Margaret "Madge" Burns Merritt was a county home demonstration agent in Glynn County, Georgia. She was born in Savannah, Georgia, on Aug. 15, 1874, to Henry Burns and Margaret Harrison. In 1901, she married Samuel Benjamin Merritt of Bibb County, Georgia.
In 1917, Merritt became Glynn County's first County Agent. Her office was in the Historic Glynn County Courthouse, where she designed and installed the landscaping. She made recommendations for the landscaping for the causeway to St. Simons Island.
Merritt was a founding member of the Cassina Garden Club and the secretary of the first Georgia Beekeepers group.
During her childhood, she lived for a time in Colorado, where her father owned a silver mine with several business partners. Merritt was kidnapped by Native Americans, according to her family history, and was held captive until her father and some of his friends rescued her.
Merritt died on Oct. 20, 1935, in Brunswick. She is buried at Frederica Cemetery at Christ Church on St. Simons Island. A park at 1640 Townsend Street in Brunswick was named in her honor. In February 2022, Madge Merritt Park was renamed in honor of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old African American man who was fatally shot in a racially-motivated attack while jogging through a Glynn County neighborhood on February 23, 2020.
1874: Born on August 15, 1874, in Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia, to Henry "Harry" Burns (1845-1916) of Ireland, and Margaret Elizabeth Harrison (1847-1906) of Savannah, Georgia
1879: Birth of brother Kenmore Burns in April 1879 in Colorado
1881: Birth of brother Thornton W. Burns in April 1881 in Leadville, Colorado
1883: Birth of sister Helen L. Burns in August in Georgia
1900: Lived in Bibb County, Georgia, with her parents
1901: Married Samuel "Sam" Benjamin Merritt of Macon, Bibb County, Georgia
1935: Died on October 20, 1935, in Glynn County, Georgia. She is buried at Christ Church Episcopal Cemetery on St. Simons Island, Georgia