John W. Morris
Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois,
Biographical Review Publishing Co., Chicago, 1892, Page 473
JOHN W. MORRIS, a contractor and builder of Rushville, was born in Rockingham county, Virginia, April 8, 1832. His father, William Morris, was a native of Augusta county, the same State, and the father of the latter was a life-long resident of the Old Dominion. The father of John W. Morris was reared in Virginia, where he learned the trade of a carpenter, a calling he followed there until 1833, when he emigrated to Ohio accompanied by his wife and six children, making the journey with teams. A year was spent at Lancaster, Fairfield county, when another migration was made, this time to Franklin county, where he purchased a tract of timber land near Groveport, where he resided ten years, all the time carrying on the business of contractor and builder, besides superintending the improvement of his farm. Selling out again, he again took his family with him, settling in Delaware county, purchasing a farm near Centreville. He pursued farming until 1862, when the spirit of change again came over him, and he found a home in Grand View, Edgar county, Illinois, where two daughters and one son continued to reside. He lived there, retired from business, until his death, which came peacefully in May, 1879, when he was seventy-seven years old. His wife's death preceded his a few months, she having passed away in February of the same year. Her maiden name was Eliza Palmer, and she was born in Virginia, and was the daughter of Robert and Martha Palmer. She reared eight children: Harriet Stevenson, George, Charles L., James H., William B., John W., Jane F. and Caroline Cavendish. John was so young when his parents left Virginia that he has no recollection of his native place. He attended the public schools of Franklin and Delavan counties, and when not in school assisted his father at his trade and on the farm. He was a natural mechanic and gave evidence of skill with edged tools at a very early age. He did journeyman's work in Ohio until 1856, when he went to Grand View, Edgar county, where he remained until 1862, when he removed to Fulton county, following his trade at Marietta for two years. Mattoon, Coles county, was next his home, and then, in 1866, he removed to Rushville, where he engaged in mercantile pursuits for two and a half years; tiring of this he followed farming for two years, when, settling in Rushville, he began the business of contractor and builder, which he has continued ever since. The principal business blocks of Rushville were erected by him, and they are so many monuments to his skill and to the fidelity of his work. Mr. Morris was married in 1860, to Elizabeth Cary, who was born in Ohio in 1840. His married life has been a happy one, and three living children bless their union, viz.: Mary C., Annie E. and Alice G. Two, Cary and Charles L., are deceased. Mr. Morris united with the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1859, and has continued since that time to be a consistent member of that body. In politics Mr. Morris is a Republican, earnestly advocating the measures of that party.
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