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M Dolphus H.Morris
Family Photo Album


Photos courtesy of Collegeport Woman's Club
Taken from a scrapbook donated by Fay Smith Soli, daughter of Lizzie Will Morris Smith.

Dolphus Hughes & Mary Henton Fort Morris

D. H. Morris Groceries & Feed

Dolphus Hughes Morris was born 17 August 1867 in New Birmingham, Alabama to M. M. Morris and Parlee P. Parker. He married Mary Henton Fort (b 1877 in Arkansas) about 1896. Mary was the daughter of Halliard and Elizabeth M. Fort.  Mary's siblings were William E., John B., Lizzie R., Mary and Lillie V. Fort. The children of D. H. and Mary were Lizzie Will Morris (April 16, 1900 Timpson, Texas - September, 23, 1992 Bay City, Texas), Adolph Fort Morris (April 17, 1903 Timpson, Texas - June 23, 1962 Jacinto City), Albert Clements Morris (September 25, 1905 - November 22, 1970 Houston, Texas) , John R. Morris (August 17, 1909? - October 16, 1987?) and Fannie May Morris (September 9, 1913 Collegeport, Texas - March 1, 2001 Baytown, Texas). The family was living in Shelby County, Texas in 1900 where Lizzie was born in Timpson. The 1900 census indicates that the Mr. and Mrs. Morris had been married 3 years. Mrs. Morris had had two children, but Lizzie was the only one living at the time of the census. They moved to Collegeport when Lizzie was 9 years and and the family was enumerated on the 1910 census on April 28, 1910. Mr. Morris owned and operated the D. H. Morris Grocery and Feed Store in Collegeport. The Morris' dismantled their store and home and moved them to Houston around 1915. Mrs. Morris died there on April 26, 1936. D. H. Morris died February 3, 1946 in Houston. They are buried at Rosewood Park Cemetery in Houston, Texas.

Fine line of gents pants. D. H. Morris.
House full of fresh groceries; something to feed man and beast with. D. H. Morris
Just unloaded a car of Ambrosia flour, also chops and bran. D. H. Morris
Try a can of Royal Taste coffee at D. H. Morris.
Quail Season Open—A quail in every other shell, the Field shell. D. H. Morris.

Collegeport Chronicle, Thursday, November 2, 1911 Number 44


Collegeport Chronicle, June 3, 1910

Every family in and around Collegeport wants something in Groceries nearly every day. D. H. Morris is in his store every day to attend to the wants of his many customers. If by chance there is a person who has not yet tried this house we solicit a trial order. Besides staple and fanc[y] groceries I handle fresh fruit, receiving a new supply every few days. And don’t forget the other counter where shoes, gent’s furnishings, etc., are kept.

Drop in and see what I have whether you intend to buy or not.  D. H. Morris.

Collegeport Chronicle, Thursday, September 12, 1912



First Freight Was Delivered at Collegeport by This Route.

Collegeport , Texas , July 31.--The first shipment to arrive in Collegeport via the Intercoastal Canal from Galveston consisted of sugar, syrup and canned goods and was consigned to the two grocers, Thomas M. Clark and D. H. Morris. The goods were brought in a light draft boat the entire distance and are [in] good condition. There was a number of stops made at ports en route and the captain of the boat was compelled in several instances to tie up, go uptown and find the consignee, there being no warehouses at the docks in some places. The Collegeport merchants saved 10 cents a hundred on sugar and syrup and 14 cents on the canned goods. This was in small lots. However, the boats will land at any port for two to three tons of goods.

Tribune, August 8, 1913


A paper at D. H. Morris' store is receiving the names of voters of this school district, recommending preferences for school director made necessary by the resignation of Trustee J. D. Evans. It's a kind of petition to County Superintendent Lewis to appoint a trustee preferably the choice of the voters of the district.

Matagorda County Tribune, August 29, 1913


The Intercoastal Canal is being profitably used by our enterprising merchant, Mr. D. H. Morris, who received a large shipment of groceries direct by the water route from Galveston . The saving is about one-half in freight.

Matagorda County Tribune, September 12, 1913


D. H. Morris is stepping high and wearing his broadest smile this week on account of the arrival of a beautiful young lady at his home, who is said has come to stay in Collegeport--ten and one-half pounds is her size.

County Tribune, September 19, 1913


The Collegeport boom fizzled about 1915. The college closed and Prof. Travis moved to Arkansas. The Weborgs moved their hotel to Houston and the D. H. Morris family tore down their store and home which they moved to Houston.

History of Collegeport by Mrs. Dorothy Franzen Merck


Adolph Morris is carrying his arm in a sling this week as the result of cranking a Ford. However he doesn't think his arm is broken.

