Biography of Benjamin F. Morris
The prominent position which Benjamin F. Morris occupies in business circles is indicated by the honor that was conferred upon him by his election to the presidency of the Commercial Club, of Lewiston. He is a man of marked business and executive ability, of sterling worth and of great popularity, and is regarded as one of the most valued citizens of Lewiston. A native of Missouri, he was born in 1843, of English ancestry. The family was founded in America a century and a half ago, and from New York, where the first settlement was made, representatives of the name removed to Virginia, and later to Kentucky. One of the family signed the Declaration of Independence and others valiantly fought for the cause of freedom in the Revolutionary war. Benjamin Morris, the father of our subject, was born in Virginia, and married Miss Amanda J. Hamilton, a native of West Virginia. He was a farmer and stock-raiser by occupation, and died of cholera, in the forty-eighth year of his age, while his widow, long surviving him, lived to be seventy-seven years of age. They had eight children, of whom seven are yet living.
Mr. Morris of this review acquired his education in his native state and in Oregon. He crossed the plains to California in 1863, driving a mule team to Salt Lake City and riding a mule the rest of the way. He remained in the Golden state for a short time, but in 1864 went by water to Oregon, where he took packhorses from The Dalles to Warrens. In the latter place he also engaged in mining and took an active part in public affairs, serving for ten years as auditor and recorder and clerk of the district court. He filled that position for fifteen years, after which he was register of the land office for four years, and is now land attorney. He is engaged in the real estate and insurance business, and is a stock-holder in the Lewiston Mercantile Company, doing a large wholesale business, and has large tracts of land in Idaho county. He is a man of sound judgment, keen discrimination and un-abating energy, and his well directed efforts have crowned with prosperity the various enterprises with which he is connected. He also has the honor of being president of the Commercial Club, of Lewiston, and is justly popular in business and social circles.
In 1881 was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Morris and Miss Harriet F. Graham, and their union has been blessed with three children: John Roy, William Graham and Zella A. They have in Lewiston a very attractive home, which was built by Mr. Morris, and the members of the household occupy enviable positions in social circles and enjoy the friendship of many of Lewiston’s best people.
In politics Mr. Morris has been a lifelong Democrat, unswerving in his allegiance to the principles of the party. He is also a very prominent member of the Masonic fraternity, in which he has taken all the degrees of the York rite and has attained the thirtieth degree in the Scottish rite. He is a past master and deputy grand master of the state of Idaho, and is not only eminent in that organization, but by his upright life has won a place among the representative men of northern Idaho.