Thomas F. Morrison, a Chanute lawyer of prominence and extensive practice and widely known in the political circles of the state, comes of Irish ancestry on the paternal side, though this branch of the Morrison family has been established in this country over 300 years and originated with emigrants from Ireland who settled in Virginia in its earliest Colonial days. During all of that long period it has remained distinctively a Southern family. Mr. Morrison was born in Henry county, Missouri, June 19, 1874, and is a son of Samuel Morrison and wife, whose maiden name was Nancy Phelps. The father, a native of Greene county, Tennessee, was a farmer by vocation and removed from his native state to Kentucky, thence to Missouri, and from there came to Kansas, in 1880. He died soon after coming to this state. During the Civil war he served in the Seventh Tennessee cavalry of the Union army and was captured at Fort Pillow by General Forrest, but was exchanged in a short time. He was a Republican in politics, but took no part in party affairs. He and his wife were the parents of six children. James Morrison, father of Samuel Morrison, was also born in Tennessee. James Phelps, maternal grandfather of Thomas F. Morrison, was a Virginian by birth, but removed to Kentucky, where he died. He was a captain in the war of 1812.
Thomas F. Morrison was educated in the common schools, at the Kansas State Normal School at Emporia, at the University of Kansas, and the University of Nebraska, where he graduated in the law department in 1903. He was a student at the University of Kansas in 1901 and 1902. The family being deprived of the father's support and care while the son was a mere lad, there early devolved upon him heavy responsibilities and cares and the necessity of assisting in the support of the mother and family. Yet he was ambitious for an education and a professional career, and despite all discouragements and seemingly unsurmountable difficulties he determinedly and vigorously strove to reach the goal of his ambition, and was not denied his reward. Part of the money to defray his expenses while a student was earned as a teacher. Following his graduation in law he opened an office at Chanute and there began the practice of his profession. He had located there when the oil and gas boom was at its height and from the first enjoyed a splendid practice, which in the meantime has grown to be extensive. His legal ability and success have been such that he has gained more than a local reputation and is known as one of the best legal advocates of southern Kansas. He entered politics in 1908 as the Democratic candidate for state representative and was elected as such in a Republican county. While a member of the house he served on three important committeesthe judiciary committee, oil and gas committee and the committee on municipal corporations. He was the Democratic minority leader in the house on all administration measures. Mr. Morrison was the nominee for the office of attorney-general of the state in November, 1910, and is one of the most prominent workers in the Democratic party in Kansas. He is attorney for the Hydraulic Pressed Brick Company of Chanute and serves in the same capacity for two of the leading banks of Neosho county.
On April 26, 1910, Mr. Morrison was united in marriage with Miss Suzane, daughter of Thomas McMannus, who resides in Ireland. Mrs. Morrison came to the United States with her brother; they are both communicants of the Roman Catholic church. Mr. Morrison is a loyal and enthusiastic member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and has held all the offices of that order.Pages 1316-1317 from volume III, part 2 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 December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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