Roy Merriam, Saginaw, Michigan
(Born 1879, Saginaw, Michigan; place and date of death unknown)
At this point, far more is known about the history of the design for the Jeffers Park fountain than is known about the career of its designer, Roy J. Merriam.
The Saginaw Evening News records that:
One evening in the middle of June, 1905, Architect Roy J. Merriam was on a train going to Detroit. In reading The Evening News he ran across the first announcement of the intentions of the committee having in charge the raising of a suitable monument for Jeffers Park. He got out his pencil and, in a rough way, sketched on the front page of The News the design of what he believed a suitable monument for Jeffers Park.1
When the committee selected Merriam’s design, they rejected proposals from established firms including Tiffany and Company and the Henry Bonnard Company.
Little has been located regarding Roy J. Merriam’s career. The first entry for his name appeared in the 1893 Saginaw City Directory. In the 1895 Directory he was listed as a student and in 1897 his occupation was recorded as a draftsman working for Fred W. Hollister. He retained that position until 1904. In 1904 he went into partnership with Fred T. Scheurmann. The entry for 1907 recorded that he was practicing alone with an office in the Bearinger Building. After that date, his name no longer appeared in the Saginaw City Directory.
The 1920 United States census lists him as an architect in Columbus, Ohio. At the time of his father’s death in 1923 the newspaper stated that he lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Jeffers Memorial and Fountain
1“Dedication of Handsome Jeffers Memorial Fountain.” Saginaw Evening News. 29 May 1906. 2.
“C.J. Merriam, Here for 60 years, Dies.” 28 February, 1924. Saginaw News Courier. 28 February, 1924.
United States Census,1920. Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio.