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Below is a family biography included in The History of Wayne County, Tennessee published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1886.  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.

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Hon. Jonathan Morris, a prominent citizen of this county, was born in Logan County, of the Blue-grass State, in 1815, son of William and Rebecca (Grimes) Morris, who were born in Tennessee and moved to Kentucky about 1814, remaining only a few years, when they returned to Tennessee. The father was a farmer, and served in the war of 1812, participating in the battle of New Orleans. He was a Whig, and died about 1850. His widow was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and died a few years later than her husband. Our subject resided on the old homestead until he attained his twenty-first birthday, when he began fighting the battle of life for himself, and in a few years was elected deputy sheriff of the county and held the office three years. He also held the office of county court clerk for four years, and in 1843 was elected to the State Legislature. Since the war he has served as State senator two years and has filled the office of county judge one term. He was elected to the office of county superintendent of public instruction and filled that position very creditably for two years. Mr. Morris has devoted the greater part of his life to public duties, but of late years (since 1857) has retired to his farm of 1,200 acres (which he has owned for several years), lying between Green River and Chalk Creek. Adjoining this farm he has about 3,000 acres of fertile and well watered land, making as fine a stock farm as there is in Tennessee. He has several different farms in different localities in the county, which he is desirous of selling. Besides this large amount of real estate, he owns several grist and saw-mills. Since the war he has lost about $20,000 worth of property by fire. Mr. Morris was married, in 1844, to Nancy J. Montague, daughter of Abraham and Clarissa Montague. She was born in Wayne County July 5, 1823, and is the mother of the following children: Martha R., born January 5, 1847, died November 3, 1863; Wayne, born August 24, 1852; James E. H., born August 31, 1855, died March 26, 1881; Clarissa F., born September 20, 1859, died March 25, 1886; Thomas F., born February 10, 1861, died October 6, 1884, and an infant, deceased. March 7, 1883, Mrs. Morris died. She was a Methodist in belief. Mr. Morris has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South since 1840. He is a Mason, member of Lodge No. 127, and is a stanch Democrat in politics. He has been a very successful financier, and is one of the worthy and honest citizens of the county.

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This family biography is one of 76 biographies included in The History of Wayne County, Tennessee published in 1886.  The History of Lawrence County was included within The History of Lawrence, Wayne, Perry, Hickman & Lewis Counties of Tennessee. View the complete description here: History of Lawrence, Wayne, Perry, Hickman and Lewis Counties of Tennessee

View additional Wayne County, Tennessee family biographies here: Wayne County, Tennessee

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