The Palacios Beacon
, December 21, 1917


It is with sorrow that I write of the passing of two persons who for many years were identified with the community life. Mrs. D. H. Morris died Sunday, April 26th in Houston, age 68 years. She was our neighbor for many years and here her children were born and grew up. D. H. Morris operated a store next place east of the present Boeker store. Left to mourn the passing of the mother is Adolph, Albert, John, Fanny May and Lizzie Will, all married and among them five grandchildren.

The Matagorda County Tribune
, Thursday, May 7, 1936


Lizzie M. Smith

Funeral services for Lizzie M. Smith, 92, of Bay City will be held 10 a. m. Friday at Bay City Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. John McClelland officiating. Burial will be at Cedarvale Cemetery.

Visitation with the family will be 6 to 8 p. m. Thursday.

Mrs. Smith was born April 16, 1900 in Timpson to Dolphus and Mary Morris and she died Sept. 23, 1992 at Matagorda General Hospital.

She was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Bay City. Mrs. Smith lived in Bay City for 70 years after moving here from Collegeport where her parents had a grocery and clothing store. During World War II she worked as a depot agent for Southern Pacific Railroad having trained as a telegraph operator in her youth.

Survivors include her husband of 74 years, William Harry Smith of Bay City; a daughter and son-in-law, Hattie Fay Smith Soli and Hartman Alvin Soli of Bay City; a sister, Fannie Mary Harper Hodson of Baytown; two grandsons, Keri Hartman Soli of Houston and Teri Cullen Soli of Stokes, N.C.; three great-grandchildren; a niece and a nephew.

Pallbearers will be Keri Soli, Teri Soli, Kreg Soli, Jack Huebner, Albert Ainsworth and Ottmar Schimek.

Services are under the direction of Dick R. Elkins, Bay City Funeral Home.

The Daily Tribune, September 24, 1992

William Harry Smith

Funeral services for William Harry Smith, 96, of Bay City, are scheduled for 11 a. m. Saturday, Jan. 7, 1995, at the Bay City Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Todd Collier officiating. Burial will be in the Cedarvale Cemetery.

Visitation will be from 7 to 9 p. m. Friday at Bay City Funeral Home.

Mr. Smith was born May 5, 1898, in Lufkin, to William Albert Smith and Minnie Ola Deal Smith and died Jan. 5, 1995, in Matagorda General Hospital.

A member of First Presbyterian Church, he was a resident of Bay Villa Nursing Home. He was a resident of Bay City for over 70 years and was affiliated with the rice growing industry for most of that time. He also kept books for many retail merchants during his early years in the city.

Survivors include his daughter and son-in-law, Hattie Fay Smith Soli and Hartman Alvin Soli of Bay City; a sister Louise Smith Tiroux of Spring; two grandsons, Keri Hartman Soli of Houston and Teri Cullen Soli of Stokes, N. C. and three great grandchildren, Kerin Soli, Kreg Soli and Krista Soli.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 74 years, Lizzie Will Morris Smith.

Pallbearers are Kreg Soli, Isaac Zepeda, Frank Allen, Earl Dibbern, Ottmar Schimek and Albert Ainsworth.

Honorary pallbearers are Keri H. Soli and T. C. Soli.

Services are under the direction of Dick R. Elkins, Bay City Funeral Home.

The Daily Tribune, January 9, 1995


Hartman or “Hart” as he is known, was born June 14, 1919, in Pierce County, Wisconsin, near the little town of Martell. He is the second son of Henry Curtis and Nina Ramberg Soli. His maternal and paternal great grandparents came to the United States from Norway. Hart grew up on a dairy farm and attended a one-room school for the first eight years. After that, he and his older brother, Orlan, drove ten miles to high school in River Falls, Wisconsin, in a Model T Ford through sub-zero weather and much snow. During his high school days, he excelled in football, basketball, and baseball. He has a younger brother, Alfred.

Hart attended Wisconsin State University in River Falls, Wisconsin, for two years, and then he enlisted in the Navy Air Corps, eventually earnings his wings at Pensacola, Florida.

While serving as a flight instructor at the Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi, Texas, and assigned to duty at Kingsville, Texas, NAS, he met and married Hattie Fay Smith known as Fay. Fay was born in Bay City, Matagorda County, Texas, November 14, 1920, to William Harry and Lizzie Will Morris Smith. Fay’s mother, Lizzie Will, was nine years old when she moved to Collegeport, Texas, with her parents Dolphus H. and Mary Fort Morris. They established the first grocery and general store in Collegeport.

