Jefferson Morrison


I left Fayette county, Pennsylvania, for Iowa in 1859. I made a stop of about five months in Indiana, then came to Waterloo, and worked on a farm near there for nearly three years at $16.00 per month, and arrived in Palermo township in 1863. I bought 80 acres that year for $3.00 per acre and sold it in the fall for $5.00, and thought I was getting rich fast. In the fall of '66 I bought one half of Section 14 at $10.00 per acre, on which forty acres were broken and a cheap granary built.

The first settlers were Lyman Cole and his brother-in-law, Byron Cummings, who came in 1855. Mr. Cole built the first house in the township on Section 8, where it still stands. Mrs. Cummings built in Section 19. Stephen Green arrived in '65; John Shimer in '67 or '68; C. W. Reynolds and W. E. Toogood in '69; G. A. Shurtliff and Harrison N. Stuck in '70; Sam King and A. J. Thompson in '72; Isiah Morrison, A. Thomas and Peter Wumkes in '75; D. E. Munn, Edward Bly, J. C. Boston, and Joseph Barr in '77; F. E. Dickey and Reuben Bly in '78; E. H. Allison in '80 and other whose names I do not now recall. East and West Palermo were divided in 1877, when the west part retained the old name and east part took the name of Washington. The first election was held that year in the Morrison school house. The writer was the first county supervisor from the new township. The first religious services were held in the Jeff Morrison schoolhouse by William Debenham. A school house was built on the west line of my farm in '68 and for several years my children were the only ones to attend. The townsite of Morrison was platted and the town incorportaed in 1877 by the Morrison Town Site Co., which had a capital of $5,000 and which was composed of D. E. Munn, Ransom Bailey, Curtis Bly, A. Thomas and Jeff Morrison. David Grant built the first elevator in Morrison. Before that we hauled our wheat to Waterloo and it took about three days, as roads were not such as we have now, neither did we have bridges on which to cross the streams. Many times I have had to carry each sack of grain several rods after having been stuck in the mud in the lowlands. Dr. Vallett was the first physician to locate in Morrison. A. S. Weare and I established the first bank in Morrison. We sold to S. R. Raymond about two years later.

--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 15 May 1924, pg 3