Yuma County, Colorado

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Otto Hilfiker, daughter Anna (Hilfiker) Merritt and her husband William, Alvin

In 1895 Decatur County, Iowa, Otto is 44, Lizette 53, Anna 10. With them are Marie L. Reuss 17, John C. 22 and his wife Bertha E. 19.

Decatur County, Iowa

OTTO HILFIKER, farmer and stock-raiser, section 13, Grand River Township, is a native of Switzerland, born July 31, 1850, a son of RUDOLPH and MARY HILFIKER. His early life was passed in assisting his father on a farm and in working in a woolen factory, receiving his education in the schools of his native country. In January, 1883, he came to the United States and located first in Hancock County, Illinois, where he remained until the following November, when he came to Iowa and located on the farm where he now lives in Grand River Township, Decatur County. This farm contains 335 acres of good land under a high state of cultivation, and his building improvements are comfortable and commodious. It is well watered and adapted to either farming or stock-raising, both of which industries claim attention. He is a man of good education and speaks German, French, and English. Although but a newcomer to Iowa, he is numbered among the best citizens of Decatur County. z He was married in Hancock County, Illinois, to Mrs. LISETTE (SCHENK), daughter of CHRISTIAN and ANNA ELIZA SCHENK. She has two children by her first marriage - JOHN and LISETTE, and to the present union has been born one child. "

Elk Chapel Cemetery, Decatur County, has " HILFIKER Lisette (Mrs. Otto) 2 August 1896 Elk Chapel Bloomington Twp. aged 54 "

FindaGrave # 6488503 has Lisette Hilfiker November 3, 1841-August 2, 1896.

When Brad Starnes of Yuma married Mari Blick in 1983, Mari wore an heirloom ring, a sapphire/ruby/pearl ring that belonged to Brad's great-great-grandmother Lizette Hilfiker."

Marie L. Reuss, born about 1879, married H.L "Teale" June 10, 1900 in Decatur County.

"Last Sunday Mr. and Mrs. F .F. BEDIER attended the wedding of Harvey TEALE and Miss Lizzie REUSS which occurred at high noon at the residence of the bride's stepfather, Otto HILFIKER, of Elk Creek. Rev. KNOWLES of Kellerton performed the ceremony in the presence of about forty invited guests after which an elegant wedding dinner was spread.

The groom is a son of A. H. TEALE of Kellerton and is one of the most promising young business men of that place. Mrs. TEALE is a highly respected young lady and is well known in the west part of the county.

The newly married couple will reside in Kellerton. "

In 1910 Ringgold County, Harve L. Teale is an implement salesman, 31, married nine years to Marlie L. 32 born in New York City.

In 1920 they're still in Kellerton, index saying ""Elizabeth Leel."

In 1925 Kellerton, Iowa, "Liffie Leale" is 47, married to H.L. Leale 46. Her father was John Reuss, mother Lisette "Steuck" both Czech.
Harvey L. Teale 1879-1952 and Marie L. Teale 1877-1929 are buried in Ringgold County.
"Harvey L. TEALE, son of Albert H. and Frances (LEACHMAN) TEALE, was born in 1879, and died in 1952 with interment at Maple Row Cemetery, Kellerton. "

Anna M. Hilfiker was born June 13, 1884 in Elk Creek, Iowa to Otto Hilfiker and Lisette Schenk.

Otto Hilfiker, age 48, son of Rudolf Hilfiker and Mary Hussy, married Paralee Moore, 39, born in Indiana to Daniel Huff and Harriet Shell in Decatur County, Iowa on January 11, 1898.

George A. Moore 1860-1883 is buried in Decatur Iowa # 93195779.

Paralee Huff Moore, daughter of Daniel Huff and Harriet Schell, age 31, had married Zeno F. Brown, age 34, in Leon, Iowa on June 21, 1890.
Paralee had been widowed in 1885 Decatur City, Iowa, 25, with daughters "Esra" 8, Jenna 6, and son Hody 4.
Jennie A. Moore was born in 1878 in Iowa, to George Moore and Paralee Huff. Jennie married Samuel H. Grayson in 1897, at age 19 in Iowa.
Otto and Paralee's marriage must not have lasted, because in February 1901
Sam Grayson was an employee at the county farm in 1900, and later a guard at the penitentiary in Decatur.
1903 "Mrs. Paralee Moore and son Hod were called to Glenwood last Thursday by a message that her daughter was not expected to live."

