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William Fredrick Morrison (1835 - 1901)

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William Fredrick Morrison
Born in Jefferson Township, Somerset, Pennsylvaniamap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married in parents' residence; Someret, Pennsylvaniamap
Descendants descendants
Died in Bradshaw, York, Nebraskamap
Profile last modified | Created 11 Aug 2012
This page has been accessed 305 times.



This biography is a rough draft. It was auto-generated by a GEDCOM import and needs to be edited.


Date: 19 MAY 1901
Place: Bradshaw, York, Nebraska[1]

User ID

User ID: 413BAF82577A2E448719AB510FA8753BF30A



Data Changed

Data Changed:
Date: 4 MAR 2012

Prior to import, this record was last changed 4 MAR 2012.




Note: DISCREPANCY: Some histories say William and Virginia Morrsion lived in Somerset county, Pennsylvania for five years after their marriage, during which time two sons were born. But one obituary for Virginia Lichtenberger Morrison says they lived in Perry county during that time period. In the 1880 census, the first two sons, Harry and Walter are shown as being born in Pennsylvania.
 !BIRTH: born 1835 in Pennsylvania (according to 1880 Census)
SOURCE: 1880 US Federal Census for York county, Nebraska; Township 11, Range 4, West. Page 3. William and Virginia Morrison shown with nine sons. Their closest neighbors are Charles Sawyer, on one side, and James Stimger on the other.
William Morrison, white, male, age 45, married, farmer, born in Pennsylvania; his parents also born
in Pennsylvania.
Virginia Morrison, white, female, age 43, wife, keeping house, born in Pennsylvania, parents born in
Harry, son, white male, age 21, unmarried, farm laborer, attends school, born in Pennsylvania.
Walter, son, white, male, age 18, unmarried, farm laborer, attends school, born in Pennsylvania.
Charles, son, white, male, age 17, unmarried, farm laborer, attends school, born in Illinois.
Samuel, son, white, male, age 16, unmarried, farm laborer, attends school, born in Illinois.
Josiah, son, white, male, age 14, unmarried, farm laborer, attends school, born in Illinois.
Frederick, son, white, male, age 12, unmarried, farm laborer, attends school, born in Illinois.
Alfred, son, white, male, age 10, unmarried, farm laborer, attends school, born in Illinois.
Leon, son, white, male, age 8, unmarried, farm laborer, attends school, born in Nebraska.
George, son, white, male, age 3, unmarried, farm laborer, born in Nebraska.
According the to the obituary for Virginia Lichtenberger Morrison, after her marriage to William, they resided in Perry county (probably Pennsylvania) where two sons Harry and Walter were born to them. They then moved from (Somerset, Pennsylvania?) to Dixon, Lee, Illinois in April 1862. After living and farming there, and the birth of five more sons, they moved on west, arriving in Nebraska in August 1870. They traveled in a wagon with a team of horses; Virginia, made the trip holding her seventh son, Alfred Ernest who was just an infant. When they arrived their sole monetary wealth was two dollars and forty cents. Their first home in Nebraska was a primitive dugout, which had no windows and only a piece of carpet for the door. However, they did bring their furniture and large iron cook stove with them. The dugout was situated on Lincoln Creek in York county.
Things weren't easy and food was sometimes scarce. One day William and one of the children's uncles went to the Fort Kearney region where they hunted and killed a buffalo. When they arrived home about midnight with the meat, Virginia called the children from their beds and fried them all the buffalo meat they could eat. It was a real treat after the corn bread and gravy they were used to eating. Winters were sometimes severe. Tales are told of the awful winter of 1872-73 with its blizzard and the attendant near-loss of life.
After much hard work and perseverance, William was able to purchase a farm a short distance northeast of the present site of Bradshaw, York, Nebraska, for $10 per acre. It was wild land, but he began at once to break and improve it. William has credit for making the first furrow in the prairie sod west of York, on the divide between the Lincoln and the Beaver. They built a sod home on the southwest quarter of section 24, and lived there for twelve years. It was in York county, Nebraska, in this "soddy" home that three other children were born: Lee, Anna and George; little Anna dying at the age of eleven months.
The village of Bradshaw was first located on the Morrison farm (1880) and then later moved to its present site one half mile to the west. In 1883 William F. Morrison constructed a two-story frame home on the southwest quarter of section 26. The wood for the home had to be hauled by wagon team from Seward which was some 35 miles to the east. By the time the home was finished, several of their sons were grown and living on their own.
On June 3, 1890, a tornado destroyed first the town of Bradshaw and then their home and barn; the family barely managed to seek safety in the cellar of their home. The only one who was injured was the hired hand, who had a cut ear. They immediately rebuilt their home on the same site (it was still occupied in 1986). William and Virginia lived in this home until just the last few years of their lives, when they moved into the village of Bradshaw to live.
Grasshoppers and dry seasons brought discouraging times but never disheartened the Morrisons. Mr Morrison worked on and became the owner of a finely improved and prosperous farm, whose neat and thrifty appearance indicated his careful supervision and progressive spirit.
With nine sons in the family, it was a rule that "every other" boy would work in the house--the second, fourth, sixth and eighth sons--while the other sons worked outside with their dad.
One of their forms of entertainment was horse racing. To better enjoy the sport, a racetrack was laid out just to the east of the farm building. Modern (1980) maps of Bradshaw, Nebraska (population 350) show the fairgrounds now located just northeast of William's homestead.
Most of their family moved to Custer county, Nebraska by 1899.
