Head and shoulders. Oil on canvas, 26.3/4” x 21.1/2”.
The Preservation Society of Newport County, Newport, RI, U.S.A.
The artist; Jessica Dragonette; her husband Nicholas M. Turner; his gift to the University of Wyoming, 1987; their gift to the Preservation Society of Newport County 2008.
William Rush Merriam was born on July 26, 1849 at Wadham’s Mills, New York, the son of Colonel John Lafayette Merriam (1825-1895) and Mahala Kimpton DeLano (1831-1857), and died in Port Sewall, Florida, to where he had retired, on February 18, 1931. He started work in 1871 as a clerk at the Merchants National Bank in St. Paul, and from 1883 to 1887 he served in, and in 1887 became speaker of, the Minnesota House of Representatives; he eventually became the eleventh Governor of Minnesota in 1889 and held office until 1893.
A portrait of this subject is mentioned in the St. Paul Dispatch, October 26, 1892, and may have been painted in that year.