Biography of Tom Morris
Polk County, MN Biographies

Tom Morris, mayor of Crookston and a pioneer business man of that city, is a native of Canada. born at Goderich, Huron county, Ontario, June 22, 1857. He is the son of Mark and Ann C. (Stoddard) Morris, the latter a native of Scotland. Mark Morris was born in Waltshire, England, and came to Canada in 1831, where he engaged in farming and worked at his trade of millwright, erecting many of the small saw mills in the region where he lived. He died in 1866, the victim of an accidental death by drowning. His wife survived him for many years, living to the age of seventy-seven. Tom Morris spent the early years of his life in his native town and there attended the public schools. In 1873 he came to Waupun, Wis., and as a lad of twelve began to fit himself for an efficient career in the business world, apprenticing himself to the jewelry trade. He remained in Waupnn for three years and then removed to Milwaukee. Two years later, in 1878, he came to Crookston and in partnership with Mr. W. W. Houghton established the pioneer jewelry firm of this city. The firm was dissolved the following year, Mr. Morris having owned and conducted the business from that time. Aside from this prosperous enterprise and his private interests, he has been notably associated with public affairs and the history of the development and rapid expansion of Crookston. As a wide-awake citizen and merchant he merits the respect and popularity which is his. It is his privilege to compare the little hamlet surrounded by the primitive forest with the city of today and to know that his zealous services were freely given to promote its welfare and prosperity. He is particularly identified with organization of the city fire department. His efforts in this part of civic service became statewide and he was made president of the state association and has been elected a life member of that body. It was after the first big fire in Crookston, in 1880, that he instigated the organization of the first fire company. He was chief of the department until 1883, when it was reorganized into its present form. Although the period of his most active service is past, he continues his connection with the department. Several offices of public trust have been conferred upon Mr. Morris by his fellow citizens. In 1881 he was elected alderman and has served in the office of mayor since 1912. On January 22, 1890, he was married to Nellie Heith, who is a native of Wisconsin. In fraternal orders, Mr. Morris is prominently and widely known throughout the state. He has been affiliated with Masonry since 1883 and has filled all the chairs, occupying that of Master for thirteen years. In 1906 he was elected the Grand Master of Mihncsota and is the present Grand Captain General of the Commandery. He is a charter member of the Elks lodge and was chosen the second Exalted Ruler. He is a member of the Republican party.


FROM:
Compendium of History and Biography
of Polk County, Minnesota
Maj. R. I. Holcombe, Historical Editor
William H. Bingham, Feneral Editor
W. H. Bingham & Co.
Minneapolis 1916

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