Centennial, McKendree college, with St. Clair County history, Illinois
Bishop Mchendree was a pioneer circuit rider in the middle west. Thousands of the pioneer generation came under his personal influence. The college which hears his name, the landmark of a century, the Pharos of the Mississippi valley, has stood on the same spot for a century and shed forth her kindly beams on other thousands who have come within her influence.
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Annis Merrill was the younger brother of John Wesley Merrill. He was born in 1810 and graduated from the Wesleyan in 1835. He came to McKendree one year earlier and staid one year later than his brother, and so spent six years of service in the college. In 1842 he decided to take up the profession of law. He went to Boston and spent several years in legal studies, and then in 1849 when multitudes were smitten with the gold fever he went along with the maddening crowd to California. He settled at San Francisco and made that his home for the remainder of his life. He was concerned more, however, with the application of the law than with gold digging. When civilization had been established and the church gained a place he was always identified with the First Methodist Church in San Francisco. For many years he was the teacher of a large men's Bible class in that church, and it was said that he prepared each Sunday's lesson as carefully as he would a plea before the Supreme Court. He was elected a lay delegate to the General Conference of 1876. He was one of the founders of the University of the Pacific and for many years was the president of the board of trustees of that institution. He acquired considerable wealth in his long life. He was a man of great vitality, which he preserved so well that he was able to spend ninety-five years m this world. He left not only a fair fortune but a good name as a legacy to his children.