Louis Henry Merlau

Louis Henry Merlau, one of the well-known and substantial citizens of Sugar Creek township, Hancock County, Indiana, is a native of Hancock County, born in Buck Creek township, October 11, 1871 a son of George and Caroline (Meier) Merlau. George Merlau was born in Sugar Creek township on the old family homestead in 1850 and died on Septemr 4, 1876, when but twenty-eight years of age, leaving his wife and two children, Louis Hnry, the subject of this sketch, and Lisette now the wife of Harry Vahle, of Sugar Creek township.

George Merlau was a son of Henry A. Merlau and for complete information regarding the Merlau family, kindly refer to the sketch of Henry Merlau, found elsewhere within the pages of this book. George Merlau spent his boyhood on the old homestead, receiving his early education at the old German school house. He married on January 22, 1871, when about twenty-one years of age, his bride being Caroline Meier, who was born in Hancock County on the old Meier homestead, just east of the town of New Palestine, in Sugar Creek township, on December 31, 1848. After marriage, George Merlau located in Indianapolis, where he had been living for some time, following his trade of carpenter. He remained there but a year or two after marriage and then returned to Hancock County, locating in Buck Creek township, where he farmed for two or three years, or until the time of his death. He was a devout member of the German Lutheran Church and a Democrat in politics. On December 18, 1885, his widow was married to Charles F. Richman, who survives her, she having departed this life on October 26, 1913, when sixty-four years of age. Mrs. Richman had no children by her second marriage, but two step-children are living: George Richman and Mrs. Helen Richman Beckman.

Louis Henry Merlau was born on the old Conrad Merlau farm in Buck Creek township and with his mother was living on the Meier farm at the time of his father's death. After being widowed, subject's mother took her two children and returned to her father's house, where she remained until the time of her second marriage. Louis Henry Merlau spent a considerable portion of his boyhood with his Grandfather Merlau and attended the public schools of New Palestine and later the German school. After completing his studies at the German school, he again entered public schools, remaining at his books until eighteen years of age. He has practically made his own way since a boy of twelve years and when eighteen years of age engaged in the threshing machine business, to which he gave his attention until 1902. During those years he was also engaged in farming and prospered well in his enterprises.

On September 10, 1893, he was united in marriage with Anna J. Miller, born on July 26, 1872, in Sugar Creek Township, a daughter of Fred and Christina (Rosener) Miller. Fred Miller was born in Germany and was brought to this country when a boy, his father being one of the early pioneers of Hancock County. Mrs. Merlau was born on the old Rosener homestead in Sugar Creek township, and also came of early German pioneer stock. The next fall after marriage, Louis Henry Merlau purchased seventy-eight acres of the parish farm, located one and one-half miles north of New Palestine. There were about fifty-three acres of this tract cleared, but no improvements were made, but he made his home on the east portion of the Parish farm, which he also rented for about five years, and by that time had erected a beautiful eight-room residence on his own land. This house us unusually well located in attractive grounds and there is also a good barn forty-eight by fifty-eight feet, which is of special construction. There are also other buildings in keeping with the surroundings. Mr. Merlau usually puts about twenty-five acres to corn, his average yield being fifty bushels to the acre and he has about the same amount of ground in small grains. He feeds about twenty-five to thirty hogs per year and has six head of cattle and the same number of horses, which are used in the work of the farm.

Mr. Merlau and his wife have two children living: Ezra, born June 26, 1895, and Esther, born on September 10, 1900. There were three other children, all of whom died in infancy,. Mr. Merlau and his family are members of the German Lutheran church of which he is treasurer and a trustee. In politics he is a Democrat, although never devoting any particular time to political affairs. He is one of Hancock County's substantial and respected citizens and as such is eminently entitled to representation in a work such as the one in hand.

Transcribed from History of Hancock County, Indiana, Its People, Industries and Institutions by George J. Richman, B. L., Federal Publishing Co., Indianapolis, Indiana, 1916. Pages 974-976.

Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI September 12, 2001.

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