Julius Sterling Morton

Julius Sterling Morton

Overview
Julius Sterling Morton was a Nebraska editor who served as President Grover Cleveland
Grover Cleveland
Stephen Grover Cleveland was the 22nd and 24th president of the United States. Cleveland is the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms and therefore is the only individual to be counted twice in the numbering of the presidents...

's Secretary of Agriculture. He was a prominent Bourbon Democrat
Bourbon Democrat
Bourbon Democrat was a term used in the United States from 1876 to 1904 to refer to a member of the Democratic Party, conservative or classical liberal, especially one who supported President Grover Cleveland in 1884–1888/1892–1896 and Alton B. Parker in 1904. After 1904, the Bourbons faded away...

, taking the conservative position on political, economic and social issues, and opposing agrarianism
Agrarianism
Agrarianism has two common meanings. The first meaning refers to a social philosophy or political philosophy which values rural society as superior to urban society, the independent farmer as superior to the paid worker, and sees farming as a way of life that can shape the ideal social values...

. In 1897 he started a weekly magazine entitled The Conservative.


Morton was born in Adams
Adams (town), New York
Adams is a town in Jefferson County, New York, USA. The population was 5,143 at the 2010 census. The town is named after President John Adams.The Town of Adams also has a village named Adams...

, Jefferson County
Jefferson County, New York
Jefferson County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2010 census, the population was 116,229. It is named after Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States of America, and president at the time the county was created in 1805...

, New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

. He was raised in Detroit and graduated from the University of Michigan
University of Michigan
The University of Michigan is a public research university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan in the United States. It is the state's oldest university and the flagship campus of the University of Michigan...

. He was a member of Chi Psi Fraternity at Michigan.
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Quotations

The cultivation of trees is the cultivation of the good, the beautiful, and the ennobling in man.

Arbor Day is not like other holidays. Each of those reposes on the past, while Arbor Day proposes for the future.

Each generation takes the earth as trustees. We ought to bequeath to posterity as many forests and orchards as we have exhausted and consumed.

The cultivation of trees is the cultivation of the good, the beautiful, and the ennobling in man, and for one, I wish to see it become universal.

Encyclopedia
Julius Sterling Morton was a Nebraska editor who served as President Grover Cleveland
Grover Cleveland
Stephen Grover Cleveland was the 22nd and 24th president of the United States. Cleveland is the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms and therefore is the only individual to be counted twice in the numbering of the presidents...

's Secretary of Agriculture. He was a prominent Bourbon Democrat
Bourbon Democrat
Bourbon Democrat was a term used in the United States from 1876 to 1904 to refer to a member of the Democratic Party, conservative or classical liberal, especially one who supported President Grover Cleveland in 1884–1888/1892–1896 and Alton B. Parker in 1904. After 1904, the Bourbons faded away...

, taking the conservative position on political, economic and social issues, and opposing agrarianism
Agrarianism
Agrarianism has two common meanings. The first meaning refers to a social philosophy or political philosophy which values rural society as superior to urban society, the independent farmer as superior to the paid worker, and sees farming as a way of life that can shape the ideal social values...

. In 1897 he started a weekly magazine entitled The Conservative.

Biography



Morton was born in Adams
Adams (town), New York
Adams is a town in Jefferson County, New York, USA. The population was 5,143 at the 2010 census. The town is named after President John Adams.The Town of Adams also has a village named Adams...

, Jefferson County
Jefferson County, New York
Jefferson County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2010 census, the population was 116,229. It is named after Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States of America, and president at the time the county was created in 1805...

, New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

. He was raised in Detroit and graduated from the University of Michigan
University of Michigan
The University of Michigan is a public research university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan in the United States. It is the state's oldest university and the flagship campus of the University of Michigan...

. He was a member of Chi Psi Fraternity at Michigan. After receiving his diploma in 1854, he moved with his bride, Caroline Joy French, to Nebraska
Nebraska
Nebraska is a state on the Great Plains of the Midwestern United States. The state's capital is Lincoln and its largest city is Omaha, on the Missouri River....

