Joe Merritt married Rosa Bowen of Omega, VA on 13 Feb 1883. In 1918 he bought what the family refers to as the "big house" where he and Rosa lived until their deaths. Prior to 1918, federal census records show the family living in the Halifax County, VA in 1900 and Mecklenburg County, VA in 1910. The 1890 federal census was destroyed in a fire, however, I would assume they were living in the same area of Virginia at that time as well.
Joe Merritt and Rosa raised 8 children on their farm: Nannie, Boss Henry, Charlie, Margie, Otis, Leavita, Mrytle, and Walter (Jack). Below is a picture of the "big house" on Old Cluster Springs Rd. taken from across the road. To the left is the barn where my father used to go every day to milk the cow.
As I write this post, I realize I need to fill in more on the stories of Joe Merritt and his wife Rosa. I have tried to research Rosa's family, however, have been unable to get beyond her parents. I know they are there and I'll eventually track them down.