John L. Morgan is a veteran of the Civil war and a well known and highly respected resident of Marion county,
making his home in Hamilton. He was born in Burlington, Iowa, June 14, 1844, and is a son of Joseph V. and Anna
(Scott) Morgan, both of whom were natives of Indiana, whence they came to Iowa in 1838 when this part of the country
was still under territorial rule. They settled near Burlington upon a farm, and the father later entered this land
from the government when it was placed upon the market and a land office opened. The most farsighted could not
have dreamed of the great changes which were soon to occur, making this one of the populous and prosperous sections
of the Union. The father built a log cabin, which he and his family occupied until 1848, when they removed to Wapello
county, Iowa. The following year they came to Marion county and settled upon a farm, where the parents continued
to reside until called to the home beyond. In their family were five children, of whom three are now living.
John L. Morgan accompanied his parents on their removal to Wapello county and thence to Marion county and upon
the home farm was reared amid the conditions and environment of pioneer life. He shared with the others of the
household in all of the hardships and privations incident to the establishment of a home upon the frontier and
through the period of his boyhood he worked in the fields and acquired an education by attending the district schools.
After the outbreak of the Civil war, however, the monotony of farm life was broken for him, as he enlisted for
service in defense of the Union, joining Company C, Seventh Iowa Infantry, with which he served for four years.
He participated in the battle of Belmont, Missouri, of Fairfax, Georgia, and also in the battle of Atlanta and
the siege of that city. After its capitulation he started with Sherman on the march to the sea. During his long
service he was twice wounded and at Belmont, Missouri, was captured and held a prisoner of war for eleven months.
He was mustered out at Davenport, Iowa, in 1865, after which he returned to his home in Marion county, settling
upon a farm here. He has since remained a resident of this country with the exception of a period of eight years
spent in Nebraska. His work as a farmer has been attended with a large and gratifying measure of success. He has
recognized opportunities and improved them to good advantage, and as the years have gone by his labors have brought
to him a well merited reward.
Mr. Morgan has been married twice. In 1866 he wedded Miss Sarah E. Ross, a native of Iowa, who died in the year
1876, leaving two children: Cora, now the wife of G. W. York, a resident of Kirksville, Missouri; and Eva, the
wife of J. B. Bolton, of this county. In 1887 Mr. Morgan was again married, his second union being with Miss Flora
Schnack, who was born in Hamilton, Iowa, a daughter of P. A. and Susan (Barley) Schnack. Her father was a native
of Germany and came to America when a youth of seventeen years. He is now deceased, but his wife, who was born
in Indiana, still survives at the age of seventy nine years. In their family were eight children, of whom six are
yet living. To Mr. and Mrs. Morgan have been born four children, but they lost their eldest, Frank A. The others
are Keith, at home; and George D. and Grace C., twins, of whom the latter has passed away. In early womanhood Mrs.
Morgan engaged successfully in teaching school in this county.
Mr. Morgan is well known as a prominent and influential member of Hamilton Lodge, No. 78, I. O. O. F., in which
he has filled all of the chairs. He likewise holds membership with the Knights of Pythias, and his wife is connected
with the Pythian Sisters. His political indorsement is given to the republican party, but he never seeks nor desires
political office. He has served, however, for a number of years as school director and the cause of education finds
in him a stalwart friend who believes in the employment of competent teachers and the utilization of progressive
methods in the conduct of the schools. The spirit of advancement actuates him in all things and has made him therefore
one of the leading farmers of the community. He is, moreover, one of the pioneer settlers, having been a resident
of this county for sixty five years, in which period he has seen it emerge from the conditions of frontier life
and take on all of the evidences of a modern and progressive civilization. He can remember a time when wild game
was quite plentiful and when much of the land in this county was still unclaimed and uncultivated. Comparatively
few wagon roads had been laid out and only here and there was a cabin to indicate that the work of civilization
had been begun. As the years passed on he bore his part in advancing the county and its best interests, and he
has left an indelible impress for good upon the development of this section.
History of Marion County, Iowa
And its People
John W. Wright, Supervising Editor
W. A. Young, Associate
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Marion County, IA
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