JOHN MORRISON is one of the oldest living settlers of Morgan County. He is a native of Ohio, and was born Feb. 4, 1815, in what is now known as Wyandotte County. He was a son of John and Mary (McCorklin) Morrison. His father was a native of Virginia, and is said to be of English descent. In the fall of 1832, with his parents he emigrated to what is now known as Scott County, Ill., and settled near Oxville, and there they both died. They were among those people who came to Illinois to seek better homes, and to gain in independence, and they found both. When they died they left to their children a good property and the heritage of a good name. Little did they expect that a busy empire was to spring up in the wilderness that surrounded them when they came to this great State. They reared a large family of children, of whom the following survive: Robert lives in Iowa; John; Henry B. lives in McLean County, Ill., and Richard in Hutchinson, Kan.
John Morrison of whom this is written, was practically reared in Ohio and Scott County, Ill., and was denied the privilege of properly gaining an education, but he persevered, reading all that came in his way until he became a self-educated man. He was married Dec. 31, 1840, to Sarah Coultas, a native of England. She was born March 31, 1821, and was a daughter of Richard and Sarah (Hardwick) Coultas, both natives of England. Her mother died leaving Mrs. Morrison when she was a helpless babe. When nine years of age, with her father, and the other children, five in all, she emigrated to America, making the voyage on a sailing vessel, which sailed from Liverpool, and after a voyage of over three months, landed in Quebec, from which place they came directly to what is now known as Scott County, Ill., but which then was a part of Morgan County. They resided a short time near Lynnville, and then removed to a farm near Riggston. In the early days the snow seemed to fall deeper than latterly. The winter preceding their removal to Riggston, the snow fell to an extraordinary depth, and the old settlers always referred to that winter as "the winter of the deep snow." Her father died on his original farm a number of years ago, leaving seven children, of whom four are living: William is living in Morgan County; John is a resident of Scott County, Ill., as are also Thomas and Mrs. Morrison. Mr. Coultas was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and was one of the best known men of Morgan County, and his reputation as a man of industry and integrity, was the very best.
To Mr. and Mrs. Morrison there have been born nine children, of whom seven survive, namely: Robert C., is living in Morgan County: Charles R. resides in Cass County, Mo.; Thomas L. is a resident of Morgan County; Ada C., is the wife of Marshall Smith; Sarah E. is the wife of James Rexroat, and lives in Morgan County; Mary J., wife of M. H. Creig, is living in Cass County, Mo.; and Louisa C. Mr. Morrison settled on his present farm in 1847. As a matter of course, the land at that time was undeveloped, and the hard work incident to tilling new land fell to the lot of Mr. Morrison, but he and his wife persevered until they have accumulated their present magnificent farm of 270 acres of land, which is all under good cultivation, and they have the satisfaction of knowing that it was all earned honestly. They have been identified with the Methodist Episcopal Church for a great many years, of which Mr. Morrison has served as Steward and Class-Leader. They are both active in all church matters.
Mr. Morrison is a Republican in politics, and is an ardent supporter of the principles of that party. He gave his second son, William H., to his country, he having died while in the army. His son was on his way home from Memphis, Tenn., and while at Mound City, Ill., he died, after having been in the service for over a year. Mr. Morrison has been a Justice of the Peace for nearly twelve years, and has filled the office with credit. As an exhibition of his possessing a public spirit, it may be stated that he aided largely in building the school-house in district No. 1, which was erected by means of subscription, and that he contributes liberally to the church, is a well-known fact. John Morrison is one of the very best men of Morgan County.