Lee County Biographies



Charles A. Morris, editor and proprietor of the Paw Paw Herald, a bright and well conducted paper, has already won an honorable position in his profession, although one of its younger members. He comes of good old Revolutionary ancestry on one side, and on the other of a family that was well represented in the late Civil War, both his father and father's father, and others of hiskin doing gallant service in the Union ranks.

Our subject is a representative native citizen of the county, born in Wyoming Township, April 10, 1863. He is a son of Stephen J. Morris, a well-to-do farmer of Lee County, residing on his farm in Wyoming Township. He was born near Lock Haven, PA August 29, 1834 and is a son of William A. Morris, who was a native of Greene County, NY. The father of the latter, whose given name was Stephen was born in that same county, and removed from there to Allegany COunty in 1834. He bought a tract of timer land in West Almond, and dwelt there upon the fine farm that he cleared from the wilderness until old age compelled him to retire, and he then lived with his son, Josiah, in the same county, and died at his home at the age of 93 years. The maiden name of his wife was Phebe Utter. She ws born near Boston, Mass. and died at the home of her son Josiah at the advanced age of 90 years. She was a daughter of Josiah Utter, who was a patriotic soldier in the COntinental Army, fought in the battle of Bunker Hill, and served with fidelity throughout the entire struggle of the colonists for freedom until the surrender of Cornwall at Yorktown brought the l on conflict to an end.

The grandfather of our subject passed his early life in his native State, but when he became a young man he crossed the border into Pennsylvania, and in Clinton County found himself a wife in the person of Elizabeth Quay, a native of that county, and a daughter of John Quay. William Morris continued to live in Clinton County until 1842, when he returned to New York, and renting land in Allegany County, resided there until 1866. In the meantime the rebellion broke out, and not only did the brave old man go to the front to help fight his country's battles, as a member of the 85th New York Infantry, but four of his sons showed that they inherited the patriotism of their sire by enlisting in the Union Army. He served faithfully for two years, and was honorably discharged with a good military record. In 1866 he removed to Kansas with his wife, and they spent their remaining days in Pawnee County, that state.

The father of our subject was a small boy when his father returned to New York, and he grew to a vigorous manhood in Allegany County. He remained with his parent's until he attained his majority, and in that year, 1855, came to Illinois. He resided in McHenry County until 1861, and then coming to Lee County, took up his residence here permanently, buying the farm on which he makes his home two years later. He is a good farmer, having a sound knowledge of agriculture, and has done well in the pursuit of his occupation, becoming one of the substantial men of his neighborhood. He took part in the war, enlisting in March, 1865,in Company G, Fifteenth Illinois Infantry. He joined his regiment in North Carolina, marched with it from Richmond to Washington, participated in the Grand Review, and was honorably discharged with his regiment in September, 1865. at Fort Leavenworth, having sbown himself to be an efficient soldier during the term of his service. Mr. Morris was married in August, 1861, to Mrs. Rachel (Clark) Hawley, a native of Ohio, daughter of Alexander Clark, and widow of Adolphus Hawley. Their pleasant wedded life bas been blessed to tbem by these three children Charles A.; Rachel Emma, wife of Harry Strader; and Ida, wife of Elmer D. Fulton.

Charles A. Morris, the subject of this brief biography, began his education in the district school, and subsequently pursued a good course of study in the East Paw Paw Seminary, where he ranked well for scholarship. At the age of eighteen he commenccd to learn the art preservative in the office of the Lee County Times. Having become quite an expert type-setter, he entered the office of the Paw Paw Herald a year later as a compositor. In 1866 he bought the office, its appurtenances, and the good will of the former proprietor, and has since conducted a good business as job printer, as well as an editor and publisher. The Herald is doing well under bis management, is a neatly gotten up, well-printed sheet, in which the local news are set forth in an interesting manner, the editorials on topics of common interest sensible and sound, and the general tenor of the paper shows that the editor is desirous of pushing forward whatever will be of benefit to his native county.

Lee County Portraits & Biographical 233



Furman Morris was born in Middlesex County, New Jersey, October 3, 1837. His father, Aaron Morris, a native of the same vicinity, was a son of David Morris, who was also a native of New Jersey and who served in the Revolutionary war as a drummer boy. He was a son of Reno Morris, who was killed on the old Morris homestead by a falling tree. They were of Scotch extraction. Our subject's mother, nee Sarah Randolph, was born in Middlesex County, New Jersey, the daughter of Richard Randolph, also a native of that State. Her grandfather Randolph was born in Virginia, a descendant of the well-known Randolph family of the Old Dominion.

