Merrill Jesse Brayton, secretary of the Utica Gas & Electric Company, has been prominent in business
circles of this city for many years and is noted for his perseverance and untiring energy as well as for his sacred
regard in observing financial and mercantile engagements. He is a native of Newport, Herkimer county, New York,
and was born July 20, 1852, a son of Almond A. and Caroline (Schermerhorn) Brayton.
In 1860, being then eight years of age, Merrill J. Brayton removed with his parents to Deerfield, Oneida county,
New York. He received his preliminary education in Fairfield Seminary and at the Clinton Liberal Institute. After
leaving the last named institution he entered the law office of Hon. J. Thomas Spriggs and later continued the
study of law under D. E. Pomeroy, of Utica. In 1875 he was admitted to the bar and practiced from 1876 to 1881
as a member of the law firm of Pomeroy & Brayton. The firm was dissolved in 1881 and during the next two years
Mr. Brayton practiced alone. He served as deputy clerk of Oneida county in 1883, 1884 and 1885 and discharged his
duties with such fidelity that he was elected clerk of the county and filled that office in 1886, 1887 and 1888.
In 1889 he became secretary, treasurer and general manager of the Utica Electric Light Company and for sixteen
years had charge of the business of this company and that of its successors. He is now secretary of the Utica Gas
& Electric Company and its subsidiary concerns. Being a man of wide business capacity and prompt and energetic
in all his dealings, he has not only promoted wisely the affairs of the organizations with which he has been connected
but has also accumulated a competency on his own account. He is a veteran member of the Utica Citizens Corps and
prior to the reorganization of the National Guard was for several years inspector of rifle practice of the Twenty
sixth Battalion with the rank of captain.
On the 30th of January, 1884, Mr. Brayton was happily married to Miss Cora B. Johnson, a daughter of James A. and
Catherine Johnson, of Ilion. Mr. Brayton is a prominent worker in the Masonic order and holds membership in Oriental
Lodge, No. 224, A. F. & A. M., and Utica Commandery, No. 3, K. T. He is also identified with the Yahnundahsis
Golf, the Fort Schuyler and the Royal Arcanum Clubs. He has taken the interest of a patriotic citizen in public
affairs and his services in behalf of the city, county and state bave proven of distinct benefit to the general
welfare. Mr. Brayton was elected republican state committeeman for the twenty seventh congressional district of
the state of New York, in the fall of 1910, and is now acting in that capacity. It may be truly said of Mr. Brayton
that he is a self respecting and respected citizen and that he has contributed in a marked degree to the permanent
prosperity of Utica.
History of Oneida County, New York
From 1700 to the present time
of some of its prominent men and pioneers.
By: Henry J. Cookinham
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Oneida County, NY
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