EDMUND N. MORRILL, the thirteenth governor of Kansas, was born in Westbrook, Maine on February 12, 1834. His education was attained in the common schools of his native state, and at the Westbrook Academy, where he graduated in 1855. Three years later, he moved to Brown County, Kansas, and built a sawmill business, but during the drought of 1860, the sawmill was destroyed by fire. During the Civil War, he served as a private in Company C, 7th Kansas Cavalry, was commissioned a captain and commissary of subsistence, and was brevetted a major upon his discharge in October 1865. Morrill entered politics in 1857, serving as a member of the Kansas Territorial Legislature, a position he held again in 1858. He served as county clerk of the District Court from 1866 to 1870, and was county clerk from 1866 to 1873. He was a member of the Kansas State Senate from 1872 to 1874 and again from 1876 to 1880, serving as senate president in 1877, and was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1883 to 1891. He also donated his time and knowledge in the founding of the Morrill Free Public Library in Hiawatha, and in the founding of the first bank in Brown County. Morrill won the 1894 Republican gubernatorial nomination, and was sworn into the governorship on January 14, 1895. During his tenure, a board of irrigation was authorized, and a $30,000 appropriation was secured for irrigation development. Also, an appellate court was organized, and issues concerning drought, bankruptcy, mortgages laws, and high interest rates were all addressed. After losing his reelection bid, Morrill left office on January 11, 1897, returning to his various business interests in the real estate and banking industries. He served as president of the Morrill and Janes Bank, and later at the First National Bank of Kansas City. Governor Edmund N. Morrill died on March 14, 1909, and was buried at the Mt. Hope Cemetery in Brown County, Kansas.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
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