Edgar Sanford Keen Merrell was born in Lowville, New York on May 21, 1865. He attended Lowville Academy, graduating in 1884, and graduated from St. Lawrence University in 1887. After graduation he studied law at Merrell & Ryel, his father's law firm. Admission to the Bar followed in 1889. He started practicing law as a junior partner in Merrell, Ryel & Merrell, which later became Ryel & Merrell after his father's death in 1890.
Mr. Merrell started his judicial career as county judge and surrogate of Lewis County from 1902 through 1909. He was elected to a full 14-year term as a Supreme Court Justice in the 5th Judicial District in 1910. He was reelected to another full term in 1923. Governor Sulzer designated him to the Appellate Division Fourth Department in 1913, where he sat until 1918, at which time Governor Whitman designated him to the Appellate Division First Department. He remained there until his mandatory retirement at age 70 in 1935.
Justice Merrell married Johanna F. Voshage in 1891, and they had one daughter and one son. He died on December 5, 1942 at age 77.
Obituary, New York Times, December 7, 1942, p. 27.
Alden Chester, Courts and Lawyers of New York: A History 1609-1925, The American Historical Society, Inc., New York, 1925, p. 1157.
Who's Who in New York City and State, Winfield Scott Downs [ed.], Lewis Historical Publishing Company, New York, 1938, p. 768.
Letter from Justice Edgar S.K. Merrell to his wife, dated May 13, 1918.