Descendancy Narrative of John Morgan by Charles J. Vella, Ph. D



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Morgan History

Taken from Bible records, family records, letters, county records and files in Washington., D.C.

Name – Hardinson Morgan usually called Hardin.

Raised tobacco, cotton on a 240 A. plantation he owned 1 mile east, ½ mile north of Boonville, Yadkin Co. North Carolina. In Iowa was a carpenter, Mason and shoe cobbler.

Last address: Liscomb, Iowa

Birthplace: -----Virginia

Birth was Sept. 1st, 1816

Father’s name: Perry Morgan

Mother’s name: Dicca -----from Ireland

Had better education than many of his day. On the trek to Iowa of 4 families from near Boonville, N. C. in 1869 Hardin was asked to take charge because he was better educated and he had more business experience. In his family record book many of his expressions used seem odd to us of today. All births are recorded as “borned”.

Married Oct. 7th, 1841 in Stokes Co. N.C.

Wife: Elizabeth White

Wife’s Father: Burgess White

Wife’s Mother’s maiden name: Elizabeth Knight

Wife born in ---- Virginia

Born March 25, 1823

Hardin and his wife played the violin. She was well educated in the Bible. Had a remarkabel memory.

They were parents of 11 children, 4 sons were Mason F., Andrew Jackson, Wm. S. and James H.: daughters were Nancy A., Mary J., Millissa F., Martha A., Sarah Louisa, Emma L. and Ellen A. All children will be marked with Roman numerals in fol’g histories.

Political Affiliation – Democrat.

Religious affiliation – Christian Church.

Hardin was secretary and Treasurer of the Christian Church at Boonville, N.C. for many years.

The first known ancester of Hardin Morgan was John Morgan who came from Wales and fought in the American Revolution. Next known ancester was Perry Morgan of Amherst, (Henry or Henrice County) Virginia. Noah, Soloman, “Polly” and Hardinson are known Children of Perry and Dicca Morgan. Neighbors of the Morgans in Virginia were the Burgess White family of eight. The Morgans left Va. first for Stokes County North Carolina. The Whites followed later. Elizabeth White married Hardin Morgan the year 1841, her parents and 4 of their children moved to Jackson County, Ohio. In 1845 the Whites moved to Bluffton, Indiana where they are all buried but one son, Andrew who died in Mo. From family records we learned that the Whites and Knights were English. Their parents came across the Atlantic ocean in a sail boat which was shipwrecked in a storm. It took them 6 months to reach the colonies, nearly died of thirst and starvation on the trip. Many years later a cousin of Elizabeth White-Morgan named John Tumblin went from Va. to England and collected $92,000. as his share of a $16,000,000 estate in England. He wrote his cousin in Liscomb, Iowa that she also was heir to same am’t. It was not until 1882 that any of her family could be made to realize that the story was true. Her son A.J. Morgan paid for lawyers in N.Y. to investigate. By the time her claim was proved the money had reverted to the Crown on account of the statue of limitations in Eng. Lands that Elizabeth could have claimed in Northeastern parts of N.C. had been taken over by squatters who had improved the land by fences and buildings. The Gov. of N.C. had declared the land state land so the squatters had bo’t the property and were given a clear title.

Four generations back a White had married a Scot. Other Whites were all English.

Hardin as a young married man was employed on Tyra Glen plantation near Winston-Salem, N. C. This plantation owner was supposed to be the richest man in Yadkin Co. N.C. He owned a large track of land and over 700 negro slaves. Hardin was overseer of 50 negroes, a gang who worked entirely in the tobacco fields. Mr Glen was the largest mule raiser in the country. The negroes would not work without “hog meat” so Mr. Glen raised several hundred head of hogs each year.

Hardin and his wife Elizabeth lived after their marriage in Rockingham Co., Stokes Co. and Yadkin Co. N.C. They owned a trio of slaves, father, mother and a son. They did not believe in slavery so not only fed, housed and clothed “Ran, Fan and Snip” but paid them wages. Hardin did not favor the Southern rebellion and did not enlist until he was forced to do so when he was 47 yrs. old. In Washington, D.C. records state that he was, “a private and corporal, Company N, 5th Regiment N.C. Senior Reserves, Confederate States Army, enlisted 30 June 1864 (also shown as 7 July) at Madkinville, N.C. The last company muster roll for Jan. and Feb. 1865 shows his presence. His name last appears on a Register of Confederate States Military Prison, Hospital, formerly General Hospital No. ?. Salisbury, North Carolina dated March 14, 1865.”

This prison hospital at Salisbury in Rowan Co. N.C. was a terrible place. Northern prisoners died from neglect and starvation.

