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MORRIS, STEPHEN DECATUR (1819–1898). Stephen Decatur Morris, lawyer, early settler, and railroad advocate, son of Mary (Batchelor) and Aquilla Morris, was born in Halifax County, North Carolina, in 1819. After studying at the University of North Carolina he went to Coosa County, Alabama, where he studied law, was admitted to the bar, and, on January 5, 1842, married Mary Elizabeth Bradford. He brought his family and slaves to Texas in 1848, and settled in Rusk County near Henderson. He and his brother, William Wright Morris, were interested in promoting railroads in East Texas and in developing Rusk County and Smith County resources. Abut 1871 he movedto Troup, where he collaborated with his son-in-law, Erasmus M. Hannah, in getting the International-Great Northern Railroad to pass through the town. Morris died there on October 16, 1898.


John Bennett Boddie, Historical Southern Families (Redwood City, California: Pacific Coast, 1957-). W. W. Morris Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Mildred Webb Bugg


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

Mildred Webb Bugg, "MORRIS, STEPHEN DECATUR," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 26, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.