Fay’s father, Harry Smith, was born near Lufkin, Angelina County, Texas, to William Adelbert and Minnie Ola Deal Smith. He spent his youth in East Texas and met and married Lizzie Will Morris in August of 1918. They moved to Bay City to find work and lived here ever since except for very short periods of time. They celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary on August 29, 1984.

Fay attended Public School in Bay City and College at Texas A & I University and received a B. S. degree with a major in Vocational Home Economics and minor in Science.

After her marriage to Hart on June 19, 1943, he remained in the Navy serving a total of five years. He was the recipient of the Navy Cross, the Air Medal and two gold stars in lieu of the second and third Air Medals. After his honorable discharge from the Navy, they returned to River Falls, Wisconsin, where he earned a B. S. degree with majors in Math and Science.

Keri Hartman, their first son, was born in River Falls, Wisconsin. The temperature dropped to forty two degrees below that winter. Fay, Hart and Keri moved to Bay City, Texas, in July, 1947 because Hart wanted a warmer climate. Their second son, Teri Cullen, was born in Bay City, Texas.

Hart was employed for twelve years as assistant manager at the rice dryer in Markham, Texas, and almost twenty-five years with local oil well drilling contractors. He was very active in cub scouting and church work. Fay was also active in cub scouting. She was employed by Bay City Junior High School where she helped to establish the coordinated vocational academic education department. She is also active in church work. Hart and Fay are both elders in the First Presbyterian Church. He is a trustee of the church and she is in the Chancel Choir. She is an active member and past president of The Pilot Club of Bay City, Pilot International.

Fay Smith Soli

Historic Matagorda County, Volume II, pages 507-508, published 1986

Hartman Alvin Soli & Hattie Fay Smith Soli

As in their earthly home, Hartman Alvin Soli and Hattie Fay Smith Soli have experienced their Heavenly Rebirth together.

Hartman Alvin Soli was born June 14, 1919 in Pierce County, near Martell, Wisconsin to Henry Curtis Soli and Nina Ramburg Soli. Hartman was reborn into Heaven October 9, 2000.


Hattie Fay Soli was born November 14, 1920 in Matagorda County, Bay City, to William Harry Smith and Lizzie Will Morris Smith. Fay was reborn into Heaven October 10, 2000.


They were married on June 19, 1943 and are survived with love through two sons and daughters-in-law Keri Hartman Soli and Donna Daggy Soli of Houston, Teri Cullen Soli and Nimette Hargis Soli of Stokes, North Carolina; one grandson Kreg Hartman Soli of College Station; two granddaughters Kerin Jennifer Soli Caka of Conroe, Texas and Krista Marie Soli of Greenville, North Carolina; two brothers Orlan Alton Soli of Leawood, Kansas, also survived Hartman.


"Hart" was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Bay City serving as Deacon and Elder Treasurer, Clerk of the Session, Sunday School Teacher, Trustee, President of the men of the Church and Committee Chairman for the seventy fifty anniversary of that church. He was also Cub Master of Pack 51 in Bay City. In World War II he served his country for five years in the U. S. Navy Air Corps, as a flight instructor and as a fighter pilot, VF-7, aboard the USS Hancock, CV-19 in the Pacific. For that service he was decorated with the Navy Cross and three Air Medals. After release from the Navy, he completed his college degree and moved to Bay City in 1947, where he worked for the First National Bank and later became connected with the rice industry. In 1960, he became affiliated with oil well drilling companies as Controller until his retirement.


Fay was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Bay City serving as Deacon and Elder, Sunday School Teacher, Circle Chairman, Chancel Choir member, and assisted in the organization of the Lay Pastoral Care Committee. She was a Cub Scout Den Mother, President of the Pilot Club, and member of the Book Review Club, Study Club and DAR. She was affiliated with the Bay City ISD and helped to organize the Coordinated Vocational Academic Education Program at Bay City Junior High School. Of late, she was also a member of the Doman Freeman Phillips Trust Fund Committee and responsible for advising on the architectural design of the Independent and Assisted Living apartments currently under construction at Matagorda House (Legacy).


Honorary pall bearers are the active and inactive Elders of the First Presbyterian Church of Bay City.


Visitation hours will be 2 to 5:30 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, October 13, 2000 at the Bay City Funeral Home.


Graveside services for the immediate family will be at Cedarvale Cemetery at 9 a.m. on Saturday, October 14, 2000. A memorial service for all that wish to attend a Celebration of Life will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in Bay City at 11 a.m. A luncheon will follow.


The Daily Tribune, October 11, 2000



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May 26, 2007
Jun. 16, 2010