Biography of Merritt O. Fouts
Buchanan County, IA Biographies





MERRITT O. FOUTS.
Called to the position of cashier of the Commercial State Bank of Independence in January, 1911, Merritt O. Fouts is still filling that position and is proving a capable official, popular with the bank patrons and thoroughly reliable in every relation. He was born at Brandon, this county, March 1, 1874, a son of William H. and Mary A. (Romig) Fouts. The father's birth occurred in Warren county, Indiana, May 30, 1834, and the mother was born in Washington county, Wisconsin, April 21, 1844. W. H. Fouts engaged in merchandising with his father and in 1851 came to this county, settling at Brandon. His father established a sawmill and platted the town, after which he conducted a mercantile enterprise. With the business interests of the town W. H. Fouts was continuously identified up to the time of his retirement and contributed much to the upbuilding and development of that place. He also became the owner of large tracts of land and engaged extensively in farming. Appreciative of his worth and ability, his fellow townsmen frequently called him to local offices and for a number of years he served as postmaster of Brandon. His wife died in 1892 and he now makes his home with his daughter Clara, the wife of J. W. Elliot, a farmer residing near Brandon.

In the family were but two children, the younger being Merritt O. Fouts, who in the pursuit of his education attended successively the schools of Brandon and Independence and of Van Wert, Ohio. At the age of eighteen years he began teaching school near Brandon and during periods of vacation was employed as a clerk in a department store in Independence, where he remained for about two years. He afterward engaged in the real estate business in Independence for about three years, at the end of which time he became manager for the Independence Mills Company, but left that firm in less than a year in order to accept public office.

In politics Mr. Fouts has always been a stalwart republican and in 1900 was elected clerk of the district court, to which officer he was twice reelected. He resigned before the expiration of his third term to accept the position of special examiner for the United States bureau of pensions, spending most of the period of his five years' incumbency in that office at Indianapolis and Milwaukee. On leaving that position he became cashier of the Commercial State Bank in January, 1911, and has since been thus identified with financial affairs.

On the 18th of March, 1896, Mr. Fouts was united in marriage to Miss Mae Chapman, who was born in Stillman Valley, Illinois, a daughter of William and Ellen (Broadwood) Chapman, both of whom were natives of Canada, whence they removed to Illinois about 1870, settling at Stillman Valley, where the father engaged in contracting and building. About 1884 he removed with his family to Iowa and took up his abode upon a farm just south of Independence, where he is still carrying on general agricultural pursuits. Mrs. Fouts was the youngest of four children and by her marriage has become the mother of a daughter and son, Mildred J. and John Kenneth.

Mr. Fouts holds membership with the Knights of Pythias and the Modern Woodmen of America and is secretary of the Odd Fellows lodge. In all these different organizations he is held in high esteem, for he is loyal to their pur poses and in his life exemplifies their teachings. He is also a member of the school board. His record is a creditable one in every relation. He has proven thoroughly trustworthy in business and reliable in office and has the warm regard and confidence of an extensive circle of friends.

From:
History of Bachanan County, Iowa
And its People
By Harry Church and Katharyn J. Chappell
Vol II
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chicago 1914


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