Everett Frank Merrill

No. 13045 Everett Frank Merrill

Photograph contained in an album at the Dorchester Historical Society of about 150 photos kept by Nathaniel R. Perkins, MD, who examined thousands of men who were going into the war, 1914-1918. Given by Mrs N. R. Perkins in accordance with instructions from her late husband, Dr. Nathaniel P. Perkins of 1122 Adams St, Dorchester. Index catalog has entries for the individuals.

Everett F Merrill USN 804 Washington St Assistant Inspectorof hull material USNRF

Everett Frank Merrill.  Written by Camille Arbogast

Everett Frank Merrill was born October 15, 1898, in Campton, New Hampshire. His mother, Gertrude (Little) was a teacher and his father Frank E. was a farmer; they married in December 1897. Everett was the oldest of nine siblings.

While he was in high school, Everett worked as a bellhop at the Plymouth Inn, in Plymouth, New Hampshire. He attended three years of high school, according to the 1940 census. Around 1915, he moved to Boston. He initially worked for a shoe manufacturer, before working as an office boy at the Arthur C. Harvey Company, a steel wholesale warehouse on Everett Street in Allston. At this time, Everett lived at 804 Washington Street in Dorchester. During World War I, Everett enlisted in the Navy. On his notecard for Everett F. Merrill, Dr. Perkins noted that Everett was an Assistant Inspector of hull material in the United States Naval Reserve Force.

On November 22, 1919, Everett married Dorothy Ruth Frizell at her home, 2 Butler Street in Dorchester. Her father, Frederick A. Frizell, was a professional photographer with a studio in Pierce Square in Lower Mills. Ruth was a graduate of Simmons College. They were married by Reverend A.A. Rideout, who performed a double-ring ceremony. Everett gave Ruth a diamond bar pin as a wedding gift. For their honeymoon, they took a trip to New York and Washington.

In 1920, Everett was living in Buffalo, while Ruth remained in Dorchester at her parents’ home. During this period, Everett “shoveled coal” at the Lackawanna Steel Company, according to his obituary; on the 1920 census his occupation was reported as inspector at a steel company. Later that year, Everett was “laid off along with 15,000 others.” He moved back to Boston, going to work as a salesman at a Boston-area steel business he had worked for previously, possibly the Arthur C. Harvey Company.

In 1922, at age 23, he started his own sheet metal business in Worcester: Everett F. Merrill, Inc. The initial incorporators were Everett, Dorothy, and Dorothy’s mother, Amelia. Eventually, the company became the Merrill & Usher Company of 5-7 Arctic Street, Worcester, a large steel warehouse serving all New England. Active in his field, Everett also published articles like “How to Melt the Iron Curtain,” and “Toughest Sales I Remember.”

In 1925, Everett and Dorothy had a daughter, Eleanor Louise. By 1930, they owned 18 Dorothy Avenue in Worcester, valued at $4,500. That year, Everett’s brother Leslie, a salesman, was living with them. Everett and his family were still living at 18 Dorothy Avenue in 1940, though Leslie was no longer in the household. Everett, the president of his own company, earned $5,000 a year.

In 1948, Everett was elected president of the Worcester Chamber of Commerce, where he helped to develop the “Worcester Industrial Plan,” a strategy for handling the city’s job shortage after World War II. As he described it, “We decided it was up to the Chamber of Commerce to make available to the small industries of the community the management brains they could not afford [sic] to hire. We hired four management engineers, an expert in production, sales, foreign trade and transportation, and put their services at the disposal of the community. … Small businesses, with one or two men running them, have learned production systems and plant organization and grown to plants with 50 workers.” That year, Everett also testified before the Senate regarding a recent Supreme Court Case, The Federal Trade Commission vs. Cement Institute, et al, that impacted industrial transportation costs.

In the late 1940s, Worcester voted to adopt city-manager based government. The “politically divided City Council” unanimously selected Everett to be the first city manager in January 1950, on an acting basis, a position he held for over a year. In January 1953, he was appointed special consultant on economic issues to the newly elected Governor Christian A. Herter. When a tornado hit Worcester county that June, Everett headed the official “disaster appraisal committee.” The tornado, which touched down over a 25-mile area, killed at least 82 people and injured up to 700. Many were left homeless.

At the end of 1953, it was reported that Everett sought medical care at Memorial Hospital on 68th Street in New York City. When Everett died on April 26, 1955, he was also at Memorial Hospital. After his death, his wife, daughter, and son-in-law ran the Everett F. Merrill Foundation, which distributed grants to local educational, community, religious, and health organizations.


“New Hampshire, Birth Records, through 1900.” New England Historical Genealogical Society, Citing New Hampshire Bureau of Vital Records, Concord, New Hampshire; Ancestry.com

US Federal Census, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1920, 1940; Ancestry.com

The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1962; Books.Google.com

“Dorchester District,” Boston Globe, 24 November 1919; 6; Newspapers.com

Frizell Family: “Dorchester Illustration #2292 Mattapan Bridge,” Dorchester Historical Society. 19 March 2017; <http://www.dorchesterhistoricalsociety.org/blog/?p=2920>

Iron Trade Review, February 23, 1922; Cleveland: Penton Publishing Co, 561; Books.Google.com

“New Simmons Official,” Boston Globe, 17 April 1949; 33; Newspapers.com

“Merrill Elected Head of Worcester Chamber,” Boston Globe, 16 Jan 1948; 2; Newspapers.com

“Where There’s a Will-: Worcester, Mass. Chamber Head Tells Camden Unit How to Boost Sales,” Courier-Post (Camden, NJ), 8 May 1948; 11; Newspapers.com

Hearings, United States Congress, Senate, Committee on Commerce 1948; Books.Google.com

“Sees Task in Cutting 50 City Agencies,” Boston Globe, 3 Jan 1950; 26; Newspapers.com

“City Manager of Worcester to Speak Here,” The Berkshire County Eagle (Pittsfield, MA) 5 April 1950; 7; Newspapers.com

“Worcester’s First City Manager to Advise Herter,” Boston Globe, 2 Jan 1953; 15; Newspapers.com

Masterson, Bert (UP), “New England Counts 82 Dead, Thousands Hurt in Tornado,” Evening Republican (Columbus Indiana) 10 June 1953; 1; Newspapers.com

Owens, C.R. “Politics and Politicians: Pay Gripes Rumble Among State’s 32,000 Employees,” Boston Globe; 4 Oct 1953; 46; Newspapers.com

“Everett Merrill Dies; Steel Head, Herter Adviser,” Boston Globe, 27 April 1955; 43; Newspapers.com

Roche, John J. Directory of Foundations in Massachusetts. Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Department of the Attorney General, 1965; Archive.org



Posted on

April 7, 2022

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