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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



To a period far exceeding the usual business activities of even the most robust men Mr. Morris has retained his old-time quickness of mental faculties, energy of action and vigor of health, thereby enabling him to continue the pursuits in which he is most deeply interested. Notwithstanding his more than four score years he still keeps posted concerning national problems, reads current literature with un- abated interest and carries his daily duties through to a successful accomplishment. The printing business has been his life occupation. When a mere lad, just from Grammar School No. 2 in New York City, he began an apprenticeship to the trade and soon had mastered its many intricacies so that he was qualified to work as a journeyman. Born in New York City February 22, 1828, he spent not only child- hood there but also youth and young manhood and for twenty-two years was a valued employe of the Appleton Publishing Company.

The marriage of Mr. Morris took place in the eastern metropolis November 10, 1850, in the Church of the Epiphany (Episcopal), and united him with Miss Julia Fiddes, who was born in London, England. Six children were born of the union, but one daughter, Julia, died when only nine months old. The eldest son, James F., has resided with his parents since the death of his wife, who left two children, a son and a daughter. The second son, Edward, formerly a noted baseball player, is now a resident of Pittsburg, Pa. The daughters are Mrs. Phoebe Leadley, Mrs. Jane L. Wiggins and Adelaide, wife of Charles Schoenfeldt. During 1877 Mr. Morris crossed the continent to San Francisco and secured employment as a printer. Being pleased with the western country, he sent for his wife and family, who joined him later, thus establishing a permanent home in this state. After a considerable period in San Francisco, removal was made to Sacramento in 1885, and in this city Mr. Morris has been engaged with the state printing office for twenty-seven consecutive years, meanwhile winning a reputation for fidelity, intelligent service and thorough familiarity with the printing business.

After he had become a resident of Sacramento and had felt the need of a permanent residence, Mr. Morris bought property well located and erected a neat cottage, where he and his wife have since improved their grounds and made an attractive home. In addition, he has owned other property in the city and occasionally has helped to promote local enterprises by the loan 'of funds, doing this less from hope of moneyed returns than from a desire to advance the welfare of the city. On two occasions he and his wife have returned to New York City to visit the scenes familiar to their younger days. Their last trip was made during the summer of 1911, when they stopped at El Paso, Memphis, Denver and Chicago, also visited their son in Pittsburg, and found in the renewal of old associations and the visits to new scenes such a delightful change that they returned to their Sacramento home refreshed in body and mind, but firm in their long-cherished belief that no part of the country excels our own west in all that makes life enjoyable. Indeed, they attribute their own preservation of health to such advanced years almost wholly to their removal to the western coast and their identification with a climate healthful and invigorating. 

History of Sacramento County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: William L. Willis
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1913)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011