Abbie - Wow - this one took a while! I saw your comments on Ancestry, so I will assume that you have already found EDWARD PURCELL MERKLEY on the 1900, 1920 & 1940 Census's. If you haven't please let me know which one you don't have and I will transcribe it for you. I have been unable to find him on the 1930 Census.
I will also assume you found his "World War I Draft Registration Card". If not, please let me know.
Ditto on his Death Certificate.
I found the marriage record of EDWARD PURCELL MERKLEY and ALEOINA RUCKS on Sept. 26, 1915 in St. Paul, Ramsey Co., Minnesota. ("ALEOINA is probably "ALVINA" - just transcribed wrong). (FHL #1314544)
I noticed that on all of the Census's, except the 1900, he states he was born in California. But on the 1900 Census, it says that he and his sister, ZELLA, were born in Canada, as was their mother, ELIZA.
So, I went to the Canadian records.
EDWARD PURCELL and ZELLA MERKLEY's mother is ELIZA FORD. She married JOSPEH MERKLEY on June 6, 1866 in Williamburg Township, Dundas, Ontario. ELIZA is the daughter of CHRISTOPER FORD and SARAH HARRIMAN.
JOSEPH MERKLEY was born April 13, 1843 in Williamburg Towship, Dundas, Ontario and died Jan. 8, 1887 in Williamburg Township, Dundas, Ontario - he is buried in Old Union Cemetery in Dundas.
It appears that JOSEPH MERKLEY is the father of ZELLA, but not of EDWARD PURCELL MERKLEY, because EDWARD was born in 1893 and JOSEPH died in 1887,
To mix things up a little more - ELIZA FORD MERKLEY's sister, JANE FORD, married JOSEPH MERKLEY's brother, GEORGE EDWARD MERKLEY.
If you will go to Ancestry and type in JOSEPH MERKLEY - Canada, you will see a MERKLEY family tree, owned by Paul Brown of Colorado Springs, Colorado. He has some interesting information on the MERKLEY family!
Hope this helps you! Sincerely, Melinda