JOHN EDWARD MORRISON. In the realm of domestic commerce in Young county the name of John E. Morrison stands conspicuously prominent as a leader and in synonymous with progress, energy, thrift and success. As a farmer and merchant he has exercised that intense zeal and enthusiasm which marks the thrifty man of business and as a citizen his townsmen recognize in him a high-minded, thorough-going, versatile and Christian gentleman. The first seven years of his life in Young county Mr. Morrison spent with stock and as a tiller of the soil. Having been trained in youth and early manhood as a merchant the longing for his first love possessed him and forced his return to the counter. In 1883 he joined S. B. Street and opened a grocery store on the north side of the square. Two years later dry goods were added and after several years the firm of Morrison, Street and Company dissolved and Mr. Morrison took his sons into partnership with him, calling the firm John E. Morrison and Company. To his stock of general merchandise the firm has expanded and added department after department until it includes undertaking, lumber and cotton ginning, and has grown to be the chief establishment of a mercantile character in the county and a peer of any in northwest Texas. The firm of John E. Morrison and Company has been a growth from a modest single enterprise to a vast establishment whose capital represents a modest fortune and is the creature of an ambition which business limits alone can curb. Its directing force has been a trained, methodical and sagacious mind and its sustaining power has been a confiding and loyal public patronage.
The state of Mississippi was Mr. Morrison’s birthplace and he was born in Fayette county, October 18, 1848, a son of John P. and a grandson of Robert Morrison, the former born in Dallas county, Alabama, and the latter in South Carolina. Robert Morrison was born in 1768, came west to Dallas county, Alabama, after being grown and was a planter there many years. He reared the following children and died in Fayette county, Mississippi, in 1865. His children: Edwin, Harvey, William, John P., Robert, Polly, who married Henry Gilmer, Cynthia, who became the wife of Washington Orr, Elizabeth, who married John Gilmer, and Jennie, wife of Robert Waugh. Grandfather Morrison was of Scotch-Irish blood.
John P. Morrison was born in 1819 and reached maturity on his father’s Alabama plantation. The private schools common to that day gave him his education and he first married Miss Underwood, who died in Alabama, leaving a daughter, Mary, who married Colonel Roane and died at Grenada, Mississippi. For his second wife he chose Martha Kimmons, a daughter of John Kimmons, who settled there from Charlotte, North Carolina. This union was productive of Anna, of Sugdon, Indian Territory, wife of Henry Davidson; Cordelia, who died at nine years; Emma, who passed away at Graham in 190, as the wife of E. B. Norman; and John E., who was the second child.
The vocation of John P. Morrison’s early life was that of a farmer and when the Civil war came on he gave his services to the Southern cause and was under the cavalry leader Forrest during much of the war. Immediately after the rebellion he engaged in merchandising at Toccopola, Mississippi, and was for eight years identified with that business. In 1874 he brought his family to Texas and located near Fort Worth, where he was for two years employed with farming. He finally moved to Fort Worth, where he died in 1877. He was a Democrat in politics and was a staunch Presbyterian and elder of the Fort Worth congregation at death. His wife followed their son to Young county and passed away there in 1879.
John E. Morrison’s early environment was that of the farm and his educational privileges were fairly good. At nineteen years of age he began his independent career, at which time his father made him a partner in his Toccopola store. After coming to Texas he was identified with rural pursuits largely until his embarkation in business in Graham, since which time his contribution to the country’s development has been substantial and important, as has already been noted.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 283-284.