William Thomas Merchant
William T., the fourth child of Samuel and Sally, first entered the fishing industry as a clerk in the firm operated by his father and uncles Gorham and Addison. After the death of his father in 1860, he and his brother-in-law decided to continue in the fishing business, and established Shute & Merchant in 1862. Initially, they owned a small fleet of vessels, but later chose to focus on just being dealer of fish products.
On Dec. 18, 1862 he marrie Eliza L. Wonson, and they had nine children (after Eliza's death, he married Mrs. Fannie Ramsey):
|Frederic "Fred" Wonson||1869-19__|
|Cora Fitch||1872-aft. 1930|
The person in the center of the photo above may be William T. Merchant, as it is a photo taken in 1892 for a special piece about Shute & Merchant. No other photos of him are known to exist, but he did play an integral role in the founding and development of Shute & Merchant, and the three men appear to be the owners of the business based on the rest of the image.
In addition to his work at the firm, William T. also serve in a public capacity, first serving as a Selectman and then as a Ward Representative on the Common Council.