Private, Company F, 123rd Indiana Infantry
Merrill Paris, a shoe and harness maker, was born in Kentucky between 1824 & 1825 and was probably married before 1845 to Jane (--?--) who was born between 1826 & 1827 in Virginia. They had the following children:
John Allen W., born about 1845 in Indiana
Martha I., born about 1847 in Indiana
Sarah F., born about 1849 in Indiana
Alice J., born between 1851 & 1852 in Indiana
Lucy A. C., born between 1853 & 1854 in Indiana
James M., born between 1855 &1856 in Indiana
Orville M., born about 1857 in Indiana
Oliver L., born about 1859 in Indiana
Mary A., born about 1862 in Indiana
May O., born about 1863 in Indiana
The Paris family resided in Orange, Fayette County, Indiana in 1850 and by 1860 they had removed to Union, Rush County, Indiana.
On March 7, 1864 Merrill Paris enlisted as a private in Company F, 123rd Indiana Infantry at which time he listed his residence as Greencastle, Putnam County, Indiana. He was mustered out of national service on May 11, 1865.
By 1870 Jane Paris had died the Paris family had moved once again, this time to Doyle Township, Clarke County, Iowa. It was in Clarke County, that Alice J. Parris married Valentine Nelson on July 18, 1871, and her Mary J. Paris married David E. Webb the following September 14th.
Merrill Paris married secondly between 1870 & 1880 to Lydia Ann (--?--), who was born about 1852 in Ohio. They had the follwing children:
Ruby A., b. about 1877 in Iowa
Winfred P., b. August 14, 1879 in Iowa
Merrill Paris and his family were enumerated in the 1880 Federal Census for District 103, Lucas & Jackson, Lucas County, Iowa where he was a music teacher, but by January 1, 1883 they had moved back to Osceola, Clarke Couty, Iowa.
As a result of his military service he suffered from chronic diarrhea, dropsy and kidney disease. He was granted a pension, certificate # 61,008, and received $12 a month from the United States Government for his service during the Civil War. He died in Osceola, Iowa between January 1, 1883 when he was enumerated on the pension roll and May 28, 1884 when his wife Lydia Ann Paris filed for a widow’s pension. He is buried in Section 5 in Osceola’s Maple Hill Cemetery near the obelisk erected by the Women’s Relief Corps “In Memory of Our Fallen Heroes.” His son, Winfred P. Paris, died March 16, 1891, Clarke County, Iowa & is buried in Section 6 of Maple Hill Cemetery.
SOURCES: Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System; United States Pension Bureau, List of Pensioners on the Roll January 1, 1883, p. 677; Clarke County Genealogical Society, Clarke County Cemeteries Volume 1: Maple Hill Cemetery, p. 67, 74; 1850 Federal Census, Orange, Fayette County, Indiana; 1860 Federal Census, Union, Rush County, Indiana; 1870 Federal Census, Doyle Township, Clarke County, Iowa; 1880 Federal Census, District 103, Lucas & Jackson, Lucas County, Iowa; 1885 Iowa State Census for Clarke County, Iowa Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934, American Civil War Soldiers & Headstones Provided for Deceased Union Civil War Veterans, 1879-1903 databases at http://www.ancestry.com/; Clark County Genealogical Society, Clarke County Iowa Early Marriages 1852-1873, p. 18 & 25