JOHN T. MORRISON was born in Jefferson County, Pennsylvania, on December 25, 1860. He graduated from Wooster University in 1887, and earned his LL.B. degree from Cornell Law School in 1890. Morrison established a successful legal career in Caldwell, Idaho, where he also became involved in the Presbyterian Church. He served five different times as commissioner to the national assembly of his church, and he was influential in the establishment of the College of Idaho. After the school opened, he was a professor of English and history for two years, and served as the school's chairman of the board of trustees, a position he held from 1893 to 1904. Morrison entered politics in 1896, as an unsuccessful candidate for the state legislature. He was chairman of the Republican State Central Committee from 1897 to 1900, and also served as the committee's secretary for a short time. Morrison won the 1902 Republican gubernatorial nomination and was elected governor of Idaho. During his tenure, a pure food law was enacted, as well as a foreign corporation bill; state examinations of weights and measures were initiated; a reform school at St. Anthony was founded; and bonds were secured for a supreme court at Lewiston. After an unsuccessful reelection bid, Morrison left office on January 2, 1905, retired form politics, and returned to his law practice. Governor John T. Morrison died on December 20, 1915, and was buried at the Morris Hill Cemetery in Boise.

Sources:

Idaho Office of the Governor

Idaho State Historical Society

Idaho State Historical Society Gubernatorial Manuscript and Archive Collections:

  • Archive Collection of Governor John T. Morrison, AR0002.0006.
  • John Tracy Morrison papers, 1883-1969. Manuscript Collection. MS0318.
  • John T. Morrison scrapbook, 1903-1904. Manuscript Collection. MS2.01/23.

The Political Graveyard

Sobel. Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.