April 7, 1904
Essa May Moore # 7389417 is buried in Decatur.

Paralee's sister died in 1907
"MRS. SARILDA STANLEY was born in Bainbridge, Putnam County, Indiana, March 8, 1839, and departed this life Dec. 26, 1906, aged 67 years, 9 months and 18 days.

Her maiden name was HUFF. She grew to womanhood at the place of her birth, and in 1861 was united in marriage to J. HANKS. To this union one child was born, now MRS. IDA MAY FISHER, residing in Decatur City.

In 1864, she, with her child and father's family, came to Wapello County, and to this county a year later. In October, 1868, she was married again this time to DANIEL STANLEY. To them were born three sons and three daughters, four of whom are living. They are FRANK, who resides with his mother; MRS. DAISY MCCUTCHAN; and MRS. MATT PULLEN, all of Leon, Iowa; and ED, of Columbia, Nebraska. Besides these there remain to mourn her departure, one brother and five sisters; JOHN HUFF and MRS. JULIA VAN HINING, of Kansas City, Mo.; MRS. NANNIE DICKINSON and MYRTILLO RUMLEY, of Fort Collins, Colo.; and MRS. ELLEN BECK and MRS. PARALEE MOORE, of Leon, Iowa. Two children, ALVIN and DOLLY, and her husband, who departed this life April l3, l90l, have preceded her to the spirit world. Her passing away was peaceful and with hope for the wondrous future. When asked as to the future, she expressed herself as not afraid to go.
In 1909 "Mrs. Paralee Moore went to Decatur City Saturday for a few days visit with relatives."
February 1911
May 1911

The Sam Grayson's were living in Creston, Iowa in 1904, and in Des Moines in 1918, when Mrs. Paralee Morore visitied them.
1913 "Mrs. Paralee Moore returned to her home in Leon Monday....."Miss Paralee Moore, of Leon, is here helping care for her sister, Mrrs. Ellen Beck, who is sick."
Paralee was living with daughter and husband Sam Grayson in Des Moines, and is buried in Glendale Cemeter # 65620637 1861-1942.
Jennie 1879-1941 # 111150355 and Sam 1870-1939 are buried in Glendale Cemetery, too.

In 1900 Decatur County, Iowa, Anna is 15, with Otto July 1850 Switzerland, widowed. Otto's stepdaughter Lizzie Reuss born August 1877 in New York is wtih them.

July 19, 1900 Elk items in the Leon Reporter "Misses Anna Hilfiker and Bertha Hanner called on Mrs. H.L. Teale Friday of last week."
Mr. and Mrs. Teale, of Kellerton, are visiting at the home of Otto Hilfiker."

October 17, 1901, Leon, Iowa "Otto Hilfiker, of Kellerton, was transacting business in this city last Thursday."
(Kellerton was the town where the Merrill boys of 4N 44W went back after their stay in Yuma.)

Lizzie might be the Mary Reuss in 1880 Brooklyn, New York, with Rosetta Reuss 38, born in Switzerland. - Rosetta's son John K. Reuss 7 is with her. And John is in the same page in 1900 as Lizzie.

John Conrad Reuss was born November 6, 1872 in Brooklyn to John C. Reuss and Elizabeth Schenck.
John Reuss married Bertha Estella Brown in Decatur County on November 28, 1894.

October 15, 1903 Leon, Iowa "Miss Anna Hilfiker of Kellerton, is visiting with Mrs. John Reuss, north of town."
1915 "Mrs. Lew Brown and daughter, Mrs. John Reuss and Mrs. Herman Deck were Leon visitors Monay."

Gladys Fern Reuss, 21, daughter of John Reuss and Bertha Brown, married Ivyll P. Painter, son of Frank Painter and Ida Fairfield, on March 16, 1918 in Decatur County.

John Conrad Reuss 1872-1944 is buried in Decatur # 59967488, with Bertha (Brown) Reuss 1875-1952.

In 1905 Ringgold County, Iowa, Otto, born about 1851, is widowed.

William J. Merritt, age 25, son of John R. Merritt and Minerva Harmon, married Anna M. Hilfiker, 21, born in Ringgold County, Iowa, daughter of Otto Hilfiker and Lusetta Schank, on June 24, 1904 in Ringgold County.

