In 1891 Merts and Riddle became Riddle Coach and Hearse. This article appeared in a local paper on November 4, 1891. Below this is a hand-written letter detailing part of the disolution of the Merts-Riddle partnership.
The firm of Merts & Riddle has been dissolved by mutual consent, Mr. Merts retiring. The establishment will hereafter be known as the Riddle Carriage and Hearse Co., Mr. Riddle having purchased the entire interest of Mr. Merts. It is the intention of Mr. Riddle to operate the works to their full capacity, and ultimately to associate his son and nephew with him in the business. The dissolution was entirely amicable, and arose from the desire of Mr. Merts to be released from the cares and responsibilities of active business life, and to spend the balance of his days in the enjoyment of the rest and recreative privileges so abundantly earned.
The stock is being invoiced now, and next week will witness the full consummation of the transfer. The appraisers are George Robinson, Wm. Merts. and H. L. Smith.
While we regret to see a gentleman of Mr. Merts' ability and successful business habits retire from the stage of commercial action, yet we cannot wonder at his feeling the need of rest, and that he should consider it a matter of supreme importance to lighten the burden of his duties as he descends from the summit of life's years. His business life in Ravenna would furnish material for a volume of exceeding interest and profit; and of no man can it be more truthfully be said, "he is the architect of his own fortune." But in making this change, Mr. Merts simply withdraws from the exacting duties of a great business. As a citizen of Ravenna, and a promoter of its prosperity, he will be the same as ever. Nothing could be more welcome to our citizens than the gratifying assurance that he will continue to make Ravenna his home.
In the hands of Mr. Riddle the business of the establishment will be pushed with characteristic energy, and we may expect great results in the future.
Messrs. Merts & Riddle have been associated as partners for a period of over thirty years. They commenced operations by going into debt heavily for the purchase of their plant. By assiduous labor, good management and business sagacity, they have attained to their present status, which is known not only here, but the country over.
In 1871 their entire establishment was burned to the ground, but as quickly as the builders could do so, their present magnificent building, of tenfold the capacity of the one burned, arose from the ashes.
In every sense of the word, they are self-made men, and men, too, who have spent their money right hare in Ravenna. We are very glad indeed, that the dissolution involves no change of residence on the part of either gentleman.