The Windmill City
Around 1870, when the Texas and Pacific Railway was built, the town was founded as Windmill Town. In 1881, it was renamed as Merkel in honor of the first settler in this area, S. M. Merkel from Germany. In 1882, the first mercantile store and in 1883, the first post office opened.
1884 Merkel Common School District #11 was founded. The school was primarily founded on local donations of supplies on the corner of North 2nd Street & Runnels. When the railroad reached Abilene in 1881, Merkel was off & running soon after.