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William Mercer diaries

Identifier: RHC-91

Collection Description

Collection contains twelve handwritten daily diaries by William Mercer, dating from 1877 to 1897. The diaries contain brief entries with details of the weather, his travels and activities, court cases and the incidents of daily life in Hillsdale County, Michigan. The diaries also contain miscellaneous receipts and notes.


  • 1877 - 1897

Access to Materials

Collection is open for research use. Materials may be accessed by request at Special Collections and University Archives in Seidman House. Materials do not circulate.

Publication Rights

For information on copyright or permissions for this collection, contact Grand Valley State University Special Collections.

Biographical Note

William Mercer, son of Samuel and Hannah (Culbert) Mercer, was born in 1811 in Donegal, Ireland and immigrated to the United States in 1819 with his parents. The Mercers first settled in Livingston County, New York and the elder, a farmer, purchased four hundred acres of land in Hillsdale County, Michigan in 1835. William remained with his father until 1843, when he purchased one hundred thirty acres of his father's estate. William Mercer became prominently identified with the public interests of his community, and in 1844 he was elected Associate Judge of the Circuit Court, and held the position for four years. In 1845 he married Sarah Gamble of Livingston, New York. In 1850 Mercer was elected county judge. He held that position until it was abolished by provisions of the state constitution. He also served the county as justice of the peace and other minor offices for many years. William and Sarah Mercer had six children: David G. (b. February 1846), Samuel A. (b. November 1847), Elizabeth (B. March 1849), William W. (b. March 1853), John G. (b. December 1854), and Sarah (b. December 1858). William Mercer died on February 9, 1901 in Somerset Township, Hillsdale County, Michigan.


1 Linear feet (12 diaries in 1 box)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Diana Agy on eBay, 2015.
William Mercer diaries, RHC-91
Special Collections & University Archives
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Grand Valley State University Special Collections and University Archives Repository

Seidman House
1 Campus Drive
Allendale MI 49401 United States