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COLLECTION Identifier: A/M571; M-129

Papers of Kenneth Griggs Merrill, 1918-1919


Letters and photographs of aviator Amelia Earhart donated by Kenneth Griggs Merrill, business executive and writer.


  • 1918-1919

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Access. Originals are closed; use microfilm M-129.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Kenneth Griggs Merrill as well as copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


1 folders
This collection consists of two photographs, and two letters from Amelia Earhart to Kenneth Griggs Merrill. The photographs are of Merrill and Amelia Earhart paddling a canoe, and of Merrill, Earhart, and Harry Baumann standing on a shore. The two autograph letters, signed, both written from Northampton, Massachusetts (where Earhart was living with her mother Amy and sister Muriel), discuss 1) Earhart's poor health and [sinus] operation, the Armistice celebration in Canada, the peace conference, and the German character (12/26/1918, 8 pages) and 2) the difficulty of her work for Armenian relief (3/13/1919, 8 pages).


Business executive and writer Kenneth Griggs Merrill was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on July 9, 1891. The son of John Francis and Anne Humphrey (Davy) Merrill, he was educated in Chicago public schools and took night courses at Northwestern University in creative writing and advertising.

Hired in 1911 as a clerk for the M. B. Skinner manufacturing company of Chicago, he advanced through the organization, and within 22 years became its president. Merrill married Helen Shapley in 1925; they had five children. In 1928, the Skinner company moved to South Bend, Indiana, where KGM lived the rest of his life. After his presidency (1933-1960) he was chairman of the board until his retirement in 1961. Merrill wrote numerous articles on salesmanship and advertising, as well as short stories and other articles of general interest. He died on August 15, 1963.

Merrill met Amelia Earhart shortly before World War I. He is the "Ken" referred to several times in Letters from Amelia, by Jean Backus (Boston: Beacon Press, 1982); see pp. 32-45. For additional biographical information see The National Cyclopedia of American Biography, Volume 51 (1969: pages 529-30).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 84-M21

These papers were given to the Schlesinger Library by Daniel D. Merrill in February 1984. They were processed and microfilmed with funds provided by Joan R. Challinor.

Processing Information

Processed: June 1990

By: Katherine Kraft
Link to catalog
Merrill, Kenneth Griggs. Papers of Kenneth Griggs Merrill, 1918-1919: A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future.

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