Question: My future daughter-in-law was recently informed that she is the great-great-granddaughter of Dan Mercer, who was a potter in Parkersburg around the turn of the 20th century. Very little additional information was provided to her. Her father did show her a couple of pieces of stoneware that were passed down and told her that one of Dan Mercer's pottery wheels is in unnamed museum, but nothing else. It has become quite curious to know more about her great-grandfather. My Internet search has not been very successful except for what you have written about him in The Marietta Times. Would your readers have anything to add, where he might even be buried? - R.V., North Carolina.
Answer: There is not that much known about Dan Mercer, except that he worked for A.P. Donaghho Pottery Co. in Parkersburg from around 1875 up to about 1904, when he supposedly started his own pottery company right after the death of A.P. Donaghho. I know that after Donaghho died, his son, Walter, took over the company. Researching, I find that Walter was very well known to hang around with Dan Mercer too much. His father was quoted to saying to get any work done, and due to this, was misspelling the word Donaghho on many jars he stenciled. Researching, I also found that Dan Mercer later on made a lot of pottery for the U.S. Quarry Tile Co. in Parkersburg, which had plants in Parkersburg and East Sparta, Ohio. Much of this pottery marked Dan Mercer turns up on eBay. I can't find where he might have owned his own pottery company anywhere in Wood County. A.P. Donaghho is buried along with his wife and son, Walter, in a cemetery behind the Parkersburg High School fieldhouse. I have yet to find out where Dan Mercer is buried. Readers, do you know? If so, write me.
Q.: I recently came across a box of old postcards and photos from Fischer Studios and H.W. Craig Studios in Marietta, including Grossmans Studios in Marietta. Most of them are of people and babies. Also, some of the postcards are from Oregon and Washington, plus other odds and ends of old cards. Any information you can give me on their value? - R.M., Marietta.
A.: There are several collectors around Washington County who pay big bucks for old postcards of Marietta, especially flood photos on postcards. To get top dollar advertise them on eBay, under the heading of Marietta, advertise the ones of Washington and Oregon under the heading of old postcards. Good luck in your sale.
Auction prices realized
- Postcard, President Taft in Marietta in 1915, sold, $51.
- Postcard, train passing Front Street during 1910 flood, sold, $119.50.
- Game, Bet-Chu-Can't marble game, produced by Marietta, Ohio Games, sold, $22
- Medicine bottle, W.H. Styer leading druggist in Marietta, sold, $25.
- "Harmar Cemetery," by Benjamin Bain, sold, $13.
- Book, "Oak Grove Cemetery Burials 1860-1920," sold, $11.
Larry Koon is the author of several price guide books on antiques and collectibles. His column appears every Monday on Life. Send letters to Treasure in the Attic, c/o The Marietta Times, 700 Channel Lane, Marietta 45750.
or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. When writing, send a complete description of the item, along with size, color, any markings on the item along with condition the item is in, and how the item was obtained, and any other information. If possible, send a photograph. Letters will be answered through this column.