MERRICK D. COOLEY, who owns a fine farm of 80 acres of well improved land in section 3, White Lake township, Oakland County, has been a resident of Michigan since he was eight years old. He was born in 1838, in Geauga County, Ohio, and is a son of Zadoc and Susan (Patterson) Cooley, the former of whom was born in Massachusetts and the latter in Syracuse, New York.
Zadoc Cooley moved to Ohio about 1825 and to Michigan in 1833. He was always engaged in agricultural pursuits and first settled the family in Genesee county, where he died in 1849 at the age of 56 years. In politics he was a Whig. Although he adopted no particular religious creed, he was a man of integrity and moral worth. His widow survived until 1899, dying a the age of 93 years. She was a consistent member of the Methodist Church. A family of 11 children were born to them, as follows: Timothy, a member of one of the Ohio regiments in the Civil War, who was killed in battle at Resaca, May 14, 1864, at the age of 33 years; Levi, a resident of Iowa; Charles, deceased; Mary Ann, who married Festus Chase and lives in Genesee County, Michigan; Merrick D., of this sketch; Rebecca (Mrs. Sacs), of Iowa; Louisa E., who married Henry Chapman of Henry County, Ohio; Minerva, deceased; Alfred G., of Michigan; Augusta, who married Henry Coats of Michigan and with him moved to California; and Martha, deceased.
Merrick D. Cooley was educated in the common schools, and was reared a farmer. In 1859 he came to Oakland County, Michigan, and settled first in Independence township, in 1881 removing to his present place in White Lake township, where he has successfully followed farming ever since.
In 1868 Mr. Cooley was married to Mary Bird, who was born in Independence township, Oakland County, Michigan, in 1844, a daughter of Thomas Bird, a native of New Jersey and a pioneer of this State. One son has been born to this marriage,--Bird T., born November 12, 1875, at Waterford, who is conducting a produce business at Drayton Plains Oakland County.
Mr. Cooley enlisted, for service in the Civil War, in Company F, 2nd Reg., Michigan Vol. Inf., at Flint, Michigan, in May, 1861, and was mustered out as a paroled prisoner May 29, 1862, by order of the Secretary of War. In March, 1864, he re-enlisted, at Meadville, Pennsylvania, in the 69th Reg., Veteran Vol. Inf., and was mustered out July 25, 1865. At the battle of the Wilderness he sustained a gunshot would and a hernia injury at Brandy Station. He participated in the following important battles: First battle of Bull Run; Siege of Yorktown; Williamsburg, where he was captured and then sent to Libby Prison, where he remained 20 dreadful days before being paroled. Under his second enlistment, Mr. Cooley took part in the battle of the Wilderness where he was so seriously wounded that he was sent to the hospital and was later transferred to the Veteran Reserve at Point Lookout, Maryland, and remained with that organization until mustered out at Concord, New Hampshire. Mr. Cooley was one of the heroes of the Civil War and has a record to which he can point with pride.
In politics Mr. Cooley is a Republican. Fraternally he belongs to the Masons, Knights of the Macaques, and Dick Richardson Post, G. A. R. at Pontiac.