Tyler Woodword Merrill

Tyler Woodword /Merrill/
Given names
Tyler Woodword
Birth of a brother
Death of a paternal grandfather
Death of a paternal grandmother
Death of a father
Death of a mother
Death of a brother
Cause: Cerebral Hemorrhage
Death of a sister
Burial of a father
Note: Health is something we are all concerned about, but a doctor with a calm voice and soothing words can make the visits somewhat more bearable.

Health is something we are all concerned about, but a doctor with a calm voice and soothing words can make the visits somewhat more bearable.

So it was 100 years ago, and one of the old-time doctors then was Dr. Merrill.

Dr. Burton Jay Merrill was born in 1856 in Palmyra, Iowa. He graduated from Grinnell College with a B.S. degree in 1875 and an M.A. in 1880. In 1881 at Bellevue Hospital in New York he received his M.D., then moved to Hudson, Wis. where he opened his first office.

The following year he moved to Stillwater, partnering with Dr. Millard. He became one of the organizing members of the Washington County Medical Society, with the first meeting held May 31, 1882. He was married to Cornelia A. Merrill in 1882 and the couple had three children — sons Fred and Tyler and one daughter who married Beltram Sauntry.

There were no serious epidemics or diseases in Stillwater, partly attributed to Merrill and the activities of the board of health. In 1885, the first of a series of thorough sanitary inspections took place in Stillwater. Merrill wrote that they were house-to-house inspections that took place as “the weather permitted, and continued two months. The citizens in general were helpful, though others were arrested and brought before the municipal court. Thousands of loads of garbage and contents of privy vaults were taken from every part of the city to the dumping grounds. The city never underwent such a general cleaning before. The death rate has come down in a remarkable manner and the health of our community is second to no other city or section in the entire country.”

In July 1893 a severe tornado hit Stillwater and the entire area around it. Merrill got a firsthand look at the cyclone as he was coming back from the Lakeland area. He jumped from his carriage and took “seclusion under a friendly rock by the roadside” before seeing the storm disappear over the Wisconsin bluffs.

Merrill was professor of therapeutics and materia medica (now termed pharmacology) at St. Paul Medical College for two years. He served as Washington County physician and coroner and was also Stillwater’s health commissioner. For a number of years he was also physician and surgeon for the Minnesota State Prison. It was Merrill who helped the dying Bob Younger at the prison as Younger succumbed to consumption (tuberculosis) in 1889.

During his lifetime Merrill was affiliated with a number of medical societies and was member of a number of local organizations including the B.P.O. Elks, Sons of the American Revolution and the Knights of Pythias.

Owing to a general breakdown of his health, Merrill gave up his medical practice in 1920. He left Stillwater for a summer camp near Grantsburg, Wis. around June 20, 1920, hoping to recover his health among the pines of that area. He returned to Stillwater July 15, chatting in a cheerful manner with those with him and upon arrival was greatly pleased to be with loved ones once again.

During the night he was “attacked with a sinking spell” and just before 7:30 a.m. July 16, died of a cerebral hemorrhage.

Merrill was called Stillwater’s “famous family physician” and a “distinguished gentleman, and a friend to everyone he knew.

Burial of a mother
Family with parents
Burton J Merrill in his office
Birth: 1856 39 33 Palmyra Warren Co, Iowa, USA
Death: 1920Stillwater, Washington Co, Minnesota, USA
Religious marriage Religious marriage
younger brother
Frederick Baker Merrill
Birth: May 26, 1886 30 30 Stillwater, Washington Co, Minnesota, USA
Death: March 6, 1946Stillwater, Washington Co, Minnesota, USA
younger sister
Lilian Sauntry
Birth: October 4, 1883 27 27 Stillwater, Washington Co, Minnesota, USA
Death: October 15, 1972Minneapolis, Hennepin Co, Minnesota, USA