In Iowa Hardin was recognized by the G.A.R as a Union Veteran. On Hardin’s return to his plantation he found all his former friends, even his slaves despised and hated this family who sympathized with the north. Hardin decided to sell his plantation and follow two older daughters to Marshall Co. Iowa. He sold the 240 acre plantation with a new frame house built by himself and his sons, a tobacco factory, drying house and all their belongings for $500.00 cash to three “free negroes.” Free negroes were slaves who were allowed by their masters to make ax-handles, ploy beans, etc., after their work for their master was done, for other slave owners. When they had accumulated $400. their master’s accepted that sum and gave them their legal freedom under state law. It was impossible for Hardin to sell to any white families. Few had any money after the war ended.
The following is copied from Hardin Morgan’s records found in his diary after his death.

“The Great Trek of Four Families”

The Morgan family comprising 10, including Father and Mother: next comes Mose Cordle’s family comprising 8, the next was Isham Copeland , wife and son John, next comes Ike and Susie Gibbs, then comes a new married couple Lewis Hall and Manda Cordle one of Mose’ daughters.

These families started from Boonville, Yadkin Co. N.C. on Oct. 17 , 1869 (?) in covered wagons. They were 2 nights and three days traveling to Greensborough, N.C. Nights were spent on pallets on the floor in school houses at Brookstown, Forsythe Co. and Wicker, N.C. They elected Hardin Morgan Capt. and Head spokesman of the company. He bought the train tickets for all costing $79.00 for adults and $40.00 for half-fare. Small children traveled for free. Hardin was the only one who had ever seen a train before and none had ever been in as large a place as Greensborough but Hardin. The party took the train from Greensborough at 10:00 at night, arriving at Richmond, Va. At 11 A.M. next day. Left at 1 P.M. for West Point, Va. 35 miles away. Took 2 hrs. At 3:30 that evening the party took passage on the Boat Kennebec under Captain Fremont sailed 215 miles on Chesapeake Bay to Baltimore, Maryland. The children were fascinated by the boat and ran from cabin to cabin shouting “this is my room, this is mine,” until a big black mammy appeared and said, “Heah, you chilluns skeedadle out of heah!”

The four families were conducted to the hold of the ship. Andrew Jackson Morgan and John Copeland clambered up to the bunks on the walls like monkeys. All the others slept on pallets on the floor. These plallets with other articles were carried in napsacks, hung across their shoulders. Many were seasick. The Morgan family was invited to a dinner on the boat but Mother Morgan would not allow her shabbily dressed family to accept. Father Morgan, Nancy, Lou and James looked into the dining room and were completely dazzled by the sight. After 8 hrs. at Baltimore the party took a train for Chicago. At Belair their train ran onto a Ferry Boat and they crossed the Ohio river. After leaving Chicago the train crossed the Mississippi river on a wire bridge reaching from bank to bank composed of 6 heavy wire cables. The first and only railroad bridge crossing the river at that time. The trian crawled across slowly, one could hardly feel it move. The bridge sagged down almost touching the water. Train from Chicago had long wooden benches for seats in the cars. The party reached State Center, Iowa at 11 P.M. Hardin found three teams and lumber wagons to haul the party to New Providence on Nov. 20, 1869 where they stayed for 1 yr.

Hardin’s wife, daughter Ellen and son James rode in one wagon. Hardin, Nancy, Mason, “Mattie,” A.J., Emma & Louisa walked the entire distance of 18 miles to New Providence.

Liscomb was a 2 yr. Old town and seemed a good place to locate. Hardin Morgan and Isham Copeland bought 2 lots “side by each” and built homes for their families. A vacant place was left between the two homes. The two men intended to start a grocery store on the vacant space. Building their homes took their last cent. Hardin brought his family to Liscomb Nov. 7, 1870 then went to Marshalltown, Iowa where he helped build the brick round house for the Iowa Central railroad.

The family existed on very low rations that winter. Clad only in their own homespun clothes they no doubt suffered from the cold. Mason, Melissa, Nancy, “Mattie” and A.J. worked out as hired hands and hired girls. Males were pd. $15 to $20 per mo. Girls were pd. from $2.00 to $2.50 per week. The family followed the southern rule of turning all their earnings over to their parents until they reached their majority. A.J. often came home after working for 9 months, turning every penney over to his father.

