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Biography of Edmund Needham Morrill, Hon.

Hon. Edmund Needham Morrill. Of the record of Governor Morrill during his term as head of the state government of Kansas a review is given on other pages of this history. It will be wise to supplement that record with some of the more personal details of his career and his various connections, public and business and philanthropic, with Brown County, where his name will always be revered and where he was regarded by common consent as the foremost citizen. He was born at Westbrook, Cumberland County, Maine, February 12, 1834, and died in 1909, after completing three-quarters of a century of life. He was educated in the common schools and in Westbrook Seminary. His father, Rufus Morrill, was a tanner and currier by trade. The son learned the same business. In 1856 Edmund Morrill, then twenty-two years of age, was elected a member of the board of school supervisors for his native town. At the end of one year he resigned office to come to Kansas. While he was a member of the board he was instrumental in granting a teacher’s certificate to Thomas B. Reed, who afterwards became nationally distinguished as speaker of the House of Representatives. In 1857 Mr. Morrill joined a colony which left Maine to found a new settlement in the territory of Kansas. They came to Brown County and located a few miles west of where Hiawatha now stands. They laid out a town calling it Hamlin, in honor of Hannibal Hamlin, who was then serving as a senator from Maine. Near this town Mr. Morrill took a claim of 160 acres and...

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