Aaron Morris and Sarah, his wife, emigrated to Lee County, Illinois, in 1855, where they spent the rest of their lives, the father dying in June, 1889, at the age of eighty-two years. The Morrises are a long-lived people, though the Randolphs usually died in middle life. Aaron Morris was a Democrat before the war. He voted for General Fremont, and was a strong Union man. He was a member of the Baptist Church. By his first wife the following children were born to him: Joel W., a resident of Franklin County, Kansas; Richard R., and Furman, both of the same township; Aaron F., who died in infancy; Sarah, widow of H. A. Jeffs, a Lieutenant of the Thirty-fourth Illinois Infantry. She resides at Eldena, Lee County, Illinois; Rachel J., wife of Jerry Mostellar, a grain merchant of Eldena. Some time after the death of his first wife Mr. Morris married Alvira Smith, a native of Massachusetts, and by her had one daughter, Amanda Morris. This daughter resides with her mother at Dixon.

Furman Morris was reared on a New Jersey farm and received his education in the public schools of his native State. He was eighteen years of age when he went to Illinois and settled in Lee County. In 1861, in answer to President Lincoln's call for volunteers, he enlisted in Company D, Thirty-fourth Illinois Infantry. He was in the battles of Shiloh, Stolie River, Perryville, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge and Ringgold, Georgia. Mr. Morris was taken ill with a chronic disease which disabled him from active duty in the field, and he was sent to Nashville, where he was honorably discharged. From there he returned to his home in Illinois. He bought a farm near Dixon, which he cultivated until 1872, in which year he came to his present location. He bought 160 acres of wild land and afterward acquired more, now being the owner of 240 acres. It is well improved and is devoted to general farming and stock-raising. Mr. Morris has a comfortable frame house, a good barn and all necessary farm equipment.

He has been twice married, first, February 20, 1866, in Ogle County, Illinois, to Miss Sarah Putnam, a daughter of George and Elizabeth (Perkins) Putnam. The Putnams are relatives of old Israel Putnam of Revolutionary fame. The family came from Vermont when Mrs. Morris was eight or nine years old and settled in Illinois. She died January 26, 1868. Mr. Morris subsequently wedded her sister, Miss Ellen R. Putnam, who, previous to her marriage, was a popular and successful teacher. Nine children have been born to them, viz.: Charles L., Louie B., Winnie R., Jennie M., Roy F., Clara Violet, and Ada Pearl. Two are deceased -- Mabel and Ida.

Mr. Morris, his wife and two of their children are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is a steward of the church and his family are workers in the Sunday-school. Mr. Morris is a member of Robert Provard Post, No. 414, of Carson.

Source: Rootsweb Pottawattamie County Website



H. W. Morris is a well known and popular citizen, having been a letter carrier of Dixon since the establishment of the delivery system here. He is also senior partner in the firm of Morris & Preston, funeral directors. He was born in Woodstock, Illinois, in May, 1869, and is a son of J.T. and Anna (Portus) Morris, who after living in Woodstock for a number of years, removed with their family to Dixon in 1875. The father was a farmer by occupation.

The educational opportunities afforded H.W. Morris were those offered by the public-school system of the state. He was a young man when the free delivery system was established in Dixon, at which time he secured appointment to the position of letter carrier and has since acted in that capacity. It was through the efforts and labors of Mr. Morris that the city was numbered under the hundred system. Always courteous, prompt and obliging, he is a popular official in his present position and all who know him have for him friendly regard. It was on the 1st of July, 1911, that he entered business as a member of the firm of Morris & Preston, funeral directors. Their place is at No. 123 East First street and they have the best equipped establishment of any firm of its kind in the county. They are the first and only firm in the county having a private chapel in connection with their business.

Mr. Morris has two children, a son and daughter. In politics he is independent, voting according to the dictates of his judgment. While he does not seek nor desire office, he is interested in the welfare of the community and readily espouses any cause which he deems of worth to the public. He possesses a social nature that readily wins friends and he is ever appreciative of true worth in others.

Transcribed by Karen Holt - 1914 History of Lee County Illinois Vol 2 by Frank E. Stevens.

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