Merck Family - Random Notes

Joseph John Merck, with his wife, Katherine Cecilia Eberle, brought his family from the Ukraine to the United States in 1912. This site will contain some random notes and comments about the family background, their experiences, the places they lived, and other subjects related to that topic. No particular organization of comments or articles should be expected.

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Location: Jacksonville, Arkansas, United States

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Merk Immigrants, 6/3/1912

The Immigration Service at Laredo, Texas, completed file cards on each immigrant who crossed the border from Mexico. On 3 June 1912, cards were filed for the family of Josef Merk who arrived from their last residence at Darragueiera, Argentina, enroute to Balfour, North Dakota. They were expected to arrive much earlier. In a recently translated letter to the German language newspaper der Staats Anzeiger dated 29 March 1912, brother-in-law Felix Eberle wrote: "I intend to move into my new residence in Karlsruhe by the 10th of April. My brother-in-law J. Merk, whom I am awaiting any day from Argentina, will move into my old farm." In announcing his plans to move, Joseph Merck wrote on 30 January 1912: "I ask the editor to cease sending Der Staats Anzeiger here, for I will be moving out on March 1." While my research has not located the documentation of the travels of the family, family legend has it that their first attempt to enter the United States was rebuffed because a family member had an eye disease. So, they made additional voyages aboard ship to a different entry point. The story goes that they were at sea at the time the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg and sunk on 15 April 1912. After landing at the port of Vera Cruz, Mexico, the Mercks successfully entered the country by the foot bridge at Laredo, Texas. They then boarded the train for the journey to North Dakota.