Obit: Ring, Merritt Clarke (1850 - 1915)

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----Source: Clark County Republican & Press (Neillsville, Wis.) 07/22/1915

Ring, Merritt Clarke (30 OCT 1850 - 21 JUL 1915)

M.C. Ring, who has been in a feeble condition from strokes of apoplexy for over a year, passed away at his home Wednesday morning.

Merritt Clarke Ring was born at Milton, Wis., Oct 30, 1850. In 1856 he went with his parents to Madison and a year later to Sparta, where he grew to manhood, and was educated in the schools of that city. For a time when quite a young man he taught country school. Later he attended the law department of the State University, graduating in 1873. Shortly after he came to Neillsville, Clark County and began the practice of law, soon attaining prominence in his profession. In 1876 he formed a partnership with C.A. Youmans, which continued till 1891. During that time they were identified, not only with much important litigation, but were largely interested in many other lines of business, dealing largely in timber lands, operating the grist mill, and other enterprises.

Early in his career as a lawyer Mr. Ring took a prominent part in politics, becoming one of the local leaders of the Republican Party. He was elected to the State Senate in 1885, and to the Assembly in 1889. In both these bodies he served on many important committees. In 1892 he was appointed Special Statistical Agent for the U.S. Department of Agriculture for Europe, with headquarters at London, England; while there he also acted as Deputy Consul General at London. In 1895 he was appointed attorney for the C. and N.W. Railway Co., in which position he served several years. During many years of his later life he was greatly interested in agriculture, carrying on a large stock farm near this city. He was active in promoting many things for the educational and social advancement of this locality.

On Sept. 13, 1877 Mr. Ring was married at Neillsville to Miss Ida Austin, who survives him. He leaves three children, Mrs. Victor Huntzicker, Miss Ethel Ring, both of Neillsville and Mrs. Earle Zirckle of Ft. Atkinson. He leaves also one brother, L.B. Ring and one sister, Mrs. L.G. Prescott.

Merritt C. Ring was a man of great strength of mind and exerted a wide influence throughout the state when at the zenith of his energies. His intellect was keen and penetrating, and his power as a public speaker gave him wide prominence. He brought down with him from a long line of ancestors on both his father’s and mother’s side, the best intellectual traditions of New England. Naturally courageous and conservative, he inevitable came into vigorous contact with opponents. He had short patience with those things he considered foolish or useless in politics and never shrank from a conflict to defend or extend his views. This could not fail to make him some enemies. In later years, in the calm of home and farm surroundings he developed a kindly philosophy of life. Over the old battlefield of political strife, the misty haze of time has cast a softening shadow. Old animosities have long since drifted away as autumn winds blow far into the valleys the leaves which concealed the strong trunks and spreading branches of the forest trees, so shall we remember Merritt C. Ring, a man of power, of strength and courage, who wrought well upon the foundations of our county and state, who stood by his friends, who saw with a clear strong vision greater things than mere business interests, and who was withal a gentle, kindly man.

The funeral will be held Friday afternoon at the home under the auspices of the Free Masons, of which fraternity he was long a prominent member.



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