Music is a main feature in all southern homes. Hardin’s family were all excellent singers. In the evenings at Liscomb they always sang while Hardin played the violin, then read from the Bible. In the summer the family gathered under a willow tree in their yard where they sang many old songs. The mother sang soprano and father bass. Hardin made a bench underneath the tree and chairs were always bro’t out for the neighbors who gathered to hear the singing. The songs were all learned by rote, the harmony being fitted to them by the various parts. Some of their songs were: “Camptown Races,” “Kitty Wells,” “Fol Lol Lol De Lite O,” “Shool, Shool, Sholi Rule,” “Kitty May,” “Beautiful Stars In Heaven So Bright,” as well as all the old southern songs everyone knows. Other old songs are: “Far Away, Silver Threads Among the Gold, Old Kentucky Home, Old Black Joe, Bring the Harp to Me Again, One of the Sweet Old Chapters, Listen to the Mocking Bird, Evaline, Annie Laurie, Nellie Gray, Onward Christian Soldiers and Kemo, Kimo.”

The Morgan family reunions started as far back as 1885 and continue to date. Officers elected in 1954 at Lions Club House Johnson, Iowa were:

Pres. Dale Hauser, Des Moines, Iowa

V. Pres. Rose Morgan-Peterson (Mrs. Karl N. Peterson) Des Moines

Sec’y Fern Hauser-Ruring (Mrs. Ernest Ruring) Gowrie, Iowa

Treas. Paul Powers, Des Moines

Historian E. Beulah Hauser, Des Moines

A Plaque honoring Hardin and Elizabeth Morgan is in the Co. Historical log building at Riverview Park, Marshalltown, Iowa.

Elizabeth White-Morgan died May 26, 1896 following a long illness with pleuresy from kidney infection.

Hardin Morgan died Feb. 1, 1899 from old age delibity.

Both are buried on the Morgan lot in Liscomb Cemetery.

They lived to celebrate their golden wedding at Liscomb, Iowa, in 1891 and a family group photo was then taken of all 8 living children. Max Morgan later had deceased daughter Millissa’s photo inserted in this group photo.


Sketch of the Morgan Family

The Hardin Morgan Family consisted of four boys and seven girls. Sold their tobacco and cotton plantation, near Boonville, North Carolina in 1869.

With the plantation went a tobacco factory, a drying house, a new frame dwelling, almost completed, and all other property except the family home-spun clothing.

The price received for the above was $500., paid by three free Negroes, who had bought their freedom before the Emancipation Proclamataion. They were the only ones in possession of any money. The inducement to sell out and move was ostracism by the returned Rebel Veterans. Mr. Morgan was a Union sympathizer.

He was impressed into the Rebel Army. On refusing to fight in the round-up of escaped Union prisoners from Salisbury prison (similar to Andersonville) he was court martialed and sentenced to be shot. By the intercession of his wife, Elizabeth Morgan, two nephews, Lieutenants in the Rebel Army, and the fact that Lee had surrendered, he was pardoned.

In Iowa, he was recognized by the G.A.R. as a Union Veteran.

The trip to Iowa was made by wagon to Greensborough, by train to West Point, by Boat

to Baltimore, by train to Chicago, and by train (C & NW) to State Center. The passenger coach from Chicago contained wooden benches for seats.

Left State Center for New Providence by wagon the same day of their arrival. Riding in the wagon were Mother Morgan, with little Ellen, a babe in arms, and five year old Jimmie. All the rest, including Father, walked to New Providence, a distance of 18 miles. In the group were Nancy, Mason, Mattie, Jack, Lou, and Emma. Mollie, (Mrs. Spear) and Melissa had preceded the year before. Sidney, killed by an accident, was left in the cemetary at Boonville. Little Ellen passed away at New Providence in 1870.

The following year, 1870, the family moved to Liscomb, founded by John W. Tripp, two years prior.

Here Mr. Morgan built a house, which remained their home for the rest of the parents’ lives.

Five of the original Morgan family and sixteen grandchildren were school teachers.

Andrew Jackson (Jack) Morgan was born in N.C. in 1865. Moved to Iowa with his parents in 1869. Got his education in the Liscomb Schools, learned telegraphy under Joe Willets, and got his first position at Oskaloosa on the C.R.R.I. Here he met Sadie D. Gorsuch of New Sharon and they were married two years later, 1882, setting up house-keeping at Carleton (now Popejoy), a station on the B.C.R. & N. The next move was to Ossian and then to Iowa Falls, where he engaged in the Real Estate business for a number of years.

His next move was to Atascadere, California, where his wife passed away in 1936. For the last 4 years he has resided at Berkeley, California, with his daughter, Loena. At this residence he passed away Dec. 1, 1948, lacking 6 days of being 93.

The services were held at Berkeley Hills Chapel, Dec. 4, 1948, followed by cremation. Later his ashes shall be buried in the Liscomb Cemetary in the Morgan family lot.

