MORTON, FRANCIS M., who was formerly prominent in agricultural affairs in Morgan County, Ill., now living retired in his pleasant home at 715 South Main Street, Jacksonville, was born on his father's farm, in Morgan County, October 8, 1841. His parents were Joseph Morton, better known as "Colonel" Morton, and Mary (Odle) Morton. Joseph Morton came to Morgan County, Ill., in the fall of 1819, and commenced farming the following year. He assisted in building the first log cabin erected in the county, in 1820; was a progressive man; for two terms was a member of the Illinois House of Representatives and one term of the State Senate from Morgan County, and at one time held an estate of about 800 acres. He died March 2, 1881.
Francis M. Morton was raised to farming, attended the public schools and was two years in Berean College (Christian Church State College). He then returned to the home farm and was married January 27, 1863, to Maria Louisa Orear, daughter of George and Sarah (Heslep) Orear-farmers, and since 1835, representing a very prominent family of Morgan County. After their marriage Mr. Morton and wife continued to live on the old homestead until 1889, when they moved to Jacksonville. They became the parents of two sons, Gilbert W. and George C. Gilbert W., who is a farmer of Morgan County, married Nellie C. Matthews, and they have five children: Mary Louisa, John Francis, Mamie A., Orear and Sarah Alice. George C., who holds a position under the Government as a member of the State Live-Stock Commission, at Chicago, married Anna M. Matthews, and is the father of one son, George M.
Mr. Morton is a member of the order of Elks, and a Democrat in politics; Mrs. Morton is identified with the Methodist Episcopal Church, and their attractive home is situated in a pleasant part of the city.