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Merritt, Paulina T. | Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections

Name: Merritt, Paulina T.

Historical Note: Paulina T. Merritt was born in Rockbridge County, Virginia on August 8, 1831 to John and Hannah McClung. She married George Merritt in 1852, and they settled in Indianapolis, where George ran a wool manufacturing business. Paulina invested her inheritance in order to improve conditions for those less fortunate, building “small cottages for friendless, suffering families” in 1864. She established a house for soldier’s orphans with her husband. She was an advocate for reforming insane asylums, and was instrumental in Sarah Oren’s election to office as the first state librarian in Indiana. Paulina Merritt also donated property to the Indianapolis Colored Women’s Mutual Society, to be used by those who were sick or elderly. Merritt was a member of and frequent visitor for the Benevolent Society, and was active in securing equal rights for women throughout her adult years.
Sources: Materials within the collection.

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