Colusa County











JOSEPH JOHNSTON MORRIS.  On the Dry slough road four miles west of Grimes stands one of the fine country homes of Colusa county.  The modern residence, substantial farm buildings, and the air of thrift pervading the entire place speak volumes for the care and taste of the owners, Mr. and Mrs. Morris, who have made this their home since 1897 and meanwhile have made valuable improvements in the property.  In addition to this farm, which comprises four hundred and fifty acres, Mr. Morris owns two hundred and forty acres of the old Watson farm five miles south of Grimes and also cultivates about five hundred acres of the Farnsworth estate.  A dairy of forty cows is one of his principal industries, but he also makes a specialty of grain-raising.  The grain is harvested with a combined harvester, twenty-five foot cut, operated by a Best traction engine of fifty-horse power, in which he owns one-half interest.


The Morris family descends from English and Welsh ancestry.  Jacob Shafer Morris was the son of a shipbuilder at Baltimore and was born is[sic] that city, where he learned his father’s business in youth.  During 1849 he came via the Horn to San Francisco and thence to the mines, but soon returned to San Francisco and took up contracting and building.  The demands of the business took him throughout Colusa, Yolo, Glenn, Butte and Sutter counties, where many buildings still stand to bear witness to the reliability of his workmanship.  In 1870-71 he built the Balsdon ranch house at Grand Island and also erected the Baptist Church at Grimes.  Several times he returned to the east, once going across the plains, once via Panama and again by the Horn, and on one of these voyages he suffered shipwreck.  At the age of seventy-nine yeas he died in Oakland.  His wife, who bore the maiden name of Mary Frasier, was born in Maryland, descended from an old family of that state of Scotch extraction; her death occurred in Marysville, Cal.  Of their ten children all but two are still living, Joseph J. being the youngest son and next to the youngest child.  While the family were living near Prattville, Plumas county, Cal., he was born January 10, 1864, and at an early age he was brought to Colusa county, where from 1875 to 1891 he made his home on the Balsdon ranch.  Meanwhile he had received a public-school education, supplemented by a course in the Pierce Christian College at College City.


With the attainment of his majority Mr. Morris took up farm pursuits independently, his first lease being for a part of the ranch owned by James Balsdon.  In 1891 he rented the old Hickok ranch from Mr. Balsdon and in 1897 removed to the old Gleason place, which he yet owns and operated.  October 14, 1891, he was united in marriage with Miss Hattie C. Farnsworth, who was born at Grand Island and is a member of an honored pioneer family of Colusa county.  On another page of this volume in the sketch of her father, Joseph Farnsworth, the family record may be found.  Both Mr. and Mrs. Morris are earnest members of the Dry Slough Christian Church, in which he officiates as an elder, and they and their children, Carroll Elwood and Byrl Marie, are regular attendants at the various services.  Fraternally Mr. Morris affiliates with the Independent Order of Foresters at Arbuckle (Mrs. Morris being a member of Companion Court, the ladies’ auxiliary of that order), and Grand Island Lodge No. 266, I. O. O. F., at Grimes.  Since the organization of the Farmers Warehouse Company at Grimes he has been interested in its success and has held stock in the enterprise.  Another important movement aided by his support is the Grimes-Rochdale Company, of which he acts as secretary and member of the board of directors.  Among the people of Colusa county Mr. and Mrs. Morris are held in the highest esteem, having won high and assured positions in society, agriculture and commerce thorough their refinement, culture, thoughtful consideration of others and generous aid of worthy philanthropies.



[Inserted by D. Toole.]


Joseph Johnston Morris


1902 Nov 18, San Francisco Chronicle, P12, San Francisco, California

Morris – In Oakland, November 16, Jacob S. Morris, beloved father of T. R., J. S., A. V. and J. J. Morris, Mrs. Cora Courtney, Mrs. W. B. Phipps, Miss Florence Morris and Mrs. Rosa Gray, a native of Baltimore, Md., aged 78 years 9 months and 23 days.  (Baltimore and Colusa papers please copy.)  Friends and acquaintances are respectfully invited to attend the funeral Wednesday, November 10, at 2 o’clock, from the First Methodist Episcopal church, corner of Fourteenth and Clay streets, Oakland.  Interment, Mountain View Cemetery.


1902 Nov 18, San Francisco Chronicle, P12, San Francisco, California



Morris, Jacob S. – 78.



1915 Jun 18, Oakland Tribune, P12, Oakland, California

Pioneer Passes Out

Jacob S. Morris, a pioneer resident of California, whose father, J. S. Morris, laid out the town of Oroville, is dead at his home in Calaveras county after an illness of several months.  In the early days Morris came around the Horn in the ship Cumberland, the voyage from Baltimore to San Francisco taking seven months.  Leaving the bay region the Morrises settled where Oroville now is.  Brothers and sisters as well as a widow and three children survive him.  They are T. C. Morris, Mrs. Cora Courtney, Mrs. May H. Phipps, Miss Florence Morris, A. V. Morris, J. J. Morris and Mrs. Rose L. Dawn.


1930 Apr 30, Oakland Tribune, P25, Oakland, California

Monterey, April 30 – Mr. and Mrs. E. R. Grimes and Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Morris enjoyed the last week-end visiting Mr. and Mrs. Al Culson in Hayward.


1930 May 29, Oakland Tribune, P9, Oakland, California

Colusa Man Leaves Estate of $109,500

Colusa, May 29 – An estate valued at $109,500 was left by the late Joseph Johnston Morris, prominent land owner and resident of Grimes for 55 years, who died Tuesday of last week.  This is according to petition for letters of administration filed here yesterday by the widow, Mrs. Hattie C. Morris.  Also heirs to the estate are Carol E. Morris of Grimes, a son, and Mrs. Beryl Watson of Grimes, a daughter.


1930 May 23, San Francisco Chronicle, P12, San Francisco, California

Morris – In Grimes, Colusa county, May 20, 1930, Joseph Johnston Morris, beloved husband of Hattie C. Morris and father of Mrs. S. R. Watson and Carroll E. Morris, both of Grimes, a native of Plumas county, aged 66 years.  Funeral services will be held Friday afternoon, May 23, at 2 o’clock at the late home near Grimes.  Interment in Grand Island Cemetery by J. D. McNary & Son.


Findagrave Memorial:

Joseph Johnston Morris

Birth:               1864

Death:             1930

Burial:  Grand Island Cemetery, Grimes, Colusa County, California, USA

Created by: Larry K

Record added: Oct 12, 2008

Find A Grave Memorial# 30518843




Transcribed by Donna Toole.

­­­­Source: History of the State of California & Biographical Record of Coast Counties, California by Prof. J. M. Guinn, A. M., Page 444. The Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, 1904.

© 2017  Donna Toole.








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