James Eugene Merrill is a native of South Carolina. He was born at Charleston, February 8th, 1855. His parents removed to Florida in 1866, settling in Jacksonville, where the young man received his education. At an early age he learned blacksmithing, under his father, James G. Merrill. His first work of this kind was on the Confederate gunboat Pedee. He remained with his father until he was twenty years of age, when he started an establishment of his own. This was in 1875; and upon the retirement of his father from business, four years later, he and his brother, A. R. Merrill, formed a partnership under the firm name of J. E. Merrill & Brother. The firm conducted an extensive boiler-making business, in addition to their general blacksmithing, and ubilt up a flourishing business. This continued until 1887, when the Merrll-Stevens Engineering Company was incorporated, and began business upon a greatly enlarged scale. He was made Treasurer, and Superintendent of the Blacksmithing Department. Mr. Merrill is a member of the Board of Trade, and of the Masonic Fraternity. He is President of the Woodlawn Club. He was for a term Captain of hte local Harbor Number 24. Masters' and Pilots' Assocition, and holds papers as Master, Pilot, and Engineer. He is a skilled workman, and an all-around actie man of businrss, always ready to aid in public enterprises. He was married in 1880 to Miss Perley Small, of Jacksonville. They have two sons: James Campbell and Kenneth Alexander, and one daughter, Helen Joanna.