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HISTORY OF CARROLL COUNTY IOWA
A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievement
VOLUME II ILLUSTRATED
CHICAGO THE S. J. CLARKE PUBLISHING COMPANY 1912
Digitized for Microsoft Corporation
by the Internet Archive in 2008. From New York Public Library.
May be used for non-commercial, personal, research, or education purposes, or any fair use.
May not be indexed in a commercial service.
Transcribed and donated by Vance Tigges & Kathy Weaver.
CYRENIUS EVANS MORRIS *pages 300, 301, 302 & 303*
Cyrenius Evans Morris who for twenty-eight years has acceptably administered the office of justice of the peace and notary public at Coon Rapids and is one of the successful business men of the community, was born in New York city July 9, 1842, and traces his ancestry back to Lewis Morris, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He is a son of Crowell E. and Nancy P. (Von Vooris) Morris, the former of whom was born at Woodbridge, New Jersey, and the latter at White Plains, New York. The father was reared at Rahway, New Jersey, and learned the trade of carriage-making, which he followed for four or five years. He then operated a livery stable for a time on Christopher street, in New York city. He became an extensive traveler and made two trips to California. During his first stay on the Pacific coast he engaged in mining, but the next time he went to California, profiting by his earlier experience, he operated a blacksmith shop. In 1854 he moved with his family to a farm near Galena, Illinois, and later took up his residence at Warren, where he continued to live until his death, in 1901, at the age of seventy-three years. His widow came to Coon Rapids, Iowa, and resided with her son, Cyrenius Evans, until she was called from earthly scenes, at the age of eighty-nine years. She was a consistent member of the Methodist church and a woman of many sterling characteristics. In the family of Mr. and Mrs. Morris were eight sons and two daughters, seven of whom are now living: Cyrenius Evans; Helen R., who married Rufus B. Tucker, of Pasadena, California; Nathaniel V. and John H., both of whom were soldiers in the Civil war and are now deceased; Harvey A., a resident of Pasadena; George V., of Payette, Idaho; Frank A., of Rathdum, Washington; Julia A., who died early in life; and Crowell E. and William E., both of whom are residents of Pasadena.
The paternal grandfather of our subject was Cyrenius Morris, a native of New York, who became a saddler and harness-maker. His wife was Hetty Evans, a granddaughter of Reuben Evans, who was an admiral in the Revolutionary war. Cyrenius Morris died in New Jersey and his wife in New York state, but they are buried in an old cemetery at Woodbridge, New Jersey. They had seven children: William E., John E., Crowell E., Julia Ann, Mary A., Catharine E., and Jane. The grandfather on the maternal side was Nathaniel Von Vooris, a native of White Plains, Westchester county, New York, and of Holland Dutch descent. He married Margaret Dexter, who was a daughter of Colonel Dexter of the Revolutionary war. She lived to be ninety years of age and died at White Plains. In their family were seven children, Harvey V., Albert V., Nancy P., Hester, Louis V., George V., and Merrill V.
Mr. Morris of this review was twelve years of age when he removed with his parents to Galena, Illinois, and he passed the following six years upon his father's farm. On September 4, 1861, he enlisted in Company A, of an Independent Battalion of Fremont Rangers at Galena, and served with this command until November 11, 1861, when he reenlisted for three years in Company G, Third Missouri Cavalry. He was in the battles of Pea Ridge, Little Rock, Jenkins Ferry and Camden, Arkansas, and in many lesser engagements, being wounded in a skirmish with Quantrell's Guerrillas, but not seriously. After the close of the war he opened a harness shop at Nora, three miles east of Warren, Illinois, and bought harness trimmings of Jesse Grant, of Galena, the father of General U. S. Grant. He is a member of Jo Daviess County Soldiers' Monument Association, and his certificate of membership is signed by General Grant as president of the association. Later he engaged in farming near Warren. In 1869 he was attracted to Iowa and purchased a farm of eighty acres in Union township, Carroll county. After disposing of this property he bought from the county supervisors the old Price place of two hundred acres, which he improved, and sold in 1906. He still owns eighty acres of productive land in Guthrie county. In 1880 he removed to Coon Rapids and associated with J. S. Putnam in a general store which they operated for eight or ten years. Under President Harrison he was appointed postmaster of Coon Rapids, a position which he filled for five years. He has been justice of the peace for twenty-eight years, and on account of his genial manner and consistent desire to promote the happiness of his fellowmen he has accomplished much good as a citizen and public official.