An article on this family was contributed to the "Seven Valleys Regional History" by a granddaughter, Mabel Morrison Wise. Seven Valleys is the area around Callaway, Custer, Nebraska. A xerox of this article was sent to me.
Mention of William F. Morrison is also found in the book "Old Settlers of York County" [Nebraska] (GS Film# 1036251 Item #8; or book 978.2345, H20) It says: "In the fall of 1880 the town of Bradshaw, Nebraska was established. The town was first located on Mr. W.F. Morrison's farm, a little east of where it is now, but was soon moved from there. The Christians in the vicinity were organized May 15, 1875. In the fall of the same year, William F. Morrison was added to the membership."
According to his obituary, William Fredrick Morrison was the first assessor in the west-half of York County. He filled this position for four successive terms. He was also elected County Commissioner and Chairman of the Board, and served for six years. He was on the committee that planned and built the York County Court House which still stands. He was a member of the Christian Church, a staunch Republican, and a Mason. His funeral was conducted according to masonic customs.
Mr. Morrison had for several years been a sufferer from heart disease and, for several months near the end of his life, was confined to his home. He was survived by his wife and eight sons. Three sons lived in Custer county, two in Cheyenne county and four in Bradshaw (York county). William F. Morrison was an honored pioneer settler of the community and most respected citizen.
RESEARCH-LEADS: According to the history in "Seven Valleys Regional History" the original Morrison family was of Norwegian descent. A group migrated to a small area in northern Scotland named something like Morrison. This group adopted the name of Morrison as their family name. Later some of their descendants came to the United States and settled in Pennsyvania. One of them made his home in Lancaster county. A son, William F., was born to him and his wife. There William grew to manhood and married Virginia L. Lichtenberger, who was a native of the rich coal and iron mining region of Somerset, Pennsylvania.
 !SOURCES: Biographies in the book "Seven Valleys Regional History" (for the area around Custer, Callaway, Nebraska) and a family history book compiled by Wm. Howard Morrison, M.D. in 1978. Mr. Morrison gather his information from a "History of York County, Nebraska" published in 1921 and curators from the Somerset, Pennsylvania Historical and Genealogical Society; also there was considerable information about the Morrison's in the Marshalltown, Iowa library, and Mrs. Clair (Esther Mae) Galloway of Des Moines, Iowa (daughter of Frank Wilson Morrison, had much information about the Iowa Morrisons. Information was found in "Quaker Records," "The Settlement of Germantown, York County (Pennsylvania) History" and "Lycoming County Pennsylvania History." "A Compendium of Biographical Skethces of Citizens of Butler, Polk, Seward, York and Filmore Counties of Nebraska" has information on this family also.
 !SOURCES: Homestead Claim for W. F. Morrison (for Nebraska) is:
SW4 24-11N-4W (3-410) Certificate #3073
Other relatives with homestead claims in Nebraska include Alfred
S. Lichtenberger, Josiah Lichtenberger, Samuel R. Lichtenberger,
and William Morrison.
DEATH: One record (from William Howard Morrison) shows William Fredrick Morrison died 1901 in Bradshaw, Nebraska.
WILLIAM F. MORRISON is one whose life record plainly demonstrates the opportunities which are open to young men of perseverance, energy, determination and ambition, for these qualities have brought to him substantial success, enabling him to overcome many obstacles and difficulties and work his way steadily upward to a position of affluence and of prominence in the community in which he now makes his home. He is the owner of a fine farm on section 24, Bradshaw township, where for more than a quarter of a century he has made his home.
Born in Somerset county, Pennsylvania, April 23, 1835, he is a son of William and Jane (Cunningham) Morrison, also natives of the Keystone state, and a grandson of Joshua and Mary Morrison. The father was a tanner by trade and also followed farming. His entire life was passed in the state of his nativity. In his family were six sons and five daughters. Our subject was reared under the parental roof, acquired his education in the public schools, and under his father's direction learned the tanner's trade, which he followed for some years. In 1862 he removed to Lee county, Illinois, where he engaged in farming, and in 1870 he came to York county, Nebraska. Here he pre-empted one hundred and sixty acres of wild land on section 24 Bradshaw township, and at once began to break and improve the same. He built a sod house, in which he lived for twelve years, and in 1883 erected a good frame residence, which was afterward destroyed by a cyclone, the inmates narrowly escaping death. The present residence was erected in 1890 and is a comfortable dwelling of modern style. Other good buildings add to the value and attractive appearance of the place and well tilled fields yield abundant harvests. Grasshoppers and dry seasons have brought discouraging times, but, never disheartened, Mr. Morrison has worked on and is to-day the owner of a finely improved farm, whose neat and thrifty appearance well indicates his careful supervision and progressive spirit.
In Pennsylvania, in April, 1857, Mr. Morrison married Miss Virginia L. Lichtenberger, a daughter of Josiah and Eliza Lichtenberger, who came to York county in 1873, and secured a homestead on section 24, Bradshaw township, there residing until the mother's death in 1875. The father passed away in 1883. To our subject and his wife have been born ten children, eight of whom are living, as follows: Edwin W., Charles O., Samuel A., Josiah E., Fred W., Alfred E., Lee H. and George A. The deceased are Harry L. and Anna B. The parents belong to the Christian church and Mr. Morrison is a member of the Masonic fraternity. In politics he is a zealous and active Republican who has served as supervisor for six years, and for four years as township assessor, discharging his duties with marked promptness and fidelity.


