Biography of Dr. Julius G. Morse
Arena Township, Mendocino County, CA Biographies





Julius Garwood Morse, M. D. (deceased). The subject of this sketch was born in the State of New York in the year 1809, springing from good old revolutionary stock. His youth was passed near the city of Auburn, where he had the benefit of its best educational facilities, then not inconsiderable. At the age of nineteen he matriculated at Fairfield Medical College, near Geneva, attending the full course of lectures and received, his diploma as M. D. from the State Board of Medical Censors. From then until 1849 he devoted his time and energies to the practice of his chosen profession, building up an extensive and lucrative business. In those days he was a radical Democrat and took a deep interest in political matters, and, being an accomplished debater, he was often involved in heated public discussions, notably one with Prince John Yan Buren, in which it is said that he did not come off second best. At the breaking out of the gold fever; being of an adventurous spirit, he assisted to organize a company of gold hunters to try the perils of the plains, and was appointed surgeon of the company. After an unusually hard journey they arrived at Los Angeles in September, 1849, from which point the band scattered; the Doctor going to San Francisco, and from thence to the mines on the Yuba. Meeting with some success he determined to quit mining, and returned to San Francisco, and went still north to the land "where rolls the Oregon." Becoming disgusted with the proverbial slowness of the "web feet" he came again to San Francisco, and from there ventured into the mines once more, where he remained a year; then removed to San Francisco, and from there to Point Arena in 1858. At that time there were but twenty five families at Point Arena, and it was, practically, shut out from the rest of the world. With commendable promptitude and energy the Doctor brought the people together, and established the first public school; rode day after day among the people circulating a petition for the establishment of a post office, in which he was successful, and he was appointed postmaster. He made every effort to promote the prosperity of the surrounding country, often neglecting his private affairs for that purpose. If a neighbor wanted advice he went without hesitation to the Doctor; if a new comer desired to know something about the country or its resources he was referred to Dr. Morse, who took keen pleasure in extending every courtesy and rendering all the information of which he was possessed. He advocated the building of roads, the erection of mills, the planting of orchards, and the improvement of stock and farms; in short, there was nothing that might benefit the country that he did not advocate. On very many occasions he acted as an arbitrator in the disputes of the citizens; and his decision was as unalterable as the laws of the Medes and Persians; no one ever thought of questioning its correctness. He never threw " cold water" on the plans of any one starting a new enterprise, but rather assisted with kindly words and good advice. He was the Bernier ressort when other men failed; presided at public meetings; made speechs at all public gatherings, for he was a ready orator, and had stored away a fund of wisdom, wit, and anecdote that he could call forth without a moment's notice to interest and please. He was the soul of honor and would rather suffer an injury than do one. If he gave his word no man desired his bond. Being no respecter of persons he showed the same unvarying courtesy to the most humble as to the most prominent of men, and though a man of considerable wealth he despised those who cringe at its beck and worship at its shrine. Not infrequently has he imperilled his life in crossing swollen streams and threading the huge forests in the darkness of night on an errand of mercy to some sick man, when he had not the slightest hope of pecuniary reward. He denied no man his services because the man was poor, but for that very reason rendered them with cheerful alacrity. Such qualities of head and heart endeared him to all with whom he came in contact, and won him hosts of friends. He was a tall, well formed man, with a fine, piercing eye, and a singularly benign expression of countenance that indicated the benevolence within him one of the true gentlemen of the old school now represented by so few. He died August 1, 1878, after a long and painful illness, beloved and regretted by the whole community. Probably no man that ever lived was more respected and beloved among the people with whom he associated than was Dr. Morse.

From:
History of Mendocino County, California
Alley, Bowen & Co., Publishers
San Francisco, California 1880


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