Biography of David A. Morrison
Orange County, NY Biographies





DAVID A. MORRISON, secretary of the Orange County Agricultural Society, 1858-1908, belongs to one of the old representative families of Orange County, where his entire life has been passed. He is of Scotch Irish and Dutch ancestry. His paternal ancestors emigrated from Scotland to the north of Ireland during the seven teenth century. His great great grandfather, John Morrison, was born near Belfast, Ireland, in the year 1700, and came to this country prior to the Revolution. His son John, the founder of the family in America, had preceded him several years and settled on what is now known as the Morrison Homestead, in the town of Montgomery. He married Elizabeth Scott. They had nine children, one of whom was Hamilton, the grandfather of the subject of this sketch, who inherited the home farm. He married Lydia Beemer, who was of Dutch descent, whose ancestors came from Beemersville, N. J, who lived to the advanced age of one hundred and three years. They had eight children, of whom Hamilton, the father of our subject, was the youngest but one.

Hamilton Morrison, the father of David A., was born August 24, 1804, at the Old Homestead which he inherited, and which has descended from father to son for five generations, or nearly one hundred and fifty years. He was one of the founders of the Orange County Agricultural Society, and continued to be one of its most devoted friends until his death in 1881. He filled at different times every office in the society except treasurer. He was elected a member of its executive committee eight times, was corresponding secretary from 1851 to 1857 inclusive, was vice president twenty years, and president twice. He married Maria Mould, daughter of Jonathan Mould, of the town of Montgomery, and a lineal descendant of Christoffel Mould, one of the earliest Dutch settlers of the Wallkill Valley.

David A. Morrison is the second in a family of seven children. Jonathan M., of Montgomery, who was widely known and highly esteemed and who died in 1898; David A., George H. and John G., prominent and intelligent farmers who reside on the Homestead Farm, which contains nearly three hundred acres, and is now one of the best improved estates in the town of Montgomery; William H. H., a well known, progressive and successful farmer on an adjoining farm; Mary J., who married Elijah C. Thayer, of Hamptonburgh, and died in February, 1901; and Elizabeth M., wife of William C. Hart, of Walden, N. Y.

Mr. Morrison was educated in public schools and the Montgomery Academy, and at the age of seventeen years became a teacher. He taught district schools in the towns of Montgomery, Hamptonburgh and Blooming Grove, and was principal of graded schools in the villages of Walden and Montgomery in all about thirty terms.

In 1867 he was elected school commissioner for the First District of Orange County, serving until 1894, in all five terms, or fifteen years, a record that has never been paralleled in the State.

He has been secretary of the Orange County Agricultural Society for fifty years, and has attended every fair held by it since its organization in 1841. He is one of the mainstays of the society, and a man of education and ability.

In 1880 Mr. Morrison married Mary R. Lipsett, a daughter of the late Robert and Mary A. (Morrison) Lipsett, of the town of Montgomery, and granddaughter of Col. Wiliam Faulkner of Revolutionary fame.

In 1893 he removed to Newburgh, where he now resides.

He was nominated for Congress, against his earnest protests, in 1896, and, although running far ahead of his ticket, he shared the fate of his party, and was defeated by Benjamin B. Odell, Jr., since Governor of the State.

Mr. Morrison was county correspondent of the U. S. Department of Agriculture and Statistical Bureau of the Patent Office for forty years. He was one of the incorporators of the Columbus Trust Company of Newburgh, N. Y., and has been one of its directors and a member of its executive committee since its organization, and is now its vice president.

He is president of the Board of Trustees of Union Presbyterian Church, Newburgh, N. Y.; vice president of the Historical Society of Newburgh Bay and the Highlands; a trustee of Washington's Headquarters, .Newburgh, N. Y.; a member of the Empire State Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, and president of Newburgh Chapter, S. A. R.; and a life member of the New York State Agricultural Society.

From:
The History of Orange County New York
Edited by: Russel Headley
Van Deusen and Elms, Publishers
Middletown, N. Y. 1908


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