Woman of the Century/Sarah Newcomb Merrick
MERRICK, Mrs. Sarah Newcomb, educator and business woman, born in Charlotte town, Prince Edward Island, Canada. 9th May, 1844. She is a descendant of Elder Brewster, of Pilgrim Father fame, and counts among her ancestors some of the most notable New England names. She is a member of the Daughters of the Revolution by virtue of her great-grandfather, Simon Newcomb, having, with others, instigated rebellion in Nova Scotia. The rebellion was quelled soon after Mr. Newcomb's untimely death m 1776. Forty-one of his kinsmen, amply avenged his death by taking an active part in the war in the New England and other States. From such ancestry one could but suppose Mrs. Merrick to have inherited good physical and mental strength and great power of endurance. SARAH NEWCOMB MERRICK. In her earliest childhood she played at teaching, and when barely nine years of age offered her services, in earnest sincerity, to a missionary, as a teacher for the Mic-Mac Indians of Nova Scotia. She was left an orphan at the age of seven, and then arose great obstacles in the way of her obtaining the education she so much craved, which should fit her for her coveted profession. In i860 she reached the United States, and the following year entered the public schools of Boston, and, through the financial assistance of her oldest brother, remained there till 1867. when she was graduated in the Girls' High and Normal School. Her steps were immediately turned southward. Her first teaching was done in Manassas, Va. There she not only labored throughout the week, but on Sunday afternoon gathered all the children of the town together and gave them scripture lessons, illustrated on the blackboard. That drew the attention of a Baltimore clergyman, who .attended the meeting one day, and he strongly urged her to leave teaching and take up divinity, assuring her of a license from the Baltimore Synod She declined, and re- solved that nothing should allure her from her chosen field. Hearing of Texas as a wide and new ground for teachers, she next resolved to go there. Having thus resolved, no tales of wild Indians and wilder desperadoes could deter her. In September, 1872, she was appointed principal of a public school in San Antonio, and held that position with but little interruption for eighteen years. Even marriage did not wean her from the school-room. She w.is for over two years a paid contributor to the "Texas School Journal," and it is through her work that San Antonio has long borne the reputation of having the best primary schools in the State. Writer's cramp attacked her right hand about ten years ago. That was another agent trying to draw her from the school-room, but she taught her left hand to write, while she was in the meantime perfecting her invention of a pen-holder to fit on the finger like a thimble, leaving the hand free and thus avoiding cramp Her investments in realty in San Antonio have proved profitable, and Mrs. Merrick is looked upon as a good business woman. She is president of the Business Woman's Association, lately formed in that city. Having retired from active work in the school-room, she intends to continue her work in the cause of education through her pen.