Biography of William Morrison

William Morrison. Along the Interurban as it passes through Ogden Township are found some beautiful farms, all of them representing the toil, self-sacrifice and industry of either their owners or of those worthy people who first claimed the land from the wilderness. One of these homes that stand for a most estimable personal career is that of William Morrison in section 8 of Ogden Township.

Mr. Morrison was born in New York City in 1851. When he was ten years of age he was left an orphan by the death of his parents, and somewhat later a man named George H. Allen became interested in him and brought him out to Illinois, and he soon found a home in the family of Eleazar Freeman, with whom he was a bound boy and with whom he remained twelve years. He had very limited opportunities to obtain an education, never more than three months a year. He had to work early and late, herding and feeding cattle, plowing in the fields, and only now and then came a few weeks when he could attend school.

Thus as a boy he became inured to and disciplined in hard work, and he found it no special hardship when he went to earning his own way as a farm hand and worked in the fields from four o’clock in the morning until nine o’clock at night. His industry and good character commended him to the attention of Miss Callie Swearingen, and on January 24, 1878, they were married. She was a native of St. Joseph Township, a daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Swearingen. Their married life was brief, since Mrs. Morrison passed away July 11, 1880. They had lived on the Swearingen farm in the meantime. Subsequently Mr. Morrison married Lizetta Hixenbaugh. She was born in Virginia, daughter of Morgan and Sarah A. Hixenbaugh.

In the meantime Mr. Morrison had worked steadily with the end in view that some day he would become proprietor of a farm of his own. This eventful day arrived in 1885, when he contracted for the purchase of ninety-eight and a half acres in section 8 of Ogden Township. The land had few improvements and was of limited value as compared with its value today. Even at that Mr. Morrison had to go in debt to buy it, and some years passed before he had it free from incumbrance. In the meantime he drained the land, cut out trees, built a commodious home, and thus his personal efforts and management are responsible for this attractive bit of landscape that may be viewed from the windows of the interurban cars as they go by.

Mr. Morrison has two children, Charles J. and Cora E. They were educated in the Ogden High School. Charles is now connected with the city street railway system at Champaign.

In politics Mr. Morrison has always staunchly supported the principles and candidates of the Republican party. His achievements and position in the county mean a great deal. Beginning life a poor orphan boy, he has found success by strict application to industry and honorable principles. He has reared his children to honor the same principles which have been his own guide in life. He now enjoys a pleasant home, with his capable daughter, Cora, acting as his housekeeper. Mr. Morrison is a hospitable, kind neighbor, and out of his experience has always had a deep sympathy for the friendless and oppressed. He richly deserves praise for his industry and energy and his good citizenship.



Stewart, J. R. A Standard History of Champaign County Illinois. The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York. 1918.

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