JAMES G. MORRIS--- a well-known merchant of the town of Springwater, is a native of this town, where his birth took place on the 9th of February, 1831. His grandfather, Samuel Morris, moved from Rochester, N. Y. to Cazenovia, Madison County, where he carried on a farm during the remainder of his life, He and his wife Sally were blessed with a large family, Lyman, the father of James G., being the fourth in order of birth.
Lyman Morris was born in Cazenovia, and grew up on his father's farm, attending the district school, and growing up with a knowledge of agricultural matters of all kinds. He also learned something of the machinist's trade, and worked at this in connection with farm work. In 1833 he commenced business for himself in Springwater. and took some farm lands there, which he cleared, making a home, and therein establishing his family. There he passed the remainder of his days, departing this life at the age of sixty-three years. It is interesting to notice how the greater enterprises of the present time owe their beginnings to smaller ones incepted by early residents of a town. They endured the first hardships connected with the settling of a community, and to them is them the honor which belongs to the foundation builder. Lyman Morris was one of these, and his name will ever bring with it a tribute of respect. His wife, mother of James G., was before marriage Miss Anna Millett. She was a daughter of Samuel Millett, an early settler of Wayne County. The children in the parental home were ten in number, of whom the following-named are still living: Charles A. James G., ; Harriet A., Mrs. John Warner; Emma N. ; Benjamin F. ; and John J. The mother, after a long and useful life, closed her career in the town of Springwater.
James G. Morris was very young when his father moved to Springwater; and he therefore grew up with the village, and had a share in all its features of growth and prosperity. He was a student at the district school and made such good use of his advantages that he became an instructor himself, and taught school during seven winter seasons, farming the remainder of the year. Relinquishing the profession, he turned his attention entirely to farming, carrying it on for a time but in 1868 began business for himself, opening a small store. This he conducted alone for about a year then formed a partnership with his father-in-law, so continuing for several years. He then went into business with S. H. Worthington, but at the expiration of four years dissolved partnership, and started in business with his present partner, opening a large general store, and keeping a line of dry goods, groceries, boots and shoes, hardware, clothing, hats and caps, carpets oil cloths, coal and wood.
Mr. Morris was united in marriage in 1857 with Miss Eliza Grover, a native of Springwater, and a daughter of David H. Grover a representative of one of the old families in the town Mr. Grover was a furniture dealer and a cabinet maker, and also understood and carried on the carpenter's trade. Mr. and Mrs. Morris have one child, a daughter, Carrie G. She was graduated from the normal school in 1881, and for ten years taught in Bradford Pa., one year being principal. Later she was a teacher in Victor, Ontario County, and for three years was head of a school in Spencerport, Monroe County. Mr. Morris is a republican, and has always voted that ticket. He has been Town Clerk two years, but is not an office-seeker. He belongs to the Advent church, of which he has been a Trustee, and for fifteen years was superintendent of the Sunday-school, but has now resigned.
The Morris family. being an old and successful one, takes a prominent place in the society of Sprinngwater. He who builds up so successful a business as Mr. Morris has done naturally receives the honors of his fellow townsmen. Such men are looked up to in all local and general matters affecting the prosperity of the community, and also concerning the town's influence over neighboring towns and its position among other such factors of the State. Every man intelligence has a part to fulfill in his day and generation; and such as Mr. Morris, who have special business qualifications are the ones to whom the government looks for support in the ebb and flow of mercantile prosperity.
(Biographical Review, Livingston and Wyoming Counties, 1895. Pages 295-296)
Contributed by: Teri Cleaveland