THE MORRIS FAMILY ON THE NORTHSHORE II

In 1919, John Wesley Morris Sr, was 50 years old, when he got into a fight with some Alger Smith men on the train between Two Harbors and Knife River. He was thrown off the train. As John was a huge man, and very strong, it must have taken quite a few of them to throw him off. No doubt John Morris Sr felt some animus toward the railroad after the way they’d dealt with him.

Journal News: In 1920 the state railroad and warehouse commission authorized the Duluth & Northern Minnesota Railroad (Alger Smith) to close down its line. … Read more…


THE MORRIS FAMILY ON THE NORTHSHORE – I

THE MORRIS FAMILY ON THE NORTHSHORE

In 1869, Wesley Morris was born in Outagamie County, Wisconsin. By the 1890 census, his older brother, Johnathan Morris, had died, and he was given, or took, the name John Wesley Morris. From a young age, he worked the Wisconsin rivers as a “river pig,” jumping from log to log during log drives on the rivers and living in a floating wannigan (shack on a raft).

In the late 1880s or early 1890s John Wesley Morris met Dorthea, an orphan whose family had died in an epidemic. She was ethnically Dutch and worked at … Read more…


Twists and Turns of History

History has many strange twists and turns. Looking into my wife’s family tree – I came across the odd tale of Joan Dingley. I’d never heard of her before, and she may just be a young lady who got involved with a tailor – without benefit of marriage – or the tale might be a bit different.

It seems Joan was a laundress – a royal laundress – for King Henry VIII. Joan had a child out of wedlock. The King’s tailor, a man named Malte, claimed the child – which was followed by gifts of land and money from … Read more…


Northshore

Northshore

Winter can get long in the north country. Sometimes we go down to the cities to take a break. This time we went north for a little physical and spiritual renewal.

It’s not too far north of us, about a hundred miles. It is an area familiar through family connections and ancestry – the north shore of Lake Superior, between Duluth, and the Canadian border.

Over one hunderd years ago, my mother’s family removed from northern Wisconsin to northern Minnesota, following the white pine forests. They were loggers. My great grandfather did well at first, having a camp with … Read more…