Merriman, Eli T. (1815–1867)

By: Tula Townsend Wyatt

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: April 8, 2020

Eli T. Merriman, the first physician in San Marcos, was born in Bristol, Connecticut, in 1815, and graduated from Yale University in 1833. He received his medical degree at Pennsylvania and Vermont Academy of Medicine. He married Jenette Bartholomew, also of Bristol. He opened his first practice in Texas sometime after 1838 and in 1846 enlisted in Capt. Henry E. McCulloch's ranger company, in which he served during the Mexican War. He moved to San Marcos in 1847, to Brownsville in the early 1850s, and then to Banquette. He and his first wife had six children before they were divorced about 1850. Several years later Merriman married Elizabeth Fusselman, with whom he had four sons. In 1857–58 he represented Cameron and Hidalgo counties in the Seventh Texas Legislature. He served in the Confederate Army as a doctor. After the war he settled in Corpus Christi, where he worked during the yellow fever epidemic. He fell a victim to the disease in 1867 and was buried in Bayview Cemetery, Corpus Christi. Eli Merriman, Edward Burleson, and William Lindsey bought land where the town of San Marcos now stands and laid out the townsite; they sold the first lots in 1851. Burleson died on December 26 of that year, and Lindsey and Merriman completed the project. Merriman's log cabin, built in 1847, was restored, moved to Aquarena Springs, and awarded a medallion by the Texas State Historical Survey Committee (see TEXAS HISTORICAL COMMISSION) in 1963.

Dudley Richard Dobie, A Brief History of Hays County and San Marcos, Texas (San Marcos, 1948). Members of the Texas Legislature, 1846–1962 (Austin, 1962). Tula Townsend Wyatt, Historical Markers in Hays County (San Marcos, Texas: Hays County Historical Commission, 1977).

  • Health and Medicine
  • Physicians and Surgeons
  • General Practitioners

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Tula Townsend Wyatt, “Merriman, Eli T.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 27, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

April 8, 2020

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