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Arch Merrill papers, 1837-1972

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: SC-30

Scope and Contents

The Arch Merrill papers contain correspondence and papers related to Merrill's profession as journalist. It also contains photographs of both a professional and personal nature.

Oversized items have been withdrawn and placed in the Archives Flat File.


  • Creation: 1837-1972


Biographical Note

Archie Hayes Merrill (1894-1974), (AHM), a newspaperman, was born in Sandusky, New York and settled in Rochester, New York where he worked for twenty-seven years on Gannett's Democrat and Chronicle newspaper.

After completion of high school in Buffalo, New York, AHM went to Hobart College in Geneva, New York. In 1916, after attending Hobart for one year, AHM enlisted in the Army, joining Company B, 33rd Engineers, and serving in France. He never returned to Hobart College. From 1919 to 1922 AHM worked at brief stints in Washington, D.C., Detroit, Michigan and New York City. While working in New York he married Katherine Marie Towell.

AHM had a life-long career in journalism. While in high school he sent articles to a Buffalo newspaper and during his single year at Hobart College he served on the staff of the Hobart Herald and was elected to be a regular Herald reporter for the coming year. In 1923, AHM became a copyreader with the Democrat and Chronicle, later working for the Rochester Journal American from 1927-1937.

In 1937 AHM returned to the Democrat and Chronicle as assistant city editor, and for the next twenty-seven years, in his own words, he "held nearly every post in the city news room", as a reporter, assistant city editor, back-up editor, night city editor and member of the editorial staff. In 1939 AHM began to write feature stories for the Sunday Democrat and Chronicle resulting in about 1650 articles, largely based on the history of Rochester and surrounding areas. These articles, collected and expanded, became the basis of AHM's many popular books.

AHM retired from the Democrat and Chronicle in 1963, but he continued to write his column, "Arch Merrill's History". He died on July 15, 1974 and is buried in Old Brighton Cemetary, Hoyt Plat, Rochester, New York.


6 Linear Feet (1 box and 22 scrapbooks)

Language of Materials



The Arch Merrill papers contain correspondence and papers related to Merrill's profession as journalist. It also contains photographs of both a professional and personal nature.


The collection is arranged in the following series:

  1. Correspondence
  2. Notes
  3. Items
  4. Photographs
  5. Scrapbooks
  6. Other, including the thesis ΓÇ£Arch MerrillΓÇ¥ by Kathryn Jackett, 1983


Box 1: Archives Storage, Range 22B, Section 4

Scrapbooks: Archives Storage, Range 22A, Section 4

Custodial History

The contents of one box containing correspondence, photographs, notes, drafts and proofs for newspaper articles and books, in 39 folders, were given to Kathryn Jackett (now Kathryn Hill) by Mrs. Arch Merrill for Jackett's research for her SUNY Brockport M.A. thesis. Ms. Jackett, at the request of Mrs. Merrill, donated this material to the Warren Hunting Smith Library of Hobart and William Smith Colleges. In addition to the box described above were 22 scrapbooks with copies of Merrill's Sunday feature articles for the Democrat and Chronicle, in need of microfilming and an index to the scrapbooks.

Kathryn Hill has asked that her phone number and email address be made available to anyone with questions about her research on Archie Hayes Merrill. She can be contacted at 585-223-1646 or at

Arch Merrill papers, 1837-1972: A Finding Aid
Charlotte Hegyi, Archivist
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Hobart and William Smith Colleges Archives and Special Collections Repository

Warren Hunting Smith Library
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Geneva New York 14456 U.S.A. US (United States)