Merklee & Nichol, 143 Duane St., New York, 2009
Merklee was George Frederick Merklee (1809-1885) and Nichol was John Nichol (1822/23?-ca.1888). Merklee was a native New Yorker, and John Nichol was an immigrant from Scotland. Nichol was in business with George Billerwell on Hamersley St. (later Houston St.) from around 1854 to 1875. More about this company is found on the Nichol & Billerwell page.
The partnership Merklee & Nichol dates in the narrow range 1851 to 1857. Merklee first appears in New York city directories in 1838 as a tinsmith. In the middle 1840s he moved to 77 Bleecker St., where the business dealt in sheet iron, kitchen ranges and stoves. From 1851 to 1857 he was also in business with John Nichol as Merklee & Nichol on Hamersley St. Then in 1857 he is listed with John M. Thatcher as Merklee & Thatcher at 834 Broadway. Merklee & Thatcher lasted until 1862. From then until his death in 1885 Merklee was in businss as a stove and furnace manufacturer at 77 Bleecker St. & 83 Bleecker St.
His partner at Merklee & Thatcher was John Merritt Thatcher (ca.1819-1892). Thatcher obtained several patents relating to stoves and furnaces between 1867 and 1872. By this time he had established his own business in Newark, New Jersey. A story relating to the belated filing of his will (New York Times, 3 Sept. 1903, p. 5) says that he "was the founder of the Thatcher Furnace Company, located at 36 St. Francis Street, this city" [Newark].
George Merklee's death notice in the New York Times, 24 April 1885, p. 5., read, "Merklee - Entered into rest, April 22, George F. Merklee, aged 76 years. Funeral services at his late residence, No. 46 Barrow-st., Friday evening, April 24th inst., 8 o'clock. Interment at Woodlawn Cemetery. Kindly omit flowers."
Merklee & Nichol are mentioned in Cast-Iron Architecture in New York, by Margot Gayle & Edmund V. Gillon, Jr. (1974). According to Gayle & Gillon a foundry mark for Merklee & Nichol was located on the first floor cast-iron work on the rear of the Arnold Constable building at 307-311 Canal St. (built in 1857). The mark is actually located on the Mercer St. side of the building (click for image).
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