Frank Charles Moris

by

Julie Webster

 

Frank Charles Moris was born July 4, 1857 in Duderstadt,Germany. His parents were Frank and Mathilda Moris.

He was the oldest of nine children. At the age of twelveyears his family moved to America where his dad owned a bird business inNew York. Having their place of business was at 37 Chatham Street now knownas old New York. They were the first ones to import the first sparrows.About that that time the city parks were threatened with destruction bycanker worms. This really helped the bird business because of the sparrowsthat they sold to the different city parks to help save them. They wereunable to supply the demand. They handled all kinds of snakes and wild animals,and were also in the retail and wholesale business. They used to supplycircuses in those days with animals of this kind.

New York City bothered his dad because of his rheumatism.Upon the advice of a physician, they left New York and went out west. Theymoved to Long Prairie, Minnesota where they bought three hundred acres ofland, which they farmed until 1873, when they decided to move north of LongPrairie. The possibilities looked into were: the Sheyenne River west ofFargo, the Park River west of Grafton, and finally at Pembina, North Dakota.

He and his brothers each bought a homestead of one hundredand sixty acres. Four years later he was married to Minnie Teresa Vollrathon August 6, 1863, by Reverend Schmitt at Minnie's parents home. Minniewas born in Eislaben in Saxon, Germany.

They started on his one hundred and sixty acres with aone room log house, and home made tables and chairs. Frank had a plow andfour horses, but no cows, pigs, or chickens, so that meant no milk or eggs.Frank kept adding to his homestead until he had over two thousand acres.

On May 22, 1883 they had a baby boy named Frank Frederick.After that, six more children were born. They were James Walter, Mathilda,now Mrs. E. Barry, Minnie, now Mrs. R. H. Russell and Clara, now Mrs. WilliamWebster. All of these families now live in Pembina, North Dakota, exceptClara who is a resident of St. Vincent, Minnesota.

They tell of the three day storm in which every man hada clothes line from the house to the barn, so they wouldn't become lostin the storm. The barns in the olden days were built lower and had a chimneyaffair. That is, if the door was snowed in they could go down thechimney opening by ladder and feed their stock.

Frank had a big steam engine and separator which did bothhis wheat harvest and his neighbors that lived close. They hauled wheatinto the Wallhalla milling exchange for flour, and also to the St.VincentElevator.

On December 11, 1905, he retired from the farm and movedinto Pembina. He cash rented the land for five years and had, a big saleon October 23, 1919. Some of the things were: four McCormick Binders, fourJohn Deere Gang plows, Four Boss Harrows, four Low tanks, four Basket racks,ten sets of good work harnesses, made by Andy Feick Harness Company of Neche,North Dakota, one thirty horse undermounted engine. It was separated bythe cooking car and water tank, pump and drive belt. The auctioneer wasI. J. Foster.

While Frank was in Pembina he was active in the city councilfor many years. A volunteer fireman and also a member of the Presbyterianchurch. He enjoyed gardening, and loved raising roses. All the neighborhoodenjoyed his bouquet of flowers he gave to them.

On July 15, 1941, Frank Charles Moris died of a weaknessof the heart causing a sudden death. He was inspecting work of the LutheranChurch when it happened. He was buried in the Pembina cemetery.

Bibliography

Moris, Walter - Interview - December 28, 1971

Webster, Wm.- Interview - December 19, 1971P>

Webster, Wm.- Interview - December 19, 1971