|Date of Birth||February 7, 1897|
|Place of Birth||Grand Rapids, Minnesota|
|Next of Kin||Mrs. Margaret Edna Mercier (wife), Morinville P.O., Alberta|
|Trade / Calling||Farmer|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Battalion||1st Depot Battalion, Alberta Regiment|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Conscripted|
|Place of Enlistment||Calgary, Alberta|
|Address at Enlistment||Morinville P.O., Alberta|
|Date of Enlistment||May 23, 1918|
|Age at Enlistment||21|
|Theatre of Service||Canada|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||March 13, 1942|
|Age at Death||45|
|Buried At||Fern Hill Cemetery, Aberdeen, Washington|
Private Frank (Francois) Alfred Mercier was the son of Francois and Octavie Mercier. Francois was born in Quebec and Octavie most likely in Manitoba. By 1890 they were married and living in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. They had a daughter, Marie, who was born in Minnesota around 1889. When the 1895 Minnesota state census was taken they were still living in Grand Rapids. Francois was listed as a carpenter and he said he came to Minnesota at age 19 and he’d been living in the Grand Rapids area for five years. Frank was born on 7 February 1897 and about a year later his family moved back to Canada. At the time of the 1901 census they were living in the town of Rat Portage (later called Kenora), in northwestern Ontario. Their daughter Marie Adeline Philomene Josephine was born in Rat Portage in July 1900 and baptized at the Notre Dame du Portage Roman Catholic Church. On the baptism record her mother’s name was recorded as Octavie Jolicund.
By the time of the 1911 census Frank was living near Edmonton, Alberta with his father and his younger sister Adeline. The family unit seems to have broken up and in 1916 Adeline was 16 years old and living in a Social Service Home in Edmonton. In 1917, at age 20, Frank married Margaret Edna Edwards in Edmonton. Conscription was introduced in Canada that year and Frank registered as required on 10 October 1917 in Edmonton. He was a farmer, married and living near the town of Morinville at the time. Next of kin was his wife Margaret Edna Mercier. He was called up for service the following spring, on 23 May 1918, in Calgary and assigned to the 1st Depot Battalion, Alberta Regiment. On 6 June he was admitted to the military hospital in Calgary with a bladder inflammation and he spent about three weeks recovering from that and from neurasthenia and myalgia. He served with his unit for another six months and he was discharged in Calgary on 15 December 1918.
Sometime after the war Frank moved to Aberdeen, Grays Harbor County, Washington. He was married again on 17 May 1924 in Chehalis, Lewis County, Washington. The marriage register recorded his mother’s surname as Smith. His wife, Olive Fern Irwin, was a clerk who was born in 1904 in Hoquiam, Grays Harbor County. Her parents were George Irwin and Laura Lyon and she was the youngest of at least seven children. Frank and Olive settled in Aberdeen and Frank worked in the lumber industry for many years. They had four children: a son Loran (1928) and daughters Georgia Irene (1926), Marilyn Louise (1930) and Nancy Lee (1932).
Frank passed away in Aberdeen on 13 March 1942, at age 45. His wife Olive was married again in 1960 in Aberdeen. Her husband, William Earl Franklin, was from California. Olive died in Polk County, Oregon on 30 January 1976, at age 71. She was survived by their children Georgia (Mrs. Orian De Bay), Loran, Marilyn (Mrs. Ronald Cecil Sturm) and Nancy (Mrs. Dick Stewart, later Mrs. Jack Bell). Loran passed away in 1993, Nancy in 2013 and Georgia in 2015. Frank, Olive and Georgia are buried in Fern Hill Cemetery in Aberdeen, along with other family members.
By Becky Johnson
Photos of Frank and his wife courtesy of Mercier public family tree on ancestry.com.