Biography of Gideon Morgan

This well-known citizen of Tahlequah was born April 3, 1851, in Athens, Tennessee, the son of Major William Morgan and grandson of Colonel Gideon Morgan, of Stonewall Jackson’s army. His father was an officer in General John H. Morgan’s command, and was killed at the battle of Lexington, Kentucky, in 1862. The Morgans originally came from Wales. Colonel Gideon Morgan, already referred to, married Margaret Sevier, a granddaughter of General Sevier, who was half Cherokee, through his family connection with the Lowreys. Martha Mayo, daughter of G. W. Mayo, a white man, was mother to the subject of our sketch. He was educated by a female tutor, Miss Bettie Messimer, of Monroe County, Tennessee, until his twentieth year, when he came to Fort Gibson (in 1871), and in three years afterward married Mary Llewellan Payne, the most beautiful young woman of her time, and equally accomplished. Since then Mr. Morgan has spent most of his time farming, and at the present owns 70 acres of land on the edge of Fort Smith, one acre of which he has sold for $370. His ranch, twelve miles from the capital, contains 100 acres in cultivation, and a fine orchard. He also owns the Capital Hotel and a residence with four acres of land, beside the Baptist Mission House, in Tahlequah. In 1879 Mr. Morgan was a strong supporter of the National party, but declined a nomination for the senate. In 1891 he ran for circuit judge on the Liberal ticket, and was defeated; this is the only office which he ever sought. Mr. Morgan is a progressionist, and believes in allotment, never failing to speak out his opinion. In 1889 he was secretary of the building committee for the female seminary, and was associated with Jas. S. Stapler, the banker, and Johnson Thompson, the merchant prince of the nation. These gentlemen donated more to the grounds upon which the seminary is erected than they ever drew in salary for the time and labor bestowed on the enterprise. Yet it is no doubt an honor to be connected with the erection of such a beautiful structure, and with such a good object in view. The building, which is described elsewhere in this work, cost the sum of $63,000, less $13 turned over to the treasurer by Mr. Morgan. Mr. Morgan has a family of six children, viz.: Houston M., Mary L., Martha L., Margaret E., Emanda P., Sallie M. and Gideon, who died one year ago. Mr. Morgan is a pleasant, sociable gentleman, who devotes much of his time to home and its associations, and, until quite recently, taking no hand in politics. He can, however, and probably will, in future, take an active part in the all-absorbing question of allotment, in which he appears greatly interested.


Indian Territory,

O'Beirne, Harry F. and Edward S. The Indian Territory: Its Chiefs, Legislators, and Leading Men. St. Louis. 1898.

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