Shelby County, Indiana
Benjamin Morris, of Warren county, is well known as one of the old pioneers, having for more than forty years been one of the representative men of this region. He was born in Hardin county, Kentucky, October 7, 1821, one of eleven children of William Godfrey and Nancy (Young) Morris. Our subject has now only one brother living, Hamilton Morris, of Shelby county, Indiana. William Godfrey, the father, was born at Norfolk, Virginia, in 1780. When nineteen years of age the family moved to Kentucky, where he lived until middle life, emigrating thence to Shelby county, Indiana, where he was one of the early pioneers. Where the thriving city of Shelbyville now stands there was at that time but one log Mr. Morris was a farmer and stock raiser on a large scale, noted as one of the foremost among the leading men there for many years. In early life he served as a soldier in the war of 1812, receiving later, on account of meritorious services, a land warrant from the Government, which was laid on eighty acres in Jefferson township [Warren Co., IA] for his son. Mr. Morris was a strong Whig in his political relations. An uncommonly active man up to old age, possessing a remarkable memory, and keeping abreast with the questions of the day, he was for many years a noted man in the region where he lived. His death occurred in 1864, at the age of eighty-four years, universally respected for his sterling qualities. At the time of his death his descendants, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, numbered 202. His father, William Morris, was a native of England, but came to this country in the early days of the colonies, settling in Virginia. He was at one time a large slave owner, but on leaving Virginia, in 1799, he gave them their freedom, having become convinced of the wrong of the system of slavery. William Morris located in Kentucky, and there spent his later life, dying at the age of ninety three years. His first cousin, Robert Morris, was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
The mother of our subject, nee Nancy Young, was a Kentuckian by birth and a daughter of James and Mary (Quinn) Young. The father, of Irish descent, served through the seven years of the Revolution. During an Indian uprising in Kentucky his parents and all their children excepting himself and a brother were killed. He lived to old age, dying in Kentucky. His wife's ancestry were of Scotch descent. She lived to the age of sixty-nine years.
A Memorial and biographical record of Iowa, 1896. Chicago, IL: Lewis Pub. Co.
Contributed by Linda Stokesbury Brennan
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