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John B. Morrison
Born December 25, 1845


John B. Morrison, a successful and enterprising farmer and extensive landowner and stockraiser of Jones county, whose well directed efforts are bringing him a gratifying measure of success, was born on the 25th of December, 1845. He is a son of Thomas and Katharine (McDermott) Morrison, both natives of Ireland, born in 1810. The father, who was a native of County Mayo, came to America about 1832, landing in Quebec, where for a time he lived with a Quaker family. He then came to the United States and entered the regular army as a private cavalry soldier, and during his term of enlistment did frontier service. After leaving the army, he located in Galena, Illinois, where he was engaged in burning charcoal until the time of his marriage, after which he settled in Jackson county. In 1844 or 1845, he removed to Richland township and purchased a farm, which he sold in 1849 with the intention of going to California. Later he changed his mind and invested in a quarter section of land in Washington township, Jones county, which farm is now owned by the subject of this review. Although a stalwart democrat in politics, nevertheless during the Civil war he was a strong Union man and so publicly declared himself. On the 8th of December, 1839, he was united in marriage in Galena, Illinois, to Miss Katharine McDermott, and unto this union were born two children. Mary Ann, who was born in Galena, Illinois, on the 9th of May, 1841, is now in a Catholic school in Dubuque, where she is known as Sister Margaret Mary, having devoted her life to this work since 1873,
John B. Morrison was reared under the parental roof and acquired his education in the common schools and at the old seminary at Cascade. The periods of vacation were devoted to assisting in the Work of the fields and he continued to give his father the benefit of his assistance until the latter's death, when he came into possession of the home farm, upon which he has since made his home. With the passing of the years he has been very successful and from time to time, as he has prospered, he has added to the home farm until his property holdings today aggregate five hundred and forty acres, constituting him one of the large landowners of the township. He has made many improvements upon the place and last season erected a new barn at a cost of thirty- three hundred dollars. He has a deep affection for the old homestead, of which he has every reason to be proud, for it is today one of the most valuable and desirable properties in the locality. He carries on general farming, raising from sixty to seventy acres of corn annually, and in connection with the tilling of the soil he engages extensively in stockraising, keeping from sixty to eighty cattle and about one hundred and fifty hogs, while he keeps from eighteen to twenty cows on hand for milking purposes. He possesses excellent business ability and his affairs have been so wisely and carefully managed that the various branches of his business are proving very remunerative and he is ranked among the leading and prominent agriculturists of the township.
On the 15th of September, 1885, Mr. Morrison was united in marriage to Miss Ellen V. O'Brien, a daughter of Mrs. Mary O'Brien, of Cascade, and unto this union have been born four children, as follows: Joseph A., born July 12, 1886; Mary J., born May 4, 1888; Theressa Mildred, whose birth occurred April 27, 1891, and John H., born on the 24th of June, 1895. All of the children have had good educational advantages, the sons acquiring their training at the Temple Hill school, while the daughters attended the Academy of the Visitation at Dubuque. All are still under the parental roof, the family circle remaining unbroken by the hand of death.
The family are communicants of the Temple Hill Catholic church, while politically Mr. Morrison gives stalwart support to the democracy. He has served efficiently as township assessor for two terms, and in both private and public life his actions have ever been actuated by the principles which govern honorable and upright manhood. Having spent his entire life within the borders of Jones county, he has gained an extensive circle of friends which is almost coextensive with the circle of his acquaintances, and his salient characteristics are such as have gained for him the unqualified respect, esteem and good will of his fellowmen.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 241.

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