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George S. Morris

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George S. Morris

Posted: 29 Jan 2009 5:10PM GMT
Classification: Biography
Surnames: Morris, Alexander, Roberts
From Biographical Memoirs of Huntington County, 1901, pages 671-673

George S. Morris was born in Salamonie township, Huntington county, Indiana, July 14, 1850, and is one of the wide-awake, hustling residents of the county who keep abreast of the times and whose energy and ability have been a prominent factor in the growth and prosperity of the community. He is a son of Christopher C. and a grandson of Isaac Morris, the latter of whom was a native of North Carolina. The family located in Wayne county, Indiana, and there the father of our subject, Christopher Morris, grew to man's estate and learned the trade of a potter. He worked as a journeyman for five or six years and in 1844 came to Clear Creek township. He was a man of fair education at that time, but after his marriage, in 1846, he entered school in Warren, where he was under the tutelage of David and Joseph Morrow, and acquired a good understanding of mathematics, Latin and Greek. He taught school thirty-three terms in Jefferson and Salamonie townships, and was accounted an able educator. He was very industrious in his habits and was seldom idle, teaching in winter and employing his time during summer in working at his trade. In 1846 he was joined in marriage with Miss Nancy Alexander, by whom he had five children, three boys and two girls: John T., Lincoln W., George S., Sarah E., and Mariah L.

George S. Morris was reared to farm life, and his first schooling was received in Warren under the supervision of William H. Trammel, now a practicing attorney at Huntington. He was diligent in his studies, but was unable to attend school closely on account of his eyes. However, he studied whenever possible and also attended school until 1870, when he was granted a teacher's license for eighteen months, but did not engage in teaching. He liked the work of the farm and decided to make that his occupation, although his native shrewdness and sagacity would insure success in almost any other channel in which he might engage.

He led to the altar Miss Sarah L. Roberts, whose parents had resided in the same vicinity for years, the children playing together in childhood, attending the same school in youth and as they grew older forming a deeper attachment, which resulted in more than a quarter of a century of wedded felicity and devotion. They were married March 24, 1874, and three daughters blessed their union, namely: Sidona L., who was born June 24, 1876, and is happily married to George E. Roberts, a promising young farmer of Salamonie township; Lena M., who was born February 22, 1880, and whose continued ill health necessitated her leaving school before her studies were completed; and Nova A., born November 18, 1888, who is now a student. Mr. Morris came to Jefferson township in 1859, and soon after purchased the farm where he now resides. As he did not have sufficient money to pay for his farm he was compelled to go in debt for the greater part of it, and it took hard and continuous work to clear away this encumbrance and leave the home untrammelled. He has also added improvements from time to time as he saw they were needed, doing nothing merely for display, and his home is comfortable and convenient. He has one hundred and twenty acres of land, and the discovery of oil on the premises has added largely to the commercial value of the property. He has two wells which are a profitable investment for him.

In politics Mr. Morris is an unswerving Republican, and his friends always know where to find him. He is capable and energetic in working for the public interest, and no half-way measures will ever satisfy his desire for the best that is to be obtained. In 1890 he was nominated by his party as candidate for the office of township trustee, and his majority of seventy was a most flattering one, as it was the largest ever received in the township, from seven to four-ten (sic) being considered high. This majority speaks volumes for the confidence and esteem in which he has always been held, and he determined, if human power could accomplish it, that he would cause his constituents to see that their confidence in him was not misplaced and that he had the good of the township at heart and was doing his best for its prosperity. The office was in bad shape when he took charge of it, having no funds, and the business all transacted in a slip-shod manner. His first care was to get the affairs of the township well in hand, and his next to see that the much needed improvements for which the people looked were an accomplished fact. It would be impossible to give in detail the work accomplished by him during his tenure of office, and will only touch on the most important. Several hundred dollars worth of road tools were purchased to enable the roads to be worked in a suitable and lasting manner, and more bridges built than had been put up in the township in twenty-five years previous to this. This was an improvement which has led to lasting good, as it has bettered the condition of the highway and caused his successor to keep on with the good work Mr. Morris inaugurated. The graded school at Pleasant Plains was badly in need of new quarters, and Mr. Morris caused the erection of the present beautiful structure at an expense of twenty-five hundred dollars. This building is a credit to the community and to the man whose energy made it possible. In addition to this four school-houses were built in the township at an expense of from eleven to twelve hundred dollars each, the school term extended from its previous length of three or four months to six months' duration, and the wages of the teachers raised twenty-five per cent. When his term of office was closed he was able to turn over to his successor the snug sum of twenty-two hundred dollars with which to carry on the improvements. The township was thus left entirely free from debt; this, too, in spite of the fact that the tax levy had been lower during his term than it had been for years. Mr. Morris is a man who has hosts of friends, each of whom would willingly stake his reputation on his honor and integrity; indeed, he has the respect and esteem of everyone, and represents the best element of American citizenship. He was made a Mason in 1894 and is now an honored member of King Lodge, No. 246, of Warren.

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