Isaac Merrick

Isaac Merrick, born around 1843, possibly in England, established residence in Camden by 1869, initially residing at 230 Division Street, followed by 424 Mt. Vernon Street in the 1870s. By 1878, he relocated to French’s Court, a now-vanished street extending from 1121 Broadway to the rear of the Kaighn School, situated in South Camden. In the 1880s, Isaac Merrick and his wife Margaret “Maggie” Merrick moved to “Boggs Row,” a cluster of frame buildings (potentially numbered 1711 to 1719) located on Mulford Street, positioned between Van Hook Street and Central Avenue.

Engaged mainly as a laborer, Isaac Merrick worked at a Catholic cemetery in either Camden or possibly Gloucester City. Although the couple had no biological children, they adopted Sallie Harrigan from Philadelphia around 1880. Isaac Merrick was characterized as a moderate drinker but possessed a “poor reputation,” displaying concerning behavior towards underage girls. His criminal record included a 1887 conviction for assault, resulting in a five-month prison term for attacking a young girl. Subsequently, his interactions with his adopted daughter grew increasingly suspicious.

On January 7, 1888, Isaac Merrick tragically shot and killed Sallie Harrigan before taking his own life. In the aftermath of these tragic events, his wife relocated to Pine Street, and her subsequent whereabouts in Camden remain unclear.


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