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Among those whose success in the real estate and insurance business entitles them to representation as leading business men of Racine is F. Arthur Morey, who has been a lifelong resident of this city. He is a representative of one of-the old families of Wisconsin and the lineage can be traced back to England, whence in 1626 three brothers of the name sailed for the new world, settling in Massachusetts. One branch of the family subsequently took the name of Mowry and the other the name of Morey.
Darius J. Morey, the great-grandfather of F. Arthur Morey, was a native of Vermont and in early manhood took up the trade of a carpenter and builder, afterward becoming a designer and architect. He became a resident of Wisconsin in 1846 and passed away in Racine. in 1851, at the age of seventy-four years. During his early life he served as a soldier in the War of 1812. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Marian Fowler, passed away at the age of fifty-four years. Their children numbered five daughters and two sons, including John T. Morey, who was born in New York and there married Catherine Styles, a daughter of John Styles, a native of England, who was a sergeant in the British army and fought under Wellington at Waterloo. From Montreal, Canada, he removed to Morristown, New York, where he passed away at the notable old age of one hundred and five years, while his wife. Catherine (McDonald) Styles attained the age of ninety-eight years. As stated, their daughter, Catherine, became the wife of John T. Morey, and to this marriage were born four sons and two daughters. John T. Morey was a carpenter and builder and in the spring of 1846 became a resident of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, whence he removed to Racine, where he followed his trade for sonic time. He afterward lived in Southport but later returned to Racine, continuing in carpenter work until ill health caused him to seek a change of occupation. He removed to the Indian land in Waupaca County, hoping that his health would be restored in the outdoor life of the farm. However, he passed away in December, 1856, and his wife died in August, 1862. at the age of thirty-eight years. In religious faith they were Methodists.
Their son, Darius J. Morey, was but three years of age at the time of the removal of the family to Wisconsin and in 1851 accompanied his parents from Racine to Waupaca County, where he went through the usual experiences and hardships of pioneer life. He was fourteen years of age before he had an opportunity to attend school even through the winter sessions and in the summer months he was always busy with the work of the farm. In 1861, when eighteen years of age, he returned to Racine and spent the winter as a high school pupil. In the meantime he had secured a teacher’s certificate, but the necessity of providing for his own support and that of the family, owing to his father’s death, compelled him to remain upon the farm and give his time to the work of the fields and to carpentering. During the Civil war he enlisted on the 22d of August, 1862, as a private of Company C, First Wisconsin Heavy Artillery, and with that command he participated in several important battles, including the engagement at Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge. When the war was over he returned to Racine and pursued a course in a business college, subsequent to which time he accepted the position of bookkeeper with the. Fish Brothers Wagon Company. He devoted nearly twenty-three years to work as an accountant and finally became interested in the business, but through a decision of the Supreme Court lost his entire investment. For several years afterward he was a salesman for the Racine Wagon & Carriage Company and still later for the Fish Brothers Wagon Company. A second time he bought an interest in that business, which in the meantime had been reorganized under new management. Eventually he was elected justice of the peace and during his four years’ service his decisions were characterized by strict fairness and impartiality. He was always of a studious nature and obtained a fair knowledge of law, perfecting himself in real estate, loan, investment and insurance law, to which he gave his attention on his retirement from the justice court. In 1900 he was joined by his son, Wallace S. Morey, and in 1903 by F. Arthur Morey under the firm name of D. J. Morey & Sons, and in that field of activity Darius J. Morey continued until his death.
Mr. Morey was a prominent Mason, belonging to Belle City Lodge, No. 92, F. & A. M.; Orient Chapter, No. 12, R. A. M., and Racine Commandery, No. 7, K. T., and in all of these branches of Masonry he held office.. At the time of his demise he was serving as commander of Governor Harvey Post, G. A. R. His political allegiance was given to the Republican Party and while he never sought political office he served for six years as a member of the Racine board of education and was its president for one. year. He and his wife were devoted members of the First Congregational church, in which he served as trustee, and in the work of the church they took an active and helpful part. It was on the 17th of December, 1868, that Darius J. Morey wedded Viola S. Packard, a daughter of Roswell and Susan (Bird) Packard. They became the parents of three children, F. Arthur, Edith V. and Wallace S., but the latter died in February, 1909, a few months prior to the demise of his father.
F. Arthur Morey, one of Racine’s native sons, was born in June, 1870, and in the acquirement of his education passed through consecutive grades of the city schools to his graduation from the high school with the class of 1887. Still further educational opportunities were accorded him in the University of Wisconsin, which he attended for two years, and when his textbooks were put aside he made his initial step in the business world as an employee of the Fish Brothers Wagon Company. He was afterward employed for seven years by the Racine Wagon and Carriage Company, spending part of that time as collector, and when he severed that connection he joined his father, who was conducting a substantial real estate. and loan business, at which time the firm style of D. J. Morey & Sons was assumed. His brother was also a partner in the business, but the death of the brother a few months before the death of the father left F. Arthur Morey as the sole surviving partner. He has since carried on the business with good success, manifesting keen sagacity and insight into business situations and gaining a large clientele.
It was in 1894 that Mr. Morey was united in marriage to Miss Alice E. Stephan, of Racine, and they have become the parents of a daughter and two sons: Marjorie J., now a student at the University of Wisconsin at Madison; Donald J., who is attending the Racine high school, and Frank Arthur, also in school.
Mr. Morey had the inspiring example of his father to guide him and his lines of life have been east in harmony with that of his honored sire-a man whose sterling traits of character commended him to the confidence, good will and esteem of all who knew him. F. Arthur Morey, like his father, has become an exemplary representative of the Masonic fraternity, belonging to Belle City Lodge, No. 92, F. & A. M.: Racine Commandery, No. 7, K. T.: the Wisconsin Consistory, A. & A. S. R., and Tripoli Temple. A. A. O. N. M. S., the last named being a Milwaukee organization. He likewise belongs to Racine Lodge, No. 252, B. P. O. E., and Racine Lodge, K. P. He figures prominently in connection with other social activities of the city, while in business circles he has made a most commendable record as an alert, enterprising business man, constantly watchful of opportunities pointing to success and using every legitimate means for the advancement of his interests.