, which was not yet organized as a territory, and staked a claim in Nebraska City. Soon after arriving there, Morton became the editor of the local newspaper, the Nebraska City News. Morton served briefly in the Nebraska Territorial House of Representatives (1855 - 1856). He was appointed Secretary of Nebraska Territory
Nebraska Territory
The Territory of Nebraska was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from May 30, 1854, until March 1, 1867, when the final extent of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Nebraska. The Nebraska Territory was created by the Kansas–Nebraska Act of 1854...

 by President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 James Buchanan
James Buchanan
James Buchanan, Jr. was the 15th President of the United States . He is the only president from Pennsylvania, the only president who remained a lifelong bachelor and the last to be born in the 18th century....

 on July 12, 1858, a position he held until 1861. Morton also served as Acting Governor of Nebraska from December 5, 1858, to May 2, 1859.


J. Sterling Morton built a 52-room mansion that is a look-alike of the White House in what is now Arbor Lodge State Historical Park, Nebraska City, Nebraska
Nebraska City, Nebraska
Nebraska City is a city in Otoe County, Nebraska, United States. The population was 7,228 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Otoe County...

. On the surrounding estate, Morton indulged his fascination with trees, plating many rare varieties and heirloom apple trees. Respected as an agriculturalist, Morton sought to instruct people in the modern techniques of farming and forestry. Among his most significant achievements was the founding of Arbor Day
Arbor Day
Arbor Day is a holiday in which individuals and groups are encouraged to plant and care for trees. It originated in Nebraska City, Nebraska, United States during 1872 by J. Sterling Morton. The first Arbor Day was held on April 10, 1872, and an estimated 1 million trees were planted that day.Many...

. He became well known in Nebraska for his political, agricultural, and literary activities and from there was appointed as Secretary of Agriculture by President Cleveland. He is credited with helping change that department into a coordinated service to farmers, and he supported Cleveland in setting up national forest reservations.

In 1897, Morton planned and began to edit the multi-volume Illustrated History of Nebraska. He also began publishing a weekly periodical, The Conservative. Morton died on April 27, 1902 in Lake Forest
Lake Forest, Illinois
Lake Forest is an affluent city located in Lake County, Illinois, United States. The city is south of Waukegan along the shore of Lake Michigan, and is a part of the Chicago metropolitan area and the North Shore. Lake Forest was founded around Lake Forest College and was laid out as a town in...

, Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

, where he was seeking medical treatment; his wife, Caroline, had died two decades earlier, in June 1881. The Morton home and estate in Nebraska City is now a state park, the Arbor Lodge State Historical Park and Arboretum
Arbor Lodge State Historical Park and Arboretum
Arbor Lodge State Historical Park and Arboretum is a mansion, state park, and arboretum located at 2300 2nd Avenue, Nebraska City, Nebraska...

.

In 1937, the state of Nebraska
Nebraska
Nebraska is a state on the Great Plains of the Midwestern United States. The state's capital is Lincoln and its largest city is Omaha, on the Missouri River....

 donated a bronze statue of Morton to the National Statuary Hall Collection
National Statuary Hall Collection
The National Statuary Hall Collection in the United States Capitol comprises statues donated by individual states to honor persons notable in their history...

 at the United States Capitol
United States Capitol
The United States Capitol is the meeting place of the United States Congress, the legislature of the federal government of the United States. Located in Washington, D.C., it sits atop Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall...

. Morton is a member of the Nebraska Hall of Fame
Nebraska Hall of Fame
Nebraska Hall of Fame is an official list of prominent Nebraskans compiled in accordance to state law. Members include:*Grace Abbott -- social reformer and social worker....

. The J. Sterling Morton Beltway, a highway near Nebraska City, Nebraska, which is made up from U.S. Route 75
U.S. Route 75
U.S. Route 75 is a north–south U.S. Highway. The highway's northern terminus is in Kittson County, Minnesota, at the Canadian border, where it continues as Manitoba Highway 75 on the other side of a closed border crossing. Its southern terminus is at Interstate 30 and Interstate 45 in Dallas,...

 and Nebraska Highway 2
Nebraska Highway 2
Nebraska Highway 2 is a highway in Nebraska. It is a discontinuous highway with 2 segments. The western segment begins at the South Dakota border northwest of Crawford and ends southeast of Grand Island at an intersection with Interstate 80. The eastern segment begins in Lincoln and ends at the...