The surviving children are Ross, Danville, Illinois: Lulu Cambell and Leona Deaver, San Francisco; Dwight, Gillette, Wyo.; Lyle and Loena at Berkeley, Calif.; J.B. (named after J.B. Jennings) deceased; Ruth Talbot, of Saudi, Arabia; and a brother, James H. Morgan, Seattle, Washington. He leaves 29 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. Pneumonia was the immediate cause of his death. He was unafraid of death & his passing was quiet and peaceful.
1368 Fulton St.

San Francisco, Cal. 17

Dec. 20th, the shortest

day of the year. 1943

Dear Birdie,

Sure was glad to get your good letter and card, and will try and drop a few lines in reply, your boys are sure scattered, nearly all over the globe. I hope they will all come home safe and sound, but we never can tell. Dwight has 5 in the service, and they are scattered about like yours, one in North Africa, one in the Hawaiian Islands, and the others we do not know where they are. Lulu’s boy Frank is located in New Orleans, in a technical Dr. School, being sent there by the Gov., with all expenses paid, he was on a hospital ship for about a year, and was shuttling back and forth between New Zealand and Guadalcanal for nearly a year picking up wounded soldiers, giving them first aid, then tanking them to the Gov. hospital, he made 3 trips from here back and forth down there, it took 3 weeks to make the trip, one way, as it is 600 miles below the equator. He seemed to stand the work very well. The Gov. is fitting him up for a first class physician and surgeon. Lyle’s two boys are both in the service, one located at Pearl Harbor, the other one, Jackie, the youngest one, he does not know where he is, and has never heard from him but once since he was inducted, in the service some 6 months ago then he did not dare give his location, and that is the same way with Garry Deaver Leonas, 2nd, son. He joined the Marines two years ago last Nov. Her oldest boy, Roger, is an air-plane mechanic, and is now located at Washington, D.C., but will be through there right after the holidays and then will go wherever the Gov. sends him as he will have finished his education in that line.

Jay served as a plane mechanic at La Jaunta, Colo., until he was given his honorable discharge some 3 months ago and is now located at his old home town King City, Ca., where he was in business for 10 years before he went in the service. His health failed him and he is in rather bad shape yet, with ulcers of the stomach but is doing light work at the flying field there in King City. His wife is working also but I do not know what her work is. Leona Deaver has been working in the ship yards for nearly a year as a solderer and got so good in it the Gov. advanced her as an electric welder. She gets 34 cents an hour. Leona taught school at Richmond for several months at $175 per month but she wanted to get a life certificate so she could command higher wages, and is now attending Berkeley College over in Berkeley but commutes back and forth some 50 miles each day as she could not find a room over there. Lulu the one I am making my home with is doing the most critical work of any of them as she is drawing the plans for building ships as you know she has studied along that line for the past four or five years. I-E studied as an artist, which takes in the work the Gov. wanted, and gets $200 per month. It is very hard and exacting work and she has to lay off one or two days each week and rest up. She also is renting this apartment house and with my help gets along with it all very well. Lyle is still working on the gold dredging at Knight Ferry, Calif. We look for him over at Christmas time. Ross is located at Mt. Carmel, Ill., where he lived many years still railroading. He is 61 years old. Dwight is still at Gillette, Wyo., for his 20th year in the same school and I just got a letter from him yesterday. He is quitting the teaching game when his school year is up next June, so he writes me, and is going into the sheep business. In fact he has quite a start in that business already. They still own their ranch 18 miles south of Gillette and as they have a creek runing across the north part of it and have plenty of water the year round makes it an ideal place for ranching, also have lots of coal on the creek as well as right in their back yard at home. One vein 13 feet thick. I will tell you how you may know my birthday as it will go down in history for generations, Pearl Harbor Day, Dec. 7th. Well, I think I have given you about all the news for this time. I see you are keeping just as busy as ever. Well, that’s good for you if you don’t overdo it. We are praying the boys will all be home sound and well by or before this time next year. Be careful. Take good care of yourself. The flu is getting to be quite an epidemic all over the country. Don’t let it get a start on you or it might prove serious.

With love and best wishes.



Uncle Drew
Itinerary of the Morgan Family as they trekked from Boonville, Yadkin County, by team and wagon to Greensborough, Gilford County, North Carolina: also two other families: Mose Cordle, his wife and children, and Lewis Hall and Wife. Father was chosen to take charge of the entire outfit, as he was better educated than any of the rest of the outfit. And after the tickets were purchased, which Father looked after, all the tickets were truned over to Father, and he answered for the entire lot.