Thanks to granddaughter Shirley (Kramer) Starnes.

In 1910 Caddo County, Oklahoma, Anna M. Merritt is 25, married to William J. Merritt, 29 - first marriage for both. Otto L. 5 and Mabel 4 werre born in Iowa, May A. 2 aqnd Ray W. eleven months were botn in Oklahoma. Her father Otto Hilfiker 55 is widowed, immigrating in 1873, naturalized.

Anna Hilfiker married William Johnston Merritt, had Marie in Carnegie, Oklahoma on October 25, 1911, and moved to Wray.

Otto proved up 320 acres in sections 3 and 4, and stock-claimed a quarter in 10, 4N 44W in 1921.

William J. Merritt cash-claimed 40 acres in section 3, proved up 320 acres in 3 and 4, and claimed 40 acres in 3 by Stock, all in 1920.

This photo was provided by Shirley (Kramer) Starnes, granddaughter of "William Johnston Merritt and relatives who came to look for homestead land in Colorado. Granddad Merritt is the man standing in front of the car and we think the white haired man is his father-in-law, Otto Hilfiker. Picture was taken in 1915."

In 1920 Yuma County, William is 39, with Anna M. 35, Otto L. 14, Mabel D. 13 - these four born in Iowa. May A. is 12, Ray W. 10, Charley H. 9, and Marie L. 8 born in Oklahoma. Harry L. is 5, born in MIssouri, and Alma R. 3 in Colorado.
On the same page is Otto Hilfiker, 69, living alone.

He might be the Otto Hilfiker dying in Douglas County, Oregon on March 18, 1922, buried in Myrtle Creek Odd Fellows cemetery, 1850-1922.
FindaGrave # 167238128 has a tombstone photo - July 29, 1850- March 18, 1922.

In 1930 Yuma County, William is 49, Anna M. 45, Mable 24, Charley 19, Harry L. 15, Ruth A. 13, and Grace 8.

John Ray MERRITT born 06 Oct 1839, Burlington, Morgan Co. OH; died 09 Oct 1913, Kellerton IA married Minerva HAMM 05 Jan/Jul 1863 born 16 May 1848, Harrison Co. MO, daughter of Jessie HAMM died 24 May 1915, Kellerton IA John & Minerva interred Merritt Cemetery, Ringgold Co. IA Children of John Ray & Minerva (HAMM) MERRITT:

William J. MERRITT born 25 May 1880, Kellerton IA; died 11 Oct 1940, Wray Co. CO
married Anna Marie HILFIKER 26 Jun 1904, Kellerton IA born 13 Jun 1884; died 25 Jun 1959, WI
William & Anna interred Wray Co. CO
Children of William J. & Anna M. (HILFIKER) MERRITT:

1) Otto Lavern MERRITT born 02 Apr 1905, Kellerton IA married Alberta Louise LADWIG

2) Mabel Darlyne MERRITT married Edward WEIRS , born 24 Dec 1905, Toledo OH

3) May Avis MERRITT married Ray REYNOLDS

4) Ray William MERRITT married Flossie May WHESTLEY [should be WHEATLEY]

5) Marie Lazzett MERRITT married Albert C. KRAMER

6) Harry Luther MERRITT married Harriett Ruth HUDSON

7) Alma Ruth MERRITT married Allan FERWIG [should be FEURIG]

8) John Ray MERRITT born 14 Jun 1918 Wray Co. CO; died 15 Jun 1918 Wray Co. CO

9) Grace Evelyn MERRITT married Kenneth DILLON

10) Dorothy Louise MERRITT born 14 Jul 1924 Belton Co. OR; died 12 Dec 1924 Belton Co. OR

Darlyne M. Merritt was born to William Johnston and Anna Marie (Hilfiker) Merritt on March 2, 1906 in Kellerton, IA. Darlyne passed away in Waupun, WI, Sat., March 26, 2005 at the age of 99.
She married Edward A. Weirs on July 2, 1946 in Milwaukee, WI. Although no children were born to this union, she was a loving aunt to her many nieces and nephews. She taught first grade in Greendale, WI for 30 years. Upon retiring, she and her husband moved to Lehigh, Acres, FL. In 1991 she moved to Waupun, WI to be close to her sister, Ruth and brother-in-law, Allan Feurig. She resided in the Christian Living Center and then in 1994 moved into the Christian Home there.
Darlyne was preceded in death by her husband, Edward; her parents; her sisters, Dorothy, Grace, Mae, Ruth and Marie and her brothers, John, Harry, Lavern, Ray and Charley.
She is survived by 1 sister-in-law, Neva Merritt of Brookings, OR and her many nieces and nephews who loved her. Private Interment Wisconsin Memorial Park.

