Buena Vista County, IA
USGenWeb Project

Extracted from:  Wegerslev, C. H. and Thomas Walpole. 
 Past and Present of Buena Vista County, Iowa
Chicago:  S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1909, p. 348-51.

Transcribed by Paul Nagy

Biography of  Albert F. Morse

Albert F. Morse, whose administration as postmaster has given universal satisfaction to his fellow townsmen in Newell, well deserved to be mentioned in this volume as one of the representative citizens of Buena Vista county.  He was born in Will county, Illinois, near Joliet, August 12, 1858.  His parents are Adams P. and Anna (Morse) Morse, the former a native of Vermont and the latter of New York.  The father was a son of Ira Morse, who was also born in the Green Mountain state, and who died there in middle life.  He married Rebecca Adams, who lived to an advanced age and reared a large family.  The maternal grandfather of our subject was a native of the Empire state, and followed the activities of farming and died in middle life, but his wife was well advanced in years when called to her final rest.


Adams P. Morse devoted his time and energies to farming and on leaving New York removed to Illinois during the early period in the development of the latter state.  He bought land in Will county and there carried on general farming.  When the Civil war broke out he enlisted in Company K, One Hundredth Illinois Infantry, and served for about two years.  He was honorably discharged on account of illness and died soon after his return home, not living to see the close of the war which indicated that the preservation of the Union was an assured fact.  His wife survived him and died when about thirty-eight years of age.  They were both Methodists in religious faith and were people of the highest respectability.  Their family numbered three children: Albert F.; Palatiah Adams, of .Manhattan, Illinois; and Flora E., the deceased wife of Alfred T. Cole.


Albert F. Morse was reared in Will county, Illinois, and early became familiar with the work on the home farm.  He began his education in the district schools, afterward attended public school elsewhere and later became a student in Grand Prairie Seminary, Onarga, Illinois.  He was engaged in teaching school for several terms and at the time of his marriage turned his attention to farming in Will county.  He came to Buena Vista county in 1885 and purchased eighty acres of land in Coon township, on which he lived for several years.  On selling his farm he began clerking in Newell for John Forbes & Company, with whom he remained for several years, while later he was employed as salesman for Hoyne & Ervin until 1906, when he was appointed postmaster by President Roosevelt, and is now the incumbent in that position.


On the 19th of March, 1879, Mr. Morse was married to Agnes E. Cole, a daughter of Thomas and Mary (Russell) Cole, who removed to Buena Vista county about 1888, and settled on a farm near Storm Lake, owning there two hundred and forty acres.  A few years later they removed to the city of Storm Lake, where the father died.  His wife survived him until 1903, and passed away at the age of eighty-three years.  His father was a native of Lincolnshire, England, where he spent his entire life.  The maternal grandfather of Mrs. Morse was Michael Russell, a native of Herefordshire, England, where he owned a vast timber tract, on which he employed a large number of men.  When well advanced in years, he came to America and lived with his daughter in Will county, where he died at the remarkable old age of one hundred and nine years.  His children were Eliza, Mary, Ann, Kate, Hannah and William, three of whom died as the result of accidents.  In the family of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Cole there were eight children:  George W., Alfred T., Edwin P., Edgar J., Sidney L., Mary A., Agnes E., and Kate L.


Unto Mr. and Mrs. Morse were born two sons:  Albert E., who married Stella Brown; and Leighton R., who is a high school student in Newell.  The parents are members of the Methodist church and Mr. Morse belongs to the Masonic fraternity.  He also holds membership in Newell Lodge, No. 232, I. O. O. F.  His political support is given to the republican party, and he served as township treasurer for four or five years.  He has always been loyal in citizenship and progressive in his support of measures for the general good and in the community he is recognized as a valued resident, well meriting the respect which is uniformly accorded him.  Whatever success he has attained is attributable entirely to his own efforts, for he started out in life empty handed and has worked his way upward through the careful utilization of his innate talents and the improvement of his opportunities.