Thomas Jefferson Morrow

THOMAS JEFFERSON MORROW, the well known druggist of Baxter Springs, is acquainted throughout Cherokee County, and has many stanch friends who hold him in highest esteem. He is a native of Randolph County, Missouri, where he was born May 25, 1850, and is a son of John S. and Melsena (Richardson) Morrow.

Jesse Morrow, the paternal grandfather of our subject was born near Nashville, Tennessee, where he followed the occupation of a farmer until 1830, in which year he accompanied his brothers, William and Jefferson, to Macon County, Missouri, and located on a farm. Jefferson Morrow organized Macon County and was its first treasurer, and Maj. William Morrow served as its first sheriff. The Morrow family was among the first to settle in that section and at one time were owners of a township of land, bearing the name of Morrow township. John S. Morrow, father of our subject, was born in Tennessee, August 17, 1824, and there received his early education in the common schools. Removing to Macon County, with his father, he assisted in the work on the farm until the breaking out of the Civil War. The Morrow family had been lifelong Democrats. John S. Morrow sincerely believed the nation was sovereign to any State and did not wish to see a rupture, but at the same time was opposed to the methods advocated by the North for the settling of the slave question, feeling that the slaveholders had certain rights as property owners. At this time every citizen of Macon County was required to go on record, registering either as a law-abiding Union citizen or as Southern sympathizer. Here arose the gravest issue in John S. Morrow's life, and after careful deliberation he decided to register as a law-abiding Union citizen and to remain neutral in the event of a conflict. He registered and made his decision conscientiously, but the Federalists, knowing his political belief, felt that at heart he was a Southern sympathizer, and made him the victim of continued depredations involving the ruin of his property, and home. Realizing that the war was inevitable and deploring the marauding and retaliatory methods that were being practiced by the militia and bushwhackers of that section, he enlisted in the Confederate Army under Gen. Joe Shelby. He fought through the South with this regiment and returned with General Price, taking part in the campaign in Kansas and Missouri. At the close of the war, Gen. Shelby desired to invade Mexico for the purpose of founding a colony which would be a home for the Southerners who did not care to remain in their former homes after defeat. While in Texas, General Shelby spoke to his men, stating that he could not command them to go with him, explained his plan and called for volunteers; those wishing to accompany him were to step to one side and those wishing to return home to the other. Here was enacted one of the most pathetic scenes of the war. Men who for five long years had been comrades in arms and united in their devotion to their leader were suddenly called upon to make a choice between continuing the warfare, of which all were tired, or of returning to their homes and families to follow peaceful pursuits. John S. Morrow elected to return home and did return, immediately taking up the task of restoring his estates to their former condition. He resumed the occupation of a farmer and stock-raiser, and is now living in Callao, Missouri, at the advanced age of 80 years. In 1845 he was united in marriage with Melsena Richardson, a daughter of Schuyler ad[sic] Minerva Richardson, of Howard County, Missouri. Mrs. Morrow died in 1875, leaving four children, as follows: Thomas J.; John H.; who is conducting a general merchandise establishmente[sic] at Waitsburg, Washington; J. W, a physician of Portland, Oregon, and C. J., a physician of Kansas City, Missouri.

Thomas J. Morrow received his early education in the public schools of Missouri, supplemented by a two-years' course in Magee College at College Mound, Missouri. He then took a course at the State Normal School at Kirksville, Missouri, graduating with the class of 1872, after which he successfully engaged in teaching school in Macon County for a period of four years. He than spent a period in the drug business at College Mound, at the end of which time he moved to Kansas City, Missouri, and engaged in the drug business for a period of 15 years. He next moved to Joplin, Missouri, and after a short residence there located in Baxter Springs in 1899. He established a drug store here and carries a complete stock of drugs, wall-paper, paints, oils, glass, stationery and school books. He enjoys a fine trade and ranks among the foremost business men of the city.

On January 25, 1875, Mr. Morrow was united in marriage with Willie T. Lowry a daughter of Dr. William T. Lowry of College Mound, Missouri. They are consistent members of the Baptist Church. Mr. Morrow has been a lifelong Democrat, but never has sought office nor engaged actively in politics. He has been a member of a number of secret and fraternal organizations, and is now master of Baxter Lodge, No. 78, A. F. & A. M.; and is also a member of the Royal Arch Chapter.


History of the Cherokee County Kansas and its representative citizens, ed. & comp. by Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904, transcribed by Brandon Plott, student from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs Kansas, 3-4-97.


[TOC] [Biog. Index] [1904 Index] [Cherokee Co.] [Archives]
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