Merv Harris’ Passing

It is with great sadness that the Nether Providence Historical Society announces the death of J. Mervyn Harris, our founder and first president.  Merv died in April at age 87.  He was considered our main township historian and also served on many historical boards county-wide.

Merv graduated from Nether Providence High School in 1952 where he was senior class president.  He went on to Pennsylvania Military College (now Widener University) where he was again senior class president.  After some years in the military, he came back to Nether Providence and served on the Board of Commissioners.  He was elected to the PA House of Representatives where he served for 4 years, from 1965-1969.

Merv was chairman of our township’s Tricentennial committee in 1987 and founded the Nether Providence Historical Society that year.  He was also a member of the Delaware County Historical Society and served as president of that organization.  And he was vice-chairman of the Delaware County Heritage Commission.  In 2019 that group awarded Merv a Lifetime Achievement Award.

But many residents know him best as the author of the very readable book, A Brief History of Nether Providence, published in 2010.  This book is still for sale at the Furness Library, the Leiper House, and the township offices.

Merv’s love of local history and his vast knowledge of it, and his willingness to share it, have helped so many of us better understand where we live.  His kindness touched many people.