Biography of Elias Emerson Morris

Elias Emerson Morris has for eight years been probate judge of Riley County. To that office he has brought a singularly fair impartiality, and ever since he entered upon his duties the people of the county have recognized that the interests of the widows and orphans have been most capably and honestly administered. Judge Morris is one of the old time educators of Kansas, and has long been identified with some form of official service in Riley County.

He was born in Crawford County, Pennsylvania, November 2, 1859, a son of James S. and Mary (Chamberlain) Morris. His parents were married in Pennsylvania and spent the rest of their lives on a farm there. James S. Morris was born in New York State and of New England ancestry, his English forefathers having been pioneers in Connecticut. Judge Morris’ mother was a native of Pennsylvania and was also of early English stock.

Reared on a Pennsylvania farm, Judge Morris had as a boy the lessons of industry and honesty which have so characterized his later years. As a boy he had a strong ambition for a higher education. After leaving the common schools he entered the State Normal School at Edinboro in Erie County, Pennsylvania, and there prepared for his chosen work as a teacher. He was not yet seventeen when he taught his first school and for three years was actively connected with public school work in Pennsylvania.

A resident of Kansas since April, 1880, he has spent all the subsequent years in Riley County. For ten years he was a teacher, and many men and women now in middle life recall with special gratitude his influence upon their early years. For eleven years he served as trustee of Wildcat Township. While teaching and acting as trustee he lived on a farm, and farming has been an important part of his life’s experience.

After his service as township trustee Judge Morris was elected a county commissioner, filled that place with credit for four years, and in 1908 was elected to his present office of probate judge. He has been regularly re-elected at the end of each two years, and as long as he remains in office the people know that the probate functions will be adequately and carefully discharged. Judge Morris is a man of exceptional ability, and is thoroughly honest and conscientious. He is a republican in politics, and is affiliated with the Masonic Order and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He also belongs to the First Presbyterian Church of Manhattan.

In 1887 he married Mary Elizabeth Zeller. Mrs. Morris died in 1910, being survived by three children: Edna M., Kenneth W. and Sarah G.

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