James Lewis Morgan, a prominent citizen of DeSoto, is one of the early pioneers of Johnson county. He was born in Hardin county, Kentucky, January 21, 1833, and is a son of Merriman and Mahala (Roberts) Morgan, the former a native of Virginia, and a descendant of old Virginia stock, and the latter a native of Pennsylvania. Merriman Morgan removed from his Virginia home to Kentucky in 1828, when he was about twenty years of age. He was a farmer and school teacher and spent his life in Kentucky. The mother also died in that State. James Lewis Morgan is the oldest of a family of eleven children, three of whom are living as follows: George Dallas and William Buchanan, both of whom reside in Kentucky, and James Lewis, whose name introduces this sketch. James Lewis Morgan spent his boyhood days in his native State, remaining there until 1858. He then came to Johnson county and preempted a claim in Lexington township, which under the law at that time cost $1.25 per acre. He was one of the first settlers in that section of Johnson county, and is the only man living in Lexington township, who was there when he came. He was there during the border warfare days and served in the Kansas State militia during the Price raid, and on another occasion, during the Civil war, he served in the militia on guard duty at Olatha. He was engaged in freighting across the plains accompanying one train as far as Fort Union, New Mexico and back to Fort Leavenworth. He is one of the successful farmers and stockmen of Johnson county, and accumulated 640 acres of land, most of which he has divided among his children. In addition to being a large land owner, he is also a heavy investor in stocks and bonds of an industrial and municipal nature. When Mr. Morgan located in Johnson county, that section was just being opened up to settlement, and the Shawnee Indians were the principal inhabitants of that part of the Kaw Valley. Buffalo were plentiful in Central and Western Kansas, and he has killed hundreds of them. While on a Buffalo hunting expedition on the Solomon River, he killed five buffalo without leaving his tracks. He is one of the real pioneers of Kansas, and has seen many changes since coming to this State. Mr. Morgan was married March 7, 1867, in Johnson county, to Miss Frances Dicken, a native of Surry county, North Carolina, born February 17, 1843. She was a daughter of Ambrose A. and Rebecca (Hodge) Dicken, both natives of Virginia. The Dicken family came to Cass county, Missouri, in 1859, and in 1862 removed to Kansas, settling in Douglas county, where they remained until 1866, when they located in Johnson county. Frances Dicken was born in Surrey county, North Carolina, February 17, 1843. At the age of sixteen, she left there with her parents, traveling by land intending to go to California, but stopped in Missouri three months, then to Arkansas where her mother died, leaving her with the care of the family. In 1861, she moved back to Cass county, Missouri. Her strong force of character was best exemplified by her unflinching service to her family life and her conscientious duty to her neighbors. It was a hard field of experience in which her character was schooled, the primitive ways of the frontier, and the dreadful experiences attendent upon border ruffian warfare. (A battle with Quantrell's men was fought before her door.) But all these hardships softened her feelings toward humanity. Her heart was often moved at the memory of those days and she often spoke her disapprobation of those who incited the people to war. In the spring of 1862, they moved to Douglas county, Kansas, then removing to Johnson county, Lexington township in 1866. On March 7, 1867, she was united in marriage to James L. Morgan. To Mr. and Mrs. Morgan were born seven children, as follows: Anza May, married John T. Hundley, DeSoto, Kans.; Lewis N., farmer, near DeSoto, Kans.; Ambrose M., was drowned at the age of twenty; James P., farmer, near DeSoto; Frances, married Fred M. Gordon, one of the county commissioners of Johnson county and resides at Eudora; Edwin D., farmer, near DeSoto, and George A., who has served in the United States Marine Corps eight years, and is now stationed at Vera Cruz, Mex., under Gen. Funston. He saw service in China, and during his experience as a soldier has been stationed in various parts of the world. Mr. Morgan is a Democrat and has steadfastly supported the principles of that party since casting his first vote in Kentucky for James Buchanan, in 1856. At the organization of Johnson county, he was appointed the first constable of Lexington township by Governor Denver, in 1858, and has served two terms as township treasurer. He retired from active business in 1905, and is now enjoying well earned rest, after an active life of honest endeavor. He is one of the substantial men of Johnson county, who has done his part nobly and well, in the development of the great State of Kansas. He is a member of the Grange.Pages 240-242 from a supplemental volume of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed October 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM196. It is a single volume 3.
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