JAMES MORRISON was born in Madrid, Franklin County, Me., March 14, 1841. His father
was Capt. James Morrison, who was born in Candia, N. H., February 14, 1814, and a descendant of that numerous Scotch-Irish
clan of Morrisons, a part of whom migrated from the north of Ireland and settled in New Hampshire in the early
part of the seventeenth century. His mother was Mary Leach Doten, born in Buckfield, Oxford County, May 13, 1807.
Raised on the frontier of Northwestern Maine, without wealth to aid or experience to guide him. the subject of
this sketch was largely dependent upon his own resources for any advancement beyond the sphere of ordinary back-woods
life. When he was six years of age his parents moved into the town of Phillips, and most of the time from then
until he was twenty-one was spent in the laborious work of the farm and mill, with the usual limited privilege
of attending the country district school. Always desiring something beyond this, he would save up the earnings
from odd jobs and occasionally attend a term at the village High School. No seminary was within reach, no college
opened wide its doors, and the larger part of his educational capital was acquired, unaided and alone, by "burning
the midnight oil."
He became a very successful teacher, and was thus engaged at the breaking out of the War of the Rebellion. At twenty-two
he enlisted in the Second Regiment, Maine Cavalry, and served in the Department of the Gulf. He was at New Orleans,
Thibodeaux, and Brashear City, La.; Pine Barren Creek and Milton, Fla.; Pollard, Ala., the taking of Mobile, and
was with the cavalry detachment that led the Sixteenth Army Corps up through Alabama and occupied the City of Montgomery;
was early promoted to Corporal, and later to Sergeant, for "meritorious service in the field"; was honorably
discharged after the close of the war, came home, resumed the occupation of teacher and began the study of law.
He was admitted to the Franklin County Bar in September, 1869; was Superintending School Committee and one of the
Selectmen of Phillips for about twelve years; represented the Phillips district in the Legislature of 1877; was
elected Senator from Franklin County in 1878 and 1879. serving one term as chairman of the Committee on Legal Affairs
and one term on the judiciary.
He was appointed Judge of Probate for Franklin County by Governor Robie, in 1883, to fill a vacancy; elected for
four years in 1884; re-elected for another term in 1888, and again in 1892. The close of this last term will make
thirteen years' continuous service in the last-named office.
He continued in the active practice of law for about five years after admission to the Bar, but failing health,
the result of malarious fever contracted in the South, compelled him to partially abandon office life and practice.
Preferring to be a 1ive farmer rathei than a dead lawyer, he has, in late years, devoted his energies to agriculture,
only occasionally taking an important case at law. By pluck. economy, and perseverance, he has succeeded, where
many others have failed, and has become one of Franklin County's prominent stock raisers: is also interested to
quite an extent in timber lands.
A thorough Republican from Mr. Lincoln's time, he has labored incessantly to uphold the principles of his early
and only political faith. He served six years on the Republican State Committee, doing considerable work in the
field and on the stump. A total abstainer, he is a radical temperance advocate, practices what he preaches, and
believes in the Maine law.
In 1872 he married Miss Louisa E. Chick of Madrid. The result of the union is two girls, and one boy born in the
midst of the political campaign of 1884 and named for James G. Blaine