Lewis A. Morton


Louis Allen Morton. A resourceful and widely experienced educator is now superintendent of schools for Stephens County. Louis A. Morton has some high ideals as an educator, and has done much to give practical efficiency to the various school systems under his charge at different times, and can properly be given credit for a share in the remarkable progressive movement which has been under way in Oklahoma school matters for the past five or six years since he is by no means among the least influential and able of the men who are carrying forward this great work.
Louis Allen Morton was born in Russellville, Arkansas, August 19, 1877, a son of Reuben O. and Madrid (Love) Morton. There are few older families in America than the Mortons. They came originally from England, the emigrant ancestor having been John Morton, who served as secretary to Governor Bradford of the Massachusetts colony. Mr. Morton’s great-grandfather, though descended from this New England settler, was for half a century a sea captain, and was at first impressed into the service by the British, and, later, sailed under the American flag on the Atlantic.
The grandfather was Thomas H. Morton, who became a large planter and slave owner in Mississippi, died at Meridian in that state. Reuben O. Morton was born on his father’s plantation in Kemper County, Mississippi, in 1847, and is still living with home in Arkansas. Though but a boy at the time he served during the last two years of the war between the states, having enlisted at the age of fifteen in the Thirty-third Regiment of Mississippi Infantry. In 1869 he removed to Russellville, Arkansas, and in 1884 to Pottsville in that state. Farming has been his regular vocation, though for a few years he was in the drug business. He is now president of the Citizens Bank of Pottsville. He became a charter member of the Masonic Lodge in his home locality in Arkansas many years ago, is a past master, and is now and has been for many years clerk in the Baptist Church. His wife was born in Pope County, Arkansas, June 1, 1851. Their children are: Thomas H., who when a young man entered the railroad service, and at the age of twenty-six was on his way South to visit the Texas oil wells, and was killed in Houston, the circumstances of his death indicating that he was waylaid and robbed; Annie, who died in childhood; Louis A.; Hugh D., a resident of Arkadelphia, Arkansas, who in 1915 was graduated A. B. from the Ouachita Baptist College of Arkansas; Lorenzo D., who is a traveling salesman with headquarters at Amarillo, Texas; Lillie, who was educated in the Mountain Home College and the Ouachita Baptist College in Arkansas, and is now the wife of W. H. Rankin, who is the owner of a large cotton plantation and owns and operates several cotton gins along the Arkansas River and lives in Russellville; Corrinne, who is graduated in art from the Mountain Home College and the Ouachita Baptist College and is the wife of J. E. Allmon, a cotton planter and gin owner at Pottsville, Arkansas; Arkadelphia, who acquired her education in the Mountain Home and the Ouachita Baptist colleges, and is now the wife of Neal Campbell, principal of the high school at Gravelly, Arkansas; Blanche, who was educated in the same institutions attended by her sisters, and is now living with her parents.
Louis A. Morton spent his early years on his father’s farm in Arkansas until 1897, and in the meantime had acquired the fundamentals in the public schools of Pottsville, and graduated from the high school of that place with the class of 1896. In 1907 he took the degree A. B. from the Ouachita Baptist College at Arkadelphia. However, he had early in life taken up the practical work of education, and for four years before his graduation from college served as county examiner or county superintendent of schools in Baxter County, Arkansas. He was president of Mountain Home College four years, 1902-1906. From 1907 to 1911 Mr. Morton was city superintendent of schools at Comanche, Oklahoma. During 1911 and 1912 he taught Latin and Science in Duncan public schools, and in November, 1912, was elected county superintendent of schools of Stephens County, beginning his official duties in July, 1913. By re-election on November 6, 1914, he has another two year term to serve. His jurisdiction as county superintendent extends to seventy-two schools in the county, one hundred fifty teachers and a total enrollment of 8,371 scholars. In many ways he has helped to coordinate the instruction and training of the local schools with the practical needs of modern life, but has probably gained his chief reputation over the state as an educator through his having originated the plan to get every school in his county to build “a mile of good roads,” and as a result of his leadership in this matter forty miles of first-class highway have been constructed in Stephens County up to the present writing, May 15, 1915. In this connection it should be noted that Mr. Morton is secretary of the Stephens County Good Roads Association.
In politics he is a democrat. He is a deacon in the Baptist Church and a superintendent of the Sunday School, and fraternally has affiliations with Duncan Lodge No. 61, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; Duncan Chapter No. 21, Royal Arch Masons; Border Queen Lodge No. 60, Knights of Pythias at Comanche, of which he is past chancellor; Duncan Camp No. 515, Woodmen of the World; Duncan Chapter of the Order of Eastern Star, of which he is worthy patron. He is a member of the Duncan Chamber of Commerce.
On September 13, 1904, at Mountain Home, Arkansas, Mr. Morton married Miss Nell Love, daughter of W. A. Love, a farmer of Mountain Home. To their marriage were born five children: William Allen, who died at the age of fifteen months; Louis A., Jr., who was born April 29, 1909; Nell, who died at the age of four years; James R., who died at the age of three weeks; and Joy Louise, born September 4, 1915.