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Arthur I. Morgan. There are few citizens of Bartlesville, the metropolis and judicial center of Washington County, who have been more closely associated with the development and progress of this thriving city than Mr. Morgan, who has not only been an active and representative business man and, loyal and public-spirited citizen, but who has also served with marked ability in various offices of public trust, including that of postmaster of Bartlesville, a position which he retained ten years. He is now giving his attention principally to the management of his substantial business of raising vegetables, and his special province is the propagation of the same under glass, his greenhouses for this purpose being extensive and well equipped, so that he is a recognized leader in this interesting and important field of enterprise.
Mr. Morgan was born in Leavenworth County, Kansas, on the 12th of January, 1861, and this date clearly indicates that his parents were numbered among the early pioneers of the Sunflower State. He is a son of Jonathan and Jane (Culver) Morgan, who were born and reared in Tennessee, as representatives of sterling old southern families. About the year 1860 they removed to Kansas and became early settlers of Leavenworth County, the remainder of their lives having been passed in that state, where the father died at the age of sixty-seven and the mother at the age of sixty-eight years. They endured their full share of the hardships incidental to pioneer life on the frontier but were not denied an ultimate reward of prosperity and independence in compensation for their earnest labors. Jonathan Morgan reclaimed and improved a tract of government land and was for many years engaged in mercantile pursuits in Leavenworth County, the most of the time at Leavenworth, in which city he was a pioneer merchant and honored and influential citizen. Of the family of four sons and five daughters the subject of this review is the youngest.
Arthur I. Morgan remained at the parental home until he was about eighteen years of age, and in the meanwhile he made good use of the advantages afforded him in the public schools of the locality and period. In 1877 Mr. Morgan left his home county and made his way to Southern Kansas, and he was employed for varying intervals at Coffeyville and other places, He finally made his way over the border into Indian Territory, and in the pioneer days he visited the now thriving cities of Bartlesville, Pawhuska and Claremore, also going to Fort Sill and thence making his way into Texas. During this period of semi-peregrination he gave his attention principally to working as a cowboy. At Coleman, Texas, he remained for some time, and he gained wide experience in connection with the cattle business. In connection with this line of enterprise he became a permanent resident of the present State of Oklahoma in the year 1884 and he became associated with his brother Jesse K. in the ownership of a ranch on Coon Creek, about seven miles northeast of the present City of Bartlesville. They there continued their operations in the cattle business and general ranching for two years. Mr. Morgan there after passed short periods of time at Coffeyville, Kansas, and Pawhuska, Indian Territory, and then established his residence at Bartlesville, where he purchased an interest in a blacksmith and wagon shop, in which he learned the trade of blacksmith under the direction of his partners. For three years after becoming a skilled workman he ran a shop in an individual way, and for four or five years thereafter he was associated with Henry Clay in the same sturdy line of enterprise.
Under the administration of President McKinley Mr. Morgan was appointed postmaster at Bartlesville, the office being then of the fourth class and Bartlesville little more than a village. Under his regime the Bartlesville office was advanced to the second class, and with the rapid growth of the city he was enabled also to supervise the institution of the city delivery and the rural free-delivery systems from the Bartlesville postoffice. He retained the office of postmaster a full decade, gave a most careful and effective administration and retired in 1909, when he was succeeded by Postmaster Higgins. Mr. Morgan served two years as deputy sheriff of Washington County, and since his retirement from this office he has devoted his time and attention to market gardening and to the cultivating of flowers, his greenhouse for floriculture being of modern order and his patronage being of substantial order in both departments of his business. His gardens, greenhouses and residence are located on a tract of ten acres of land, adjacent to the city on the north, and the improvements on this attractive place have all been made under his supervision. He is the owner of this and other property at Bartlesville and is a citizen of whom it may consistently be said that his circle of friends is limited only by that of his acquaintances.
Mr. Morgan is at all times vital and loyal as a progressive and liberal citizen, takes abiding interest in the civic and material progress and prosperity of Bartlesville and Washington County, and is one of the honored pioneers of this part of the state. His political allegiance has always been given unreservedly to the republican party, and he is affiliated with the Knights of Pythias, the Woodmen of the World and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in which last mentioned organization he has served for the past ten years as secretary of his lodge.
In the year 1886 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Morgan to Miss Leona Brooks, who was born in Taylor County, Iowa, on the 27th of March, 1865, her parents having been sterling pioneers of that section of the Hawkeye State. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Morgan maintained their residence for some time in a primitive log house that stood in what is now the very center of the City of Bartlesville. Mrs. Morgan is a daughter of Joseph C. and Susan Josephine (Fox) Brooks, who not only had their full quota of pioneer experience in Iowa but who added materially to their knowledge of frontier life by establishing their home in what is now Washington County, Oklahoma, in 1884, when all of the present state was still Indian Territory. Mr. Brooks was born in Ohio, on the 18th of December, 1835, and was one of the honored pioneer citizens of Washington County, Oklahoma, at the time of his death, which occurred on the 6th of October, 1910. His wife, who was born in the City of Baltimore, Maryland, on the 3d of June, 1835, is still living, as are also four of their children. Mr. Brooks was a Union soldier in the Fourth Missouri Cavalry for about eighteen months during the Civil war, and at the expiration of that time he was honorably discharged, on account of physical disability. He was one of the pioneer farmers and stockmen of what is now Washington County, Oklahoma, and his early operations as a farmer were on land a portion of which is now in the very center of the business district of the thriving City of Bartlesville. His venerable widow, whose memory links the primitive pioneer era with that of latter-day progress and prosperity in Oklahoma, resides in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Morgan, who accorded to her the utmost filial care and solicitude. Her son John E. Brooks is engaged in the practice of law at Sedan, Chautauqua County, Kansas, and in 1915 is serving as grand master of the Kansas Grand Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Another son, Oren P. Brooks, plumber by trade, resides in Hutchison, Kansas, and a daughter, Alice C. Wilson, resides in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Mr. and Mrs. Morgan became the parents of eight children: Ina holds the position of money-order clerk in the Bartlesville postoffice, with which she has been connected for thirteen years, and she was married to Charles C. Edinger January 19, 1916; Nellie is a popular teacher in Washington County schools; Della is attending the Bartlesville High School, and Kilie is also attending the public schools of Bartlesville, these data having application in 1915, at the time of this writing. Zelma, the second child, died at the age of eleven years; Ollie, the third in order of birth, died when five years old; Rilla, fifth of the children, died at the age of four years; and the seventh child was Arthur, who died at the age of five years.