First day out, we reached Brooktown, Forsythe County, North Carolina. Second day, we reached a place by the name of Whicker near Kernsville. Third day, we reached Greensborough, Gilford County, took the train at 10 o’clock at night, reached Richmond, Va. At 11 o’clock next day. Left Richmond at 1 p.m.., went to West Point where we took passage on a fine steamer named Kennebeck, Captain Fremont, sailed 215 miles, and reached Baltimore, Maryland, next morning at 8 o’clock; remained there, left there at 4 p.m.., crossed the Ohio River at Bellaire 7:30 a.m., passed Ganesville at 10:30 a.m., reached Columbus at 1 p.m., passed Union City at 5 p.m., arrived at Logansport, Ind. at 9 p.m. Snowing very hard. Left Logansport at 2 a.m. Sat. arriving at Chicago, Ill. 9 a.m., crossed the Mississippi River 4:20 p.m. on wire suspension bridge, reaching from one bank to the other – train sagged down almost to the water and ran just so you could tell it was moving. Arrived at State Center our destination by rail 11 p.m. Father hired 2 large outfits on Sunday early in the morning and we drove the 18 miles against a very hard wintry blast coming down from the N.W.; it was cloudy all day and ice in the sloughs, and the coldest day we had ever experienced. As there was no room on the wagons, Mat, Mase and I had to walk almost the entire distance. I was 12 years old. Mother, with our dear little Ellen, James, and Father rode most all the way. We stayed different places for the first night, but our family all went to Aquilla Speers who had been out in Iowa a year, also sister Lissa. We remained there but a few days till Father rented an old shack of a place of Elmira Owend whose husband was a Quaker Missionary and was spending some 2 or 3 years in England. We remained there little more than a year, then moved to Liscomb, Marshall County, Iowa, where the younger children grew up and got their start in their life’s work, most all school teachers… The girls sent me a write-up of father’s ancesters, and makes him out to be a Hollander – where they got this informaation seems to be quite mythical, as they state further in their write-up, he is of Welch descent. Father Morgan, i.e. Hardin Morgan, was employed in his early married life on the Tyra Glen plantation, the richest man supposedly in the entire country, and owned a large tract of very rich Yadkin river bottom land, and some 700 negroes. Father was overseer of some 50 negroes, and there is where he got interested in raising tobacco, as his gang worked entirely in the tobacco fields. Glen was the largest mule raiser in the entire country; also several hundred head of hogs as the niggers would not work without hog meat. After he and Mother were married, Mother never saw or heard of her people for many years as they were decidedly against her marriage to Hardin Morgan. They gave her her choice to go with them to Bluffton, Indiana, or be ostracized from the family. She chose the latter and they pulled out the next day with teams and left her behind, and 2 of her brothers rode all night back to talk with her and see if they could not induce her to come along with them; that was her brother Jack and Andrew. And she never saw any of her folks from that day until she and they were old gray headed people, when Uncle Jack, through a cousin in Virginia, got Mother’s address, and came out to see her, bringing Uncle Andrew from Happy Valley, Missouri, with him… All of which I have written has been related to me by our DEAR MOTHER…

Respectfully submitted.

A.J. Morgan
The Great Treck of 4 Families

The Morgan Family comprising 12, including Father and Mother; next comes Mose Cordle Family comprising 8, the next was Isham Copeland – wife and son John, then comes a new married couple Lewis Hall and Manda Cordle, one of Mose’s daughters. We started from near Boonville, Yadkin County, North Carolina. Was on the road 3 days and 2 nights before we reached Greensboro where we took the train at 10 o’clock at nite. However father being better educated and having more experience, owing to his dealing in his manufacturing and selling tobacco, was chosen Caption and Head Spokesman of the entire outfit. And when the tickets was bought, which cost $79. for all full fare tickets and $40. for half fare tickets. Mat and I came through for ½ fare, although Mat was above the age limit of 12 years. Jimmy and little Ellin came through free. None of us but father had ever seen a train or large town before and you can bet your bottom dollar we were wild eyed. We reached Richmond, Vaginnia 11 o’clock the next day. Left there at 10. Reached West Point and took the boat Kennebeck 3:30 same day. Reached Baltimore, Maryland 8 o’clock next morning. Remained there 8 hours. Left at 4 p.m. Our Caption’s name was Fremont. Lots of people got sea sick and kept the Limber Legs busy with their mops and pails. We was offered a grand dinner on the boat about 9 p.m. free of charge, but we were so shabbaly dressed Mother would not let us go in the dining room. Father, Nancy I and I think sister Lou, went to the door and looked in at the table and it just dazzled our eyes as we had never sean any thing to compare with it before. My recollection is, Father and I think Nance went in and dined, but I’m not certain about it.


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