The Alpena News, February 25, 1928

 Long Rapids Pioneer Cleared, Made 4 Farms


By Frances Garvey

Editor Farm Department


Like the tall vigorous pines which fell before their blows as they cleared away the virgin forests, so are the stalwart pioneers of Long Rapids falling before the reaper of death who has visited that community frequently the past few months. 

Last of these fine men who helped to make Long Rapids was Walter Morrison, Sr., farmer and township officer and good friend and neighbor of that township for nearly half a century, whose death occurred Saturday, February 18 at his farm home.

Church Crowded

Fitting it was that hundreds of friends from city and county should gather Wednesday at the Congregational church at Long Rapids to pay their tribute to Walter Morrison, the capacity of the little church which Mr. Morrison had helped to build being tested far beyond its capacity for Mr. Morrison had earned that tribute through an exemplar life.

Men with whom he had served as supervisor from city and county and men who had been fellow lodge members as well as neighbors were there, and acting as pallbearers were those who had been friends of years.  These were Representative A.H. Green, Colin M. Turner, William Snyder, Richard Coombs, Peter Wilson, and John Mussel – names identified with Long Rapids and Green since the earliest days.

Descendent of a Poet

Walter Morrison was one of those stalwart men of Scotch birth having been born in Edinburgh, January 28, 1845, his father being Walter Morrison, also, while his mother, Maggie Burns Morrison, was a descendent of Robert Burns, the poet.  At the age of three years, he came to Canada with his parents where he continued to reside until 1886 when he came to Alpena County.

On March 13, 1878, nearly 50 years ago, he married to Isabel MacFadyen who survives Mr. Morrison.

Cleared Four Farms

Their first home in this country was on the Potter farm now known as Rogers Brothers farm, No. 2 in Green township.  They cleared a large part of this farm before removing to what is now the Walter Richardson farm. 

The next move was to the Morrison homestead at Lachine which is now owned and operated by A.B. Morrison, his son.  All of this farm was cleared and created a beautiful farm through Walter Morrison’s endeavors as was also the present Morrison farm near Long Rapids, formerly the Elmer Soper farm.

For 40 years, Walter Morrison threshed throughout this county, previous to which he had threshed in Canada.  From one end of the county to the other, his threshing machine outfit was known and welcomed.  About three years ago, he gave up active work, turning it over to Walter Morrison, Jr., who has since continued the business.

Served As Official

In addition to being a good neighbor and friend, Mr. Morrison found time to serve his community in various official capacities, chief of which has been his service as supervisor of Long Rapids, which office he held continuously from and including 1923.  At the October meeting, 1927, Mr. Morrison was an interested attendant.

Seven children were born to Mr. And Mrs. Morrison, all of whom survive their father.  These include Mrs. Robert Keyes, Albert C. Morrison, Douglas L. Morrison, and Walter A. Morrison of Lachine, Mrs. Neil Nevins of Greenwoods, Mrs. William Keyes of Lansing, and Mrs. S.E. Dus of Pontiac.


The elder Walter Morrison and Isabel MacFayden Morrison

The elder Walter Morrison's and Isabel MacFayden's four daughters

Ab Morrison and his team of horses with a skid of logs

The Morrison house before and after a fire February 10, 1917. It is the house shown next as Ab Morrison's house. When I get information on it's location I'll post it.

The Morrison house with family members on the front porch. It is identified as Ab Morrison's house. The people are not currently known. If anyone knows how to identify anyone please let me know. My mother told me a few days ago that the house she knew as Ab Morrison's house was was on the west side of M-65 just north of M-32. When I was a kid it was always the house with the deerheads on the front porch. I don't know if Ab rebuilt on this site or not. When I get information on this house's location I'll post it.

A photo of Ab Morrison in the foreground and Dougal Morrison on the left with three other hands. Rich Lomba sent these scans. I will see if he can get higher resolution scans. They may allow identification of people. These old black and white photos have remarkable details that show up under high resolution scanning.

Dougal Morrison's hunting camp. The participants are, left to right: Charles French, the camp cook, not otherwise identified, Fred LaLond(e?), Dougal Morrison, Jack Stinson, Ab Morrison, Earl Duffy. I believe it is dated 1934.

This photograph is titled as Dougal's baseball team. It is undated. According to Rich Lomba Dougal is the man on the left with his weight supported on the baseball bat. Ab is the man in the white jersey. I guessed the guy in white was Doug. He sure looks like a younger version of the fellow identified as Dougal in the photo on the left. There certainly is a strong family resemblance among the members of the Morrison clan.


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