On the 6th of June, 1868, Mr. Morris was married to Miss Fannie Winship, a daughter of Joseph Warren and Martha (Lawton) Winship, and a native of Bradford, Vermont. Her grandmother was raised by General Joseph Warren of Revolutionary war fame. Mrs. Morris died in 1882 and on the 9th of June, 1886, Mr. Morris was married to Miss Etta Drusilla Dodge, who was born at Burnham, Maine, a daughter of Arnold and Drusilla (Trafton) Dodge. The father was born at Burnham and the mother at Norridgewock, Maine, being a niece of General Mark Trafton who gained his title in the Revolutionary war. The family is not lacking in patriotism as is indicated by the fact that Mr. Dodge and four brothers were soldiers for the Union in the Civil war. Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Morris, all of whom possessed excellent advantages of education. Cyrenius Trafton, the eldest of the children, attended Drake University and Highland Park College of Des Moines; Helen Lillian, the second in order of birth, is a graduate in domestic science of the Normal School at Cedar Falls. Mildred Anna, the youngest of the children, is now a student of the Coon Rapids high school.
Mr. Morris is not a member of any religious denomination but his wife is identified with the Methodist Episcopal church. He is prominent in the Masonic order and holds membership in Charity Lodge No. 197, A. F. & A. M., in which he served as master for twelve years and as secretary for twenty-two years. He belongs to Copestone Chapter No. 78, R. A. M., of Carroll, Iowa ; to Godfrey Commandery No. 44, K. T.. of Audubon, Ind; and to Za-Ga-Zig Temple. A. A. O. N. M. S. He is also a member and commander of Perry Wright Post, No. 188, G. A. R., of Coon Rapids. He organized this post June 25, 1883, and was its first commander. The Sons of Veterans of Coon Rapids named their camp the Cyrene E. Morris Camp, in honor of Mr. Morris. He is manager of the Coon Rapids Veteran Drum Corps which he organized in 1884 and which has the reputation of having never been equaled for soul stirring, old-time martial music. General O. O. Howard, at Sioux Falls, South Dakota, who heard them play and sing patriotic songs, said as he grasped their hands, "Boys, that is the best ever in all my travels." They attend the state and national encampments. The corps is composed of: Lucian House, fife major, Thirty-fourth Illinois, aged seventy-two years; Cyrene E. Morris, Company A, Independent Battalion, Fremont Rangers, and Company G, Third Missouri Cavalry, aged sixty-nine years, bugler and bass drummer; Norman D. Wilson, flag sergeant, One Hundred and Thirty-fourth Illinois, aged sixty-seven years; George W. Smith, snare drummer, Company I, Twenty-ninth Iowa, seventy-five years of age; Thomas J. Smith, Company I, Twenty-ninth Iowa, sixty-nine years of age. They go everywhere and no charges are made if they do not give satisfaction. Mr. Morris was recently appointed on the state commander's staff as aide-de-camp to Captain Lot Abraham, state commander, is president of the Carroll County Soldiers' Relief Commission and has held this position as a member for the past fifteen years. Patriotism is one of the paramount features in his life, tangible evidence of which is found in the fact that he keeps Old Glory always flying from a flag-staff on his lawn.
Politically he adheres to the republican party and cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln. He has served for a number of terms as township assessor, township clerk, and also occupied the office of mayor pro-term of Coon Rapids. He is of an energetic temperament and takes a lively interest in anything that attracts his attention. He has through life been remarkably industrious and enterprising and is now reaping the reward of his labors. No man in Carroll county is more highly respected or possesses more deeply the confidence and esteem of his associates than Squire Morris.
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