Morris, William Wright (1805–1883)

By: Claudia Hazlewood

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: April 1, 1995

William Wright Morris, judge, legislator, and planter, was born in North Carolina in 1805. In 1840 he moved to Alabama, where he taught school and studied law until 1847, when he brought his family and slaves to Texas and settled three miles north of Henderson. He became district judge in 1854 and in 1859 was appointed to represent Rusk County in the Eighth Legislature to fill the unexpired term of John N. McClarity. Morris was particularly interested in promoting railroads in East Texas and in the development of Rusk County resources. Clay discovered on his land was used in making pottery and brick. He died at his plantation home on June 3, 1883, and was buried at Henderson. Morris County, established in 1875, was probably named in his honor.

John Bennett Boddie, Historical Southern Families (Redwood City, California: Pacific Coast, 1957-). Zachary T. Fulmore, History and Geography of Texas As Told in County Names (Austin: Steck, 1915; facsimile, 1935). W. W. Morris Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
  • Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
  • Politics and Government
  • Judges

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Claudia Hazlewood, “Morris, William Wright,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 03, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

April 1, 1995