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 • Venango County
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Stephen Morse
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Birth: Dec. 10, 1820
Otsego County
New York, USA
Death: Jan. 5, 1888
Venango County
Pennsylvania, USA

Stephen Morse was born Dec. 10, 1820, at Burlington, N.Y. He was a son of Nathaniel and Elizabeth Cummings Morse. Young Stephen was the third of six children. He spent his first 18 years in the Burlington area which was near the home of James Fenimore Cooper, the famous novelist of whom Stephen could relate many interesting reminiscences.
In May, 1839, the Morse family moved from New York State to Plum Township, locating in present Chapmanville. The journey was made in two weeks and young Stephen rode a three-year old colt.
Stephen's father acquired 200 acres from Ezekiel Chapman. Stephen took over the southwest 70 acres on which a man named Horace Day had previously cleared three acres and built a house which was just across the fence from the Morse house. Stephen's homestead was the place now owned by Mr. and Mrs. James Bradley and family.
In 1842 Stephen married Hannah Gates of Todsville which is near Cooperstown, N.Y. Stephen had taught school in Warren County, Pa., and it was in that county that he met Hannah who was also a schoolteacher. Hannah came to Chapmanville in 1840 or '41 and taught school in Diamond for awhile.
Stephen eventually cleared his farm and set out a large apple orchard in 1845. He secured his young apple trees from his uncle Joseph Morse who had settled near the Stone Springhouse Corners in Cherrytree Township. Stephen carried these little trees on his back to Chapmanville. Indeed a few of these old trees still stand, though not many.
In 1851 Stephen built the barn which still stands on the Bradley place. According to Stephen's only surviving child, Albert J. Morse, 90, of Titusville, this barn is the oldest barn in the Chapmanville area today.
Stephen and Hannah had the following children: William Pitt Morse, Maryett Morse, John Morse, Nathaniel Morse, Amelia Morse and Jane Morse. Four of these died quite young: John died in 1846, aged 14 days; Maryett died in 1854, aged 9 years; Jane died in 1858, aged nearly 3 years; and Amelia died in 1865, aged 12 years. William and Nathaniel both reached maturity and married.
On October 20, 1855, Mrs. Morse died of flux. It seems that the cellar of John Armstrong, who lied at the bottom of the hill west of Chapmanville, had filled with water during a wet spell and this condition caused an epidemic of the flux in the neighborhood. It was fatal to several of the area people.
Marries Again in 1856
In 1856 Stephen again married, his second wife being Elizabeth Smith of Townville who was also a schoolteacher. it was again through the teaching profession that Stephen met his second wife. She was teaching at the time in the original Chapmanville schoolhouse.
Stephen and Elizabeth had four children: Stephen Morse, Joshua Morse, Mrs. Effie Brown and Albert J. Morse. As before mentioned, Albert is the only child yet living. Albert used to own his father's place in Chapmanville until he sold it in 1954. then he and Mrs. Morse have made their home in Titusville since.
Stephen's father had commenced proceedings to secure a state deed for his property. However, he died in 1870 before getting the deed, and it was issued to Stephen. Most deeds of Chapmanville property owners can be traced back to Stephen's state deed.
In 1872 Stephen had a new house built. Robert Pettigrew carpentered the structure. He planed the lumber by hand and also matched it. The old house had stood in what is now the front yard of Bradleys.
Stephen Morse was an honest and industrious neighbor and a conscientious citizen. He was a hard worker and a man of thorough practical views and excellent judgment. His labors on the farm were always done in season and his farm and methods of work were models of well directed effort. he maintained his large apple orchard in fine shape and he also had a nursery in which he raised many fruit trees.
He was a lover of good books and was well read on the current events of his time. At that time there was a small circulating library in Chapmanville. Stephen read nearly every book in it.
The young men of the community knew him as "Uncle Steve," and remembered him as a man who experienced particular pleasure in seeing them develop their better traits of character and in encouraging them by practice as well as precept to become industrious and useful men.
Served as School Director
Stephen served a term as Plum Township school director. Quite an issue once came up concerning school affairs. The Sunville Academy building had been built at quite a cost in 1873. After Sunville acquired a borough charter in 1879, naturally its district became independent and it assumed the heavy debt of the academy. One or two directors and some other people wanted the Sunville district brought back into the township. Stephen Morse and another director, John H. Alcorn, were staunchly against this proposal and were successful for several years at least in keeping the township free of the extra burden of debt.
Stephen also served a short while as assessor around 1880.
The congregation of the Chapmanville Methodist Church bought a one-half acre lot from Stephen in 1878, and here they built the large church building which still stands. Mr. Morse received $100 for the lot. However he donated $25 towards the new church, thus making the actual cost $75.
A well known calamity that occurred in Titusville was when the P.T. Barnum circus tent was wrecked by a bad storm on Sept. 22, 1885. It just so happened that Stephen and his son, Albert, were in the tent when it fell. Stephen instructed Albert to stand still and keep watching so as not to get hit by the poles. The wet canvas fell on them and neither was injured.
Mr. Morse's second wife, Elizabeth, died of consumption on June 21, 1880. She was in her 51st year.
Marries Third Time
In 1886 Stephen married a third time. The lady was Mrs. Eliza Root who of course moved into the Morse home and assumed the household duties.
One time Mr. Morse was troubled with a serious stomach ailment. In December, 1887, he again became sick and was attended by the same physician who doctored him before. The doctor concluded that it was stomach trouble again, and he treated him accordingly. As the days went by, Mr. Morse grew worse and developed a fever. The family then decided to summon a different physician.
The second doctor examined Mr. Morse and was alarmed to discover that the sick many didn't have stomach trouble, but had typhoid fever instead. However, it was too late and Mr. Morse died the next morning which was Jan. 5, 1888.
His last services were conducted in the community's Methodist Church which was very crowded with the people in attendance. Burial was in the old Morse family cemetery, located a few rods south of the family home.
Mr. Morse's widow Eliza, lived for many years afterward. She died in Titusville at the ripe old age of 92 on Jan. 22, 1921.
Morse Cemetery
Venango County
Pennsylvania, USA
Maintained by: Ever_thy_GREATEST
Originally Created by: Amy Smith
Record added: Dec 20, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 102402706


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