William and Anna (Hilfiker) Merritt

Granddaughter Shirley(Kramer) Starnes wrote "on the Homestead north of Wray, Colorado. In later years after raising 11 children (2 children died in infancy.) "
"My parents Albert C. & Marie Lizzette ( Merritt) Kramer bought the George Hebert farm circa 1939. I was 5 years old when we moved from the Forrest Merrill place, which we rented, to the Hebert farm. September 1, 1940 was my first day of school, which also happened to be my 6th birthday. Guess who my 1st grade teacher was? It was Herbert Oman who recently had returned from the service. He was a great teacher! In fact I took 1st and 2nd grades from him in my first year. There were only 2 first graders, the other was Russell Widgery. We had finished our 1st grade work by December and Herbert received permission from my parents to advance me to 2nd grade, which I finished by the end of the school year. Russell’s dad made him stay home and work instead of taking the 2nd grade. The School was Mt. Hope, District #41 which was about 1 mile and a half east of our farm. We walked to school. "

Ray William Merritt, life-long resident of the Wray area, passed away on October 25, 2000 at Cedardale Health Care Center at the age of 91.

Ray was born to William Johnston and Anna Marie (Hilfiker) Merritt on May 2, 1909 at Carnegie, Oklahoma. He was the fourth of 11 children. Ray became a member of the Methodist Church in his early childhood.

Mr. Merritt rented a place in Wray, where the family lived while the homestead was being built. He purchased a team of horses and a wagon to haul the lumber to the homestead, which was located 22 miles north of Wray.

There were 14 gates to open and shut on the way there. He would go to Wray one day and come home the next day. Even before the house was completed, the family moved to the sandhills.

As a young man, Ray started shining shoes in a barber shop in Wray. After a while, the barber asked Ray to help him out by cutting hair. So, Ray became a barber apprentice. He said pretty soon he was cutting as much or more heads than the barber. Ray graduated from Wray High School in 1927. He especially enjoyed playing basketball.

On June 8, 1930 Ray was married to Flossie Mae Wheatley. To this union three sons were born: James Everet, Ronald Ray and Gary William.

In the fall of 1930, Ray and Flossie purchased a cocklebur ranch 16 miles north of Wray. They won first prize for the largest cocklebur at the Hillsdale Fair that year. With the help of his brothers, the cockleburs were destroyed in three years.

Ray had quit barbering to farm, but continued to cut hair for friends and relatives. There was no charge for this service, as no one had any money. Many came to his place for a visit and a haircut.

The Merritt family were the first farmers in the sandhills to use a commercial fertilizer. Ray worked with the county agent, Colorado State University and the soil conservation service to accomplish this achievement.

Ray was honored by having his name in the 14th edition of Who's Who in the West. He served on the co-op elevator board 21 years, Equity Union Grain board for nine years and Farmarco Grain Company for one year.

Helping to organize the Yuma County Fire Protection District in 1948, Ray was president for several years. He served on the Wray Community Hospital board for three years and was an active leader in 4-H clubs.

In 1974, Ray was honored by the USDA and presented a certificate of appreciation by the Colorado Crop and Livestock Reporting Service for five years of service to the agency as an enumerator.

Ray loved his family and enjoyed being with people. Because of this, he was very active in the progress of the community.

In the spring of 1993, Ray moved into the Cedardale Nursing Home in Wray.

Ray was preceded in death by his parents; sisters Dorothy, Grace, Mae, Ruth and Marie; brothers John, Harry, LaVern and Charley; wife Flossie in 1987; and son Gary in 1989.

Ray is survived by sons James and his wife Norma of Wray and Ronald of Denver; sister Mable Weirs of Waupun, Wisconsin; sisters-in-law Alberta Merritt of Mt. Pleasant, Michigan and Neva Merritt of Brookings, Oregon; brother-in-law Allen Feurig of Waupun, Wisconsin; seven grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.

Funeral services were held on Saturday, October 28 at the First Christian Church in Wray. Burial was in Holyoke Memorial Park.

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