, is named for him. J. Sterling Morton Magnet Middle School in Omaha, Nebraska
Omaha, Nebraska
Omaha is the largest city in the state of Nebraska, United States, and is the county seat of Douglas County. It is located in the Midwestern United States on the Missouri River, about 20 miles north of the mouth of the Platte River...

 also bears his name, as do Morton College (a community college), Morton East High School, Morton West High School, and the J. Sterling Morton High School District, all located in Cicero, Illinois
Cicero, Illinois
Cicero is an incorporated town in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 83,891 at the 2010 census. Cicero is named for the town of Cicero, New York, which in turn was named for Marcus Tullius Cicero, the Roman statesman and orator....

.

His son Joy Morton
Joy Morton
, Joy Morton founded the Morton Salt Company and The Morton Arboretum.Morton grew to manhood in Nebraska City, Nebraska in Nebraska Territory. His mother, Caroline Joy, was an accomplished artist, musician, and gardener...

 was the founder of the Morton Salt Company
Morton Salt
Morton Salt is a United States company producing salt for food, water conditioning, industrial, agricultural, and road/highway use. Based in Chicago, the business is North America's leading producer and marketer of salt. It is a subsidiary of the German company K+S.-History:The company began in...

, Chicago, Illinois. He also crated The Morton Arboretum
Morton Arboretum
The Morton Arboretum, in Lisle, Illinois, covers 1,700 acres and is made up of gardens of various plant types and collections of trees from specific taxonomical and geographical areas. It includes native woodlands and a restored Illinois prairie. The Arboretum has over 4,100 different species of...

 in Lisle, Illinois in 1922. Today, Joy Morton's original 400 acres (1.6 km²) Thornhill Estate, which he acquired in 1910, has been transformed into a 1700 acres (6.9 km²) living history museum of over 4,000 different types of trees, shrubs and other woody plants. Its the mission is to encourage the planting of trees and to promote nature as a source of inspiration, wonder and joy, especially for children.

Though J. Sterling Morton was a "Bourbon" (i.e. conservative) Democrat, his son Paul Morton
Paul Morton
Paul Morton was a U.S. businessman.- Biography :He served as the Secretary of Navy between 1904 and 1905. Previous to this, he had been vice president of the Santa Fe Railroad...

 served as Secretary of the Navy
United States Secretary of the Navy
The Secretary of the Navy of the United States of America is the head of the Department of the Navy, a component organization of the Department of Defense...

 under President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

 from 1904 to 1905 as a Progressive Republican. It is worth noting that this shift is paralleled by that of Henry Cantwell Wallace
Henry Cantwell Wallace
Henry Cantwell Wallace was a United States farm leader. He served as the Secretary of Agriculture between 1921 and 1924. He was the father of Henry Agard Wallace, who would follow in his footsteps as Secretary of Agriculture under President Franklin D. Roosevelt...

, who served as a Progressive Republican Secretary of Agriculture under Harding
Warren G. Harding
Warren Gamaliel Harding was the 29th President of the United States . A Republican from Ohio, Harding was an influential self-made newspaper publisher. He served in the Ohio Senate , as the 28th Lieutenant Governor of Ohio and as a U.S. Senator...

 and Coolidge
Calvin Coolidge
John Calvin Coolidge, Jr. was the 30th President of the United States . A Republican lawyer from Vermont, Coolidge worked his way up the ladder of Massachusetts state politics, eventually becoming governor of that state...

, and his son Henry A. Wallace
Henry A. Wallace
Henry Agard Wallace was the 33rd Vice President of the United States , the Secretary of Agriculture , and the Secretary of Commerce . In the 1948 presidential election, Wallace was the nominee of the Progressive Party.-Early life:Henry A...

 who served in the same office as a Democrat under Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

.

External links