Date: 20 MAY 1901
Place: Plainfield Cem., Bradshaw, York, Nebraska[2]


  • WikiTree profile Morrison-2213 created through the import of Morrison Lineage.ged on Aug 11, 2012 by Lana Archibald. See the Changes page for the details of edits by Lana and others.
  • Source: S15 Abbreviation: Bradshaw Monitor (newspaper) Title: Bradshaw Monitor (newspaper) (May 1901) Subsequent Source Citation Format: Bradshaw Monitor (newspaper) BIBL Bradshaw Monitor (newspaper). May 1901. Note: Microfilm TMPLT TID 0 FIELD Name: Footnote VALUE Bradshaw Monitor (newspaper) (May 1901) FIELD Name: ShortFootnote VALUE Bradshaw Monitor (newspaper) FIELD Name: Bibliography VALUE Bradshaw Monitor (newspaper). May 1901. Repository: #R3
  • Repository: R3 Name: York Nebraska Historical Society Address: York, York, Nebraska Address 1: York, York, Nebraska
  • Source: S69 Abbreviation: Title: Subsequent Source Citation Format: BIBL TMPLT TID 0 FIELD Name: Footnote VALUE FIELD Name: ShortFootnote VALUE FIELD Name: Bibliography VALUE
  1. Source: #S15 TMPLT FIELD Name: Page
  2. Source: #S69 Page: Memorial# 80709806 TMPLT FIELD Name: Page VALUE Memorial# 80709806

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