Biography of David S. Morrison
Poweshiek County, IA Biographies





David Sutherland Morrison, one of Grinnell's foremost citizens, is at the head of the Morrison & Ricker Manufacturing Company, his associates being B. J. Ricker and Frederic Morrison. His birth occurred in Bath, New Hampshire, on the 23d of October, 185i, his parents being Frederick W. and Anna (Sutherland) Morrison, extended mention of whom is made on another page of this work. He was but four years of age when brought by his father and mother to Grinnell and was reared to manhood under the parental roof. Following his graduation from the Grinnell high school he took up the study of civil engineering in Iowa College and during his three years' attendance at that institution spent each summer in the field with an engineering corps.

An older brother, Leon, died about the end of that time and the growth of his father's business called for his assistance in its conduct. When about ready to enter the factory he received information to the effect that the civil engineer under whom he had spent his summers as transit man had been awarded the contract for the extension of the Burlington & Missouri from Plattsmouth, Nebraska, to Denver, and would give him charge of a division if he would accompany him. The offer meant one hundred and fifty dollars per month, an attractive salary to a young man of twenty one years, but his father told him that the business needed him more and so the die was cast and he entered manufacturing circles. From that time to the present his efforts have been an important factor in the successful control of one of the principal industrial enterprises of Iowa. Prior to 1872 all the gloves in the Grinnell factory had been cut by hand but in that year Mr. Morrison went to Gloversville, New York, to purchase dies for cutting and also instituted other modern methods to keep pace with the increasing business. In 1876 Frederick W. Morrison died and our subject succeeded him as the head of the concern. In the intervening years various changes have been made in the style of the firm, Mr. Morrison first having as partner Andrew McIntosh, then E. C. Wadsworth and next E. A. Wadsworth, the son of his previous associate. In 1903 the interest of Mr. Wadsworth was purchased by B. J. Ricker and Frederic Morrison, a son of David S. Morrison. However, the business was conducted under the name of Morrison & McIntosh until 1907, when Mr. McIntosh withdrew and the present firm style was adopted. In connection with his duties as the head of an extensive and important manufacturing concern Mr. Morrison also acts as vice president of the Grinnell Savings Bank.

He possesses untiring energy, is quick of perception, forms his plans readily and is determined in their execution, and his close application to business and his excellent management have brought to him the high degree of prosperity which is today his. It is true that he became interested in a business already established but in controlling and enlarging such an enterprise many a man of even considerable resolute purpose, courage and industry would have failed, and he has demonstrated the truth of the saying that success is not the result of genius but the outcome of clear judgment and experience.

On the 15th of April, 1876, Mr. Morrison was united in marriage to Miss Fannie Ricker. Her father, Edward Ricker, made his way from Kewanee, Illinois, to Scott county, Iowa, at an early day and subsequently took up his abode among the pioneer residents of Grinnell. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Morrison have been born six children, the record of whom is as follows: Nellie, who graduated from Grinnell College with the class of 1899, is now the wife of Dr. P. E. Somers, of Grinnell. Frederic, who completed the course in Grinnell College in 1911, is a partner of his father in the Morrison & Ricker Manufacturing Company. Addie, a Grinnell College graduate of 1902, is the wife of Charles F. Chase, of Mason City, Iowa. Frank H is at present employed by his father but has decided to embark in the lumber business in Idaho in the near future. Julian and Donald are both high school students.


Mr. Morrison is a stanch supporter of the republican party, believing that its principles are most conducive to good government. He has served on the town council for three terms and for a similar period has been a member of the board of education in Grinnell. He is a valued member and a trustee of the Congregational church, to which his wife and children also belong. His life has been well spent and in all his career he has been sincere and upright in his purposes, honorable principles guiding him in all of his relations with his fellowmen.

From:
History of Poweshiek County, Iowa
A Record of settlement, organization
progress and achievement
By: Prof. L. F. Parker
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chiago 1911


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