California Genealogy and History Archives
San Bernardino County and Riverside County
F. P. MORRISON. — A native son of California, and a member of one of the pioneer families of the state, F. P. Morrison has lived in and about Redlands nearly forty years, and his energy and eflForts have forged a strong link in the community's progress. He was actively identified with some of the important early constructive developments, and for many years has been a leading banker of Redlands.
Mr. Morrison was born at San Francisco August 31, 1859, son of A. L. Sarah (Pease) Morrison, the former a native of Ohio and the latter -of Michigan. The father was in business in Ohio until he came to California in the early days, and here took up the work of pioneer development of the water resources in the northern part of the state. Of four children, two sons and two daughters, F. P. Morrison was the oldest, and was only a child when his parents died. He acquired a liberal education, attending school at San Francisco and San Jose and then went East to pursue a technical course in the Sheffield Scientific School at Yale University. He left University in 1878, at the end of his junior year, on account of ill health. To regain health and strength he spent three years in the Hawaiian Islands, and in December, 1882, came to Riverside and the following year moved to Redlands. He was attracted here partly by the climate and scenery, but also by the wonderful possibilities for development of a country which was then mainly unproductive. His first purchase of land was on Palm Avenue. Practically all of it was unimproved, but later he set it to and developed a splendid grove of oranges, and on it eventually he erected the handsome home he now enjoys. Mr. Morrison became one of the stockholders in Bear Valley Dam, owning 1,000 shares of the original 3,600. He sold his stock before this great pioneer project of irrigation was completed. He joined other undertakings projected for the general improvement of this section. However, to an increasing degree his financial abilities brought him into prominence, and as such he was instrumental in the establishment of what is now the First National Bank of Redlands. This was established March 5, 1887, as the Bank of East San Bernardino Valley, being opened for business on the 4th of April of that year. Mr. Morrison was the first president, and remained president through subsequent changes until ill health demanded his resignation about six years ago. This bank started with a stock of $25,000, and was first opened in the Cook Building at the corner of Colton Avenue and Orange Street. It was soon move to the Wilson and Berry Block, opposite, and in 1892 to its present location at the southwest corner of Orange and State streets. This modern banking house is now the home of both the First National Bank of Redlands and the Savings Bank of Redlands, which was incorporated June 25, 1891. Mr. Morrison was also the first president of the Savings Bank.
As a banker noted for his conservative judgment Mr. Morrison has been, nevertheless, progressive in every direction where the permanent and true welfare of the city and surrounding district was concerned. At the first election under the city charter he was chosen city treasurer, an office he held until recent years. He is a Knight Templar and thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason.
Mr. Morrison married Miss Mabel Stillman, daughter of Dr. J. D. B. Stillman. Mr. Morrison has four children, and derives the highest sense of patriotic satisfaction in the war record of his three sons. The oldest child, Laurence Stillman Morrison, born at Redlands May 28, 1888, graduated from high school, and, like the other sons, was sent East for his higher education. He graduated from the Phillips Andover Academy of Massachusetts in 1907, received his A. B. degree from Yale University in 1911, and during the World war was in the Medical Corps with the One Hundred and Sixty-Third Field Hospital, seeing active service overseas in France from December, 1917, to April, 1919. He was mustered out May 24, 1919, and was assistant cashier of the Savings Bank ^of Redlands. The second son, Stanley Morrison, was born June 4, 1892, graduated from Phillips Andover Academy in 1911, from Yale University with the A. B. degree in 1915, and from Harvard Law School with the LL.B. degree. In August, 1917, he enlisted, was assigned to the One Hundred and Forty-fourth Field Artillery, was trained at Camp Kearney, and while there received a commission as second lieutenant, was sent to the School of Fire at Fort Sill, becoming an instructor while there, and as an instructor remained at Fort Sill until the close of the war. He was promoted to first lieutenant. He is now engaged in law practice at San Francisco. The third of the family is Amy, Mrs. H. O. Philips, of Pasadena. The youngest, William Pease Morrison, born May 7, 1895, at Redlands, attended local schools, graduated from Phillips Andover Academy in 1914, spent one year in the Sheffield Scientific School at Yale, and two years in the University of California. He left university to enlist in the ambulance corps, and was assigned to a camp at Allentown, Pennsylvania, subsequently attending the Officers Training School at Camp Meade, Maryland, and was commissioned a second lieutenant. He was on duty at Camp Upton, Long Island, as acting battalion adjutant in the Depot Brigade, and remained there until after the signing of the armistice, when he was released from service. He is now managing one of his father's ranches in the San Joaquin Valley.
Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011