- Henry W. Merriam
HENRY W. MERRIAM (1828-1900) (2003)
The marker depicting the historic significance of Henry W. Merriam was placed in the year 2003. This marker is located in the Town of Newton on Newton-Sparta Road in front of the former Merriam Shoe Factory.
"President of the H.W. Merriam Shoe Company, he relocated his factory from New York City to Newton in 1873. The nation's largest producer of ladies' and children's shoes, it was also the largest employer in Sussex County with over 350 employees. Held in high esteem by his workers, Merriam was a pioneer in labor relations: generously distributing part of the profits to employees on his birthday and other holidays, providing loans for his workers to build homes, retirement pensions and paid holidays.
Merriam's Home, built in 1883, is an example of "exuberant Victorian architecture," Upon his death in 1900, the home was bequeathed to the Presbyterian Church for the housing of retired ministers."
Photo courtesy of Patte Haggerty-Frato