Dated Jan 27, 1910, this article comes from the archives of Mary Fitz-Gerald Riddle. The black and white picture is from the original article. The color pictures were taken by Tom Riddle in 2008.
RAVENNA BANKER PASSES AWAY
Largely Attended Funeral of Chas. Merts Held at Family Residence on Main Street Sunday
Charles Merts died at his home, corner of Main and Walnut streets, Thursday afternoon, January 27, after a protracted period of failing health. Funeral services, including' the Masonic Ritual, were held at the home on Sunday afternoon at which Rev. I. J, Swanson was the officiant, rendering merited tribute to the worth of the deceased The remains repose in Maple Grove Cemetery. The Attendance was large, the service impressive and the floral offerings many and beautiful. Active pall bearers were H W. Riddle Jr., F. M. Paltzgroff, George H. Robinson, R. B. Carnahan, Coy Merts and Charles Merts the latter of Alliance. Honorary bearers were E. W. Maxson, W. S. Krake, 0. P. Sperra of Ravenna; W. J. Hayes and Dr. J. W. VanDorn of Cleveland, and H. L. Hine of Mantua.
Merts family gravestone. The Riddle family gravestone is to the left.
The deceased was born on a farm in the state of Pennsylvania near the city of Allegheny in September. 1834, son of Prof, and Mrs. Charles Merts, who came to America from Frankfort-on-the-Main because of the failing health of the father. But both parents died within a few years, leaving the children to shape their destiny unaided and alone.
Mr. Merts learned a trade in his boyhood and came to Ravenna in 1855, entering the employ of Clark Brothers, carriage manufacturers, and later forming a partnership with his brother-in-law, H. Riddle, for the purchase of the establishment which, under the firm name of Merts & Riddle was conducted with great success for many years, becoming one of the best known institutions of the kind in the country. He retired from the firm in 1890. He was elected vice president of the First National Bank of Ravenna, now the Ravenna National Bank, in 1871 and at the death of N. D. Clark succeeded him as president of the institution, holding the office until the recent annual election when he retired because of his enfeebled condition, Mr. Riddle succeeding him. He married Mary A. Riddle in Allegheny in 1854 in Dr. Roger's church, Presbyterian, of which both were members. Two children were born to them. Lyda, now Mrs. C. W. Franzhiem of Wheeling, W. Va., and Katherine, now Mrs. J. W. Holcomb of Cleveland. She died in Ravenna and Mr. Merts was again married, his widow, who was formerly Mrs. Margaret Bedell, surviving him.
He became a Master Mason July 17, 1896 when his name was enrolled as a member of Unity Lodge No. 12, F. & A. M. For many years he was a faithful attendant at the services of Ravenna Congregational church and a loyal supporter of its interests.
Mr. Merts was a gentleman of quiet habits, of kindly relations with his fellow men and a citizen of large value in the community which was his home for so many years. "The memory of the just is blessed," words of Dr. Swanson's text, were finely suggestive of the essential basis of his life.
Mary Ann Riddle was the sister of Henry Riddle I.