Biography of R. G. Morrison
R. G. Morrison. A Rantoul residence almost palatial in its architectural design, size and comforts is the home of Mr. and Mrs. R. G. Morrison in their retired years. Mr. Morrison is a veteran of the Civil War and fought gallantly for the preservation of the Union when the nation needed his services. His industrious efforts as a farmer brought him large rewards and though he began with very modest capital he acquired one of the handsomest estates of Champaign County.
Mr. Morrison was born in Muskingum County, Ohio, son of Mr. and Mrs. Abram Morrison, his father a native of Ohio and his mother of Pennsylvania. In the early days Mr. Morrison attended district schools in the vicinity of Zanesville, Ohio. The schoolhouse which stands clearest in his memory was an old log building. It had slab benches, a desk supported by pins driven into the side wall, and the instruction was as crude and limited as the furnishings of the building. Occasionally the pupils would attend school for six months in the year, though the usual term was three months.
He was only eighteen years of age when he enlisted at Zanesville for service in the Union army. He became a member of the Home. Guard and was ordered with his comrades to Maryland, to Harper’s Ferry, then to Baltimore, and he did service chiefly as a guard along some of the seacoast fortifications. He was mustered out and given his honorable discharge at Zanesville.
It was in April, 1870, that Mr. Morrison, then twenty-four years of age, drove across the country from Ohio to Champaign County. He brought with him his wife, whom he had married in Ohio, Miss Maggie A. Frazier. They located at Thomasboro in this county on land belonging to Mrs. Morrison’s father. Mr. Frazier had given his daughter forty acres and Mr. Morrison bought from him forty acres more at a price of $1,000. The young couple had the energy and the courage to face life cheerfully and bravely for all the hard work it promised, and gradually their prosperity took on increasing measure until Mr. Morrison found himself possessor of 100 acres, containing some of the richest land in all Illinois. For many years he also engaged in the buying of grain at Thomasboro. Mr. Morrison has experienced the usual joys and sorrows that are the lot of the human family. After his prosperity had been assured his good wife passed away and he also saw his son, Lee F. Morrison, enter into rest at the age of twenty-four. Mr. Morrison married for his second wife Dolly George, who died in 1916. His present wife before her marriage was Mrs. Margaret Mulliken of Champaign, daughter of J. S. Grindley. She was educated in the Champaign schools. Mrs. Morrison has four sons and a daughter by a former marriage: Byron, L. Burns, Robert Burns, Helen Margaret and Clarence E. Byron is a graduate of the high school in Champaign and is now a stenotypist and is employed by a big lumber company in Mississippi. Robert is a student in the Military Academy of Mexico, Missouri.
Mr. and Mrs. Morrison are members and liberal supporters of the Congregational Church. Politically he has always given his allegiance to the Republican party. He is affiliated with the Grand Army of the Republic and his wife is a member of the Eastern Star. It was in 1912 that Mr. Morrison gave up the active superintendence of his farm and purchased his present magnificent home in Rantoul. Here he has surrounded himself with the comforts that are the products of his own work and lives to enjoy life in the fullness of years and the consciousness of duties well performed. He has always stood as a public spirited citizen of his community, and for many years served as school director and did much to improve the advantages of the schools in his own locality. He has also served as road commissioner.