Merrill to present historical society program on Thursday, Jan. 25

Published 9:15 am Wednesday, January 24, 2024

The Covington County Historical Society will welcome guest speaker and presenter Dr. Richard Merrill at the group’s monthly meeting to be held Thursday, Jan. 25, 6 p.m., at the Charles Dixon Room of the Andalusia Public Library.

Merrill has a unique family history in Andalusia and Covington County. He is the son of Henry Merrill of the Andalusia Development Company who built many homes and commercial buildings in Andalusia. His grandfather, W.C. Merrill, and his uncle, E.R. Merrill, were the owners of Andalusia Manufacturing Company and were early builders of many of the city’s buildings. Andalusia Manufacturing produced windows, doors, custom moldings, mantels and other specialty building materials such as cabinets that were used to construct homes and other structures.

In addition, his uncle, Walter Merrill, was one of the key builders of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, which was originally located on Second Avenue. His cousin, Scotty Merrill, was the principal builder of the new St. Mary’s Episcopal Church located on Second Street and E. Three Notch Street.

The Merrills were described in older newspaper articles as the “Builders of Andalusia.”

Other structures built by the Merrill family include Andalusia High School, Municipal Stadium, and the E. Three Notch School.

Dr. Richard Merrill is one of the last descendants of the Merrill family in Andalusia, along with his brother, Dr. Phillip Merrill of Dothan, and a cousin, William Merrill, who designed and built the Veterans Memorial Park monument behind city hall.

The Covington Historical Society welcomes guests to attend the meeting on Thursday. Parking is easily accessible. Those interested in joining the society can become a member by paying the annual dues of $25.

Also available will be the new 2024 City of Andalusia mural map for $20. The map is the latest historical society fundraiser to benefit the Three Notch Museum.

The mission and goal of the Covington Historical Society is to preserve and publicize the history of Covington County and support is appreciated to keep this important and significant club alive. The Three Notch Museum has become a tourist attraction within the city and with the construction of the new Heritage Park across the street, an increase in visitors is expected to increase.

Additional programs are scheduled for 2024 and will be announced.