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Merritt Morgan Mott
Born February 21, 1844


Merritt Morgan Mott, who is one of the oldest photographers of Anamosa, was born in Cortland county, New York, February 21, 1844, his parents being Philander and Harriett (Poe) Mott, also natives of New York, the former born December 29, 1816, and the latter September 16, 1823. His paternal grandparents were Jeremiah and Lydia (Messinger) Mott, who maintained the reputation held by this family as being very long lived, for different members have closely approached the hundredth milestone, before their lives were brought to a close. Philander Mott and his wife came to Iowa in 1865, locating in Fairview, where he engaged in the brokerage business. He dealt largely in tax titles and obtained a gratifying income from his operations. Like others of his name he lived to an advanced age, for he had tolled off eighty-eight years before he was called to his final rest.
Merritt Morgan Mott came to Iowa a few years before his parents, and established himself in the town of Fairview in 1862. There he followed the blacksmiths' trade, which he had learned in the east, but, being of an artistic temperament, gave it up to pursue the photographic art, which was at that time just beginning to come into the prominence it enjoys at present. As progress has been made in the business he has advanced until he is now able to produce work which may well stand beside that turned out in other and larger cities. His success is in part due to the fact that he is his own most severe critic, for with the true instinct of an artist he is satisfied with the best only. On many an occasion, it is related of him, he has refused to let work leave his shop because it did not satisfy his exacting taste, although his customer found in it nothing to criticize.
Endowed with a keen love of art, and a discrimination in the choice and posing of subjects, he has won a success that equals that attained by prominent men in other parts of the country. His reputation as well as the long period of his residence here, amounting to more than forty-seven years, entitle him to the fair name he enjoys as a workman and the respect in which he is held by all those who have come in contact with him, for a high code of honor has guided him in his business dealings as a high grade of achievements in his art has been his ambition.
In 1863, Mr. Mott wedded Miss Elizabeth Cromwell, who was descended from a branch of the family to which the Protector of England, Oliver Cromwell, belonged. Two children were born of this marriage: Catherine, who became the wife of William Richardson; and Wallace A., who married Miss Katie Coon and resides in Hale township. After the death of his first wife, Mr. Mott married Miss Amelia Taylor, a daughter of John and Jane Taylor, both natives of the state of New York. Two of the children born of this marriage now survive, John and Mamie. The latter became the wife of Gustus Wilson, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and they have two children. Mrs. Amelia Mott has also passed away.
Since his young manhood Mr. Mott has consistently voted the democratic ticket, as he has believed in the value of the doctrines advocated in its platform. He has for a number of years been connected fraternally with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, being now an honorable member of the local lodge.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 431.

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