Mary E. Sanborn Morgan, the daughter of Polly Andres Colby and David Morgan Jr., was born 12 October 1818 at Bow, Merrimack County, New Hampshire. She married Robert J. McCurdy who had been her school teacher, 7 May 1840 at Bow, Merrimack County, New Hampshire. She and her husband moved to Iowa to a farm near Marion in 1855 where Mary died following the birth of her seventh child, William, on 12 August 1858.
Her daughter Mary states that her mother must have been of a gentle temperament for she could not recall in the nearly 14 years before her death hearing her once speak in a harsh or loud voice. She could punish however, when necessary, remembering one occasion when "she stood the four older youngsters in a line and switched our bare legs and feet so thoroughly there was no forgetting the ceremony afterwards."
Mary died in August, 1858, when Willie the baby was only six weeks old. At four weeks she was up and about the house though not strong. She went upstairs one day to help Lyra and Mary make the beds, and lifted some bedding; almost immediately she exclaimed, "I have hurt myself", went down stairs, fell across her bed and never rose again. The eldest daughter, not yet 14, carried the screaming baby back and forth, the suffering in her mother's eyes only equaled by the terror and despair in her own. But help came soon. Mrs. Brainard from through the woods, took baby home with her for a week, although she had a large family of her own. Then Mrs. Elijah Upton from the other side of Marion, who had only a daughter Della, took the baby to her home where he remained for a year. Mary had lost consciousness almost immediately, recovering only once long enough to say "Where's my baby?" and died two weeks later from what Dr. Ristine said was rupture of a blood vessel on the brain.
Mary Sandborn Morgan was a descendant of some of the earliest immigrants to New England who came from 1630 to about 1660 into the Massachusetts Bay Colony from England. Her ancestry is a fascinating study of Colonial America.