My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in the book,  Portrait and biographical record of Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon counties, Pennsylvania published in 1894 by Chapman Publishing Company.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

* * * *

JOHN M. MORRIS. The visitor to Northampton County, traveling through Lower Mt. Bethel Township, always notes with admiration the attractive and finely improved Morris homestead. For many years the residence of our subject’s father, Robert G., it has passed by inheritance to him, and under his capable supervision the buildings are kept in excellent repair, and modern improvements in farm machinery and methods of fertilization have been introduced.

Before mentioning in detail the events of interest in the life of our subject, some notice of his honored father will be appropriate in this connection. The Morris family is of Scotch-Irish origin, and it is supposed that the great-grandfather of our subject was a native of Scotland. Grandfather Morris was the founder of the family in Northampton County, settling in Martin’s Creek, Lower Mt. Bethel Township, where his death occurred at the age of more than fourscore years.

In this county Robert G. Morris was born and reared, and here, having learned the trade of a blacksmith, he was engaged at his chosen occupation for a number of years. Subsequently he began farming, and this he continued until 1873, when having, accumulated a competency, he retired from active cares, and spent his remaining years in the enjoyment of the fruits of former years. His first wife was Sallie A. McFall. After her death he was united with Elizabeth, daughter of John Miller, of Lower Mt. Bethel Township. Of this union there now survives a son, John M., our subject.

Essentially a self-made man, the possessions of Robert G. Morris were the result of his industry and wise judgment. Starting in life with only fifty cents, he became the possessor of a large estate. In his earlier years he labored incessantly, with the hope of future results to strengthen him on his way. During that period of toil and sacrifices, he built up for himself an honest name and an enviable reputation. He was ever the ready friend and supporter of all measures calculated for the welfare of his community, and in all respects fulfilled the obligations of a good citizen. In politics he adhered to Republican principles. At one time he was a member of a battalion of militia.

At the age of seventeen Mr. Morris united with the Presbyterian Church, and was a member of that organization until 1861, when, together with various members of other denominations, he united in founding a General Synod Lutheran congregation at Martin’s Creek. Of this church Rev. J. I. Burrell was the first pastor, and in it for thirty years Mr. Morris served as an Elder. While giving liberally to its support, he was also most generous in his contributions to other enterprises. For many years he and his wife supported two students in India, and just a few days before his death he made a contribution of $100 to this work. In his will he bequeathed $250 to the Home and $250 to the Foreign Missionary Board of the general synod. For many years he was a member of the Board of Trustees of the theological seminary at Gettysburg. He frequently represented his congregation in the district synod, and was the delegate of the East Pennsylvania Synod at the convention of the general synod held at Altoona.

In early manhood Mr. Morris was stalwart and vigorous, but his later years were full of suffering. An arm and a leg were each broken twice, and both wrists were fractured at the same time. His death, September 15, 1893, was the result of injuries received by being thrown down by cattle in his yard. He was seventy-two at the time of his death, having been born May 12, 1821. His wife soon followed him to the beyond, passing away July 27, 1894, and was buried by his side in the beautiful cemetery of Lower Mt. Bethel. She had been a consistent Christian for more than fifty-five years, and was a lady universally esteemed for her many virtues and graces of character.

The subject of this sketch was born in Northampton County, September 3, 1855, and was reared to manhood upon the place where he now resides. He married Miss Sarah A., daughter of Joseph Kiefer, of Lower Mt. Bethel Township, and they are the parents of two children, Elizabeth and John I. B. A Republican in politics, he has served as School Director and has occupied other local offices of trust. In his business transactions he has been straightforward and upright, and during his lifelong residence in this community has built up for himself a reputation as a good citizen, giving cheerfully of his time and means to whatever tends to the general welfare, and by his industry and enterprise affording a worthy example to others.

* * * *

This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the book, Portrait and biographical record of Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon counties, Pennsylvania published in 1894 by Chapman Publishing Company. 

View additional Northampton County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Northampton County, Pennsylvania Biographies

View a historic 1911 map of Northampton County, Pennsylvania

View family biographies for other states and counties

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.