by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
In 1861 Merrick and Sarah Herrington buried their first-born son, Dwight Dairs, in a tiny grave marked Infant at the back of their 83-acre farm. Johnny Marion Herrington (1863-1883) was placed next to his brother some 22 years later.
As years passed, only 5 more graves were added to the tiny burial spot including Sarah Francis (Holland) Herrington in 1916. However, it wasn’t until Merrick passed in 1927 that the large tombstone was placed at the rear of the current cemetery to mark their gravesites.
Six of their remaining seven children and their spouses are also buried in the Herrington Cemetery: Anne (Herrington) and Jasper Newton Sanders, David Clifton and Carrie Herrington, Maybelle (Herrington) and Zackery Taylor, Margaret (Herrington) and Harvey Peal, America (Herrington) and Marshall A. Graham, and Mamie Herrington. Irvin Herrington, son of Merrick’s youngest brother Clay, and his wife Bess are also buried there.
The cemetery remained primarily family and extended family until years later when a cemetery board was established, the size was extended west to Seymore Road and it became the Grain Valley Cemetery. Today there are Herrington descendants from 5 generations buried there.
America Merrick Marion Herrington was the first child born to Julia Ann (Kirby) Herrington and Dewitt Clinton Herrington on April 24, 1836 in Simpson County, Kentucky. In 1857 he came to Jackson County and engaged in farming. On November 1, 1860 he married Sarah Holland.
In August 1962 he enlisted in the Confederate Army after receiving word his family farm was pillaged by the Union Army. He also lost his father Clinton BC Herrington and a brother to the war.
Merrick participated in over 30 battles before he was taken prisoner in Lafayette County during Price’s raid. He was released June 21, 1865 and returned to Jackson County.
The Historical Atlas Map of Jackson County Missouri, published in 1887, shows that MM Herrington owned 83 acres of land in Township 49, Range 30, Section. His post office was Pink Hill.
In 1903 he built a home on Buckner Tarsney Road, just north of McQuerry Road. The house was later sold to Lucy and Alonzo Rowe, and finally to Charles and Mildred Napier (Merrick’s great-granddaughter).
The house was torn down in 1968, following the construction of Interstate 70. Merrick continued farming and from 1914 until it closed in 1926, he was vice-president of the Sni-A-Bar Banking Company. He died on January 12, 1927.
Note: I am the great-great granddaughter of Merrick and Sarah Herrington.
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