with much business ability and honest and straightforward in all business dealings, James C. Merritt is one of San Jose's successful young business men, enjoying the confidence and esteem of the entire community. A son of Andrus R. and Susan (Bullock) Merritt, natives of Pennsylvania and New York, respectively, he was born October 22, 1877, in Atchison County, Mo. Grandfather Merritt, who was a millwright, removed to Minnesota in 1856. One of a family of eight children, all boys, Andrus R. Merritt grew to manhood in Minnesota and received his education in the schools of that frontier country. Several of the Merritt boys were timber cruisers and one of them, while cruising came across a windfall and where the ground had been torn up found ore that resulted in the discovery of a mountain or iron. Five of the Merritt boys became interested and by the hardest kind of work and making sacrifices they finally opened up the iron mines in the Mesaba range, and proved them a success. They also built the Duluth and Mesaba Northern Railroad, bringing the whole into a wonderful development until the panic of 1893, when they were squeezed out and they are owned by the trust. The great value of the Mesaba iron mines in aiding the World War can best be told when it is known they produce seventy-two per cent of all iron mined in America.

Mrs. Susan Merritt passed away in 1880 leaving two children, James C., our subject, and Thomas A., the latter an automobile dealer in Glendora. Cal. Andrus Merritt was married the second time to Elizabeth Clark and they make their home in San Jose. They have two, children, Lewis, a partner of our subject, and J. W.. chief geologist for the Sapulpa, Oklahoma, Refinery.

James C. was educated in the grammar and high schools of Duluth, Minn., later taking a course at Hamline University at St. Paul. For a year he was with the engineering corps that located the Western Pacific Railroad in eastern Nevada, then in the brokerage and bond business in St. Paul for ten years. The lure of the western country proved too strong for him, however. and in 1916 he came to San Francisco. Cal. After traveling over the state for one year, in 1917 he purchased the share of J. J. Merritt in the Merritt Company, San Jose, and has since been devoting his time to this prosperous business. They own and operate an extensive plant at Santa Clara. and manufacture many articles of cement and concrete, besides doing a general contracting business. The Merritt Company plant was established in 1912 and engaged in the manufacture of concrete pipe and it has grown rapidly since then. They use the Brubaker pipe machine of a large capacity, and are also contractors for laying irrigating pipe, the business having grown until in 1920 it was the largest of its kind in California. In June, 1921, the business was incorporated as the Merritt Concrete Products Company with James C. Merritt as president and manager.

In Elko, Nev., on March 30, 1903, Mr. Merritt was married to Miss Lola Swetland, a native of Elko, Nev., who is active and very prominent in club work. She is president of the Y. W. C. A.. Mothers' Club of San Jose, a member of the house committee of the Y. W. C. A., superintendent of the intermediate department of the Methodist Episcopal Sunday School and secretary of the Parent-Teachers' Association in San Jose. To Mr. and Mrs. Merritt have been born two sons, Gerald Andrus and Glenn. Mr. Merritt is independent in his political views, and believes in the fitness of man for the office. Religiously he is a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

 During the years of 1913 and 1914. while a resident of St. Paul, he acted as Exalted Ruler of the Elks. He is a member of the Chamber of Commerce and Lions Club, the 100 Per Cent Club and a charter member of the Commercial Club. He and his wife were both active in the war and Red Cross drives. When enabled to do so, he spends considerable time in the mountains. hunting and fishing. He has ever believed in constructive measures, and his diligence and determination have been prominent factors in his career and by his constant application has caused him to advance steadily toward the goal of prosperity.

Transcribed by cferoben, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,  published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 725