Coming to Bartlesville in 1965, J. H. McMorrow has since been actively and prominently identified with the commercial development of the town and as secretary and treasurer of the Rood Oil Company he has contributed substantially to the attainment of the success which has attended the activities of that corporation.
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He was born in Cohoes, Albany county, New York, December 9, 1859, of the marriage of Francis and Mary (McCusker) McMorrow, both of whom were natives of Ireland, the latter being brought to this country in infancy. The father came to the United States in 1833, settling in Cohoes, Albany county, New York, where he engaged in the manufacture of axes, which was at that time a hazardous business, owing to the poisonous fumes which emanated from the steel during the sharpening process, and this was the direct cause of his death, which occurred in 1865.
In the parish schools of Cohoes, Albany county, New York, J. H. McMorrow pursued his education and he would have entered the military academy at West Point if his parents had not objected to his taking up a military career, owing to the fact that three of his uncles had enlisted in the Civil war, from which they never returned. At the age of fifteen he laid aside his textbooks and became connected with the dry goods business at Cohoes, New York, where he remained until 1888, when he went to Minneapolis, Minnesota, and for two years was identified with the carpet and draperies business in that city. From there he went to Indianapolis, Indiana, where he followed the same line of work until 1899, when he went to Texas, owing to failing health, and for a year lived on a ranch’ in that state. This was at the time of the great boom at Spindletop and he then became connected with the oil industry.
In 1903 he went to Independence, Kansas, where he likewise was identified with oil interests, also acting as a public accountant in that city until 1905. In that year he came to Bartlesville and has remained a resident of this locality, handling oil well supplies and also acting as secretary-treasurer of the Rood Oil Company, while he likewise has other business interests here. He is thoroughly familiar with every phase of the oil industry, which has been the chief source of Oklahoma’s present prosperity and greatness, and his activities in this field have been important factors in the development of the state, while they have also resulted in the attainment of individual success.
In 1892 Mr. McMorrow was united in marriage to Miss Mary L. G. McKernan, a native of Indiana and at one time a neighbor of George Ade, the well known humorist. Six children have been born of this union : Marie E., Francis L., Rosemary C., Virginia, John Henry, Jr., and James Henry.
Mr. McMorrow is an earnest and active member of St. John’s Catholic church and is now serving as one of its trustees, while he is also acting as state president of the National Council of Catholic Men. He is a prominent member of the Knights of Columbus, of which he was at one time state deputy, and he is also identified with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. He is much interested in the Boy Scout movement, doing all in his power to promote the interests of the organization as a member of its local executive committee, and he is also serving on the executive committee of the Country Club. During the World war he was one of the most active men in the state in furthering the cause of America and the allied nations and it was through his efforts and those of Dr. Rood that the boys in the first war contingent were tendered a banquet and sent away with a cheery farewell to hearten them in their task of aiding in the overthrow of Prussian autocracy.
Preeminently public-spirited, Mr. McMorrow’s interest and cooperation can always be counted upon in behalf of any project for the welfare of city, state or nation and in civic work and progressive endeavor he does his part as a member of the Chamber of Commerce. His interests and activities have reached out along many lines, in all of which the public has been either a direct or an indirect beneficiary, and his is, indeed, a well rounded character.