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 • Dalhart
 • Dallam County
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Jesse "Jess" Morris
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Birth: Jun. 12, 1878
Williamson County
Texas, USA
Death: Jun. 22, 1953
Dalhart
Hartley County
Texas, USA

Jess Morris a pioneer plains musician. Born in Williamson County, Texas June 12, 1878. During his years at Bartlett, Texas he divided his time between school, ranching, and fiddling. Jess Morris studied under Professor Klotz in Austin, and under the celebrated Professor Ingersoll at Valaparaiso, Indiana, but said he would never be anything but a cowboy fiddler. He organized his first band at sixteen. A guitar, a bass fiddle, and Jess' fiddle. The combo was in great demand and frequently paid a hundred dollars for a night's performance; musicians were scarce and could name their own price. They played at many big ranch balls and went as far as Trinidad, CO. and Las Vegas, NM. The dancing usually lasted from sunset to sunrise with girls coming from as far away as fifty miles. He recalled one dance that went on for a week. Everbody went home exhausted, but it was worth it. Big "program" dances were annual events; such as the Elks New Year's Ball in Dalhart. Women planned their costumes a year in advance and the grand march was led by a prominent ranch couple. The people of the area could count on big celebrations and dances. The Fourth of July picnic was climaxed with a dance at Tascosa schoolhouse. The XIT cowboys at Channing gave a Christmas Ball. The cowboys furnished the turkey and trimmings while neighbouring women brought dessert. Old copies of The Dalhart Texan listed Dalhart couples attending this dance. Jess Morris was employed on XIT, LS and LIT Ranches as a wolfer during the winter and hunting wolf dens in Spring. He sometimes captured several lobo pups in one den. The county paid $10 a head for them, while the ranch added another $15. he said it was almost as lucrative as fiddling. Jess Morris was one of the great musicians of the plains. John Lomax took a recording of hisfiddling and singing "Old Paint" and other cowboy ballads for preservation in the Library of Congress. Book of Years Dallam & Hartley Co. History Jess Morris, Texas Panhandle Cowboy Fiddler and Singer "Ridin 'Ol Paint and Leadin 'Ol Ball" copyright 1942. Featured in Life Magazine June 1, 1942 PPs 78&79. Featured in author Stephen Wade's book "The Beautiful Music All Around Us" copyright 2012 University of Illinois, Chapter 12 Jess Morris: Boiled Shirt and Cowboy Boots Page 327. Jess Morris traveled a great deal. he wrote to his parents from Tucson, AZ both Mexico and Cuba (during Pancho Villa's time). Jess lived with Ann & Newt Cole in his later years. 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Edward James Morris (1834 - 1921)
  Lucy Lee Hughes Morris (1842 - 1915)
 
 Siblings:
  Edward James Morris (1857 - 1912)**
  George Alvey Morris (1870 - 1954)*
  Samuel Leonidus Morris (1872 - 1956)*
  Lucy Lee Morris Killen (1874 - 1938)*
  John Albert Morris (1876 - 1906)*
  Jesse Morris (1878 - 1953)
  Lulah Lee Morris Frederick (1881 - 1930)*
  Anna Laura Morris Cole (1884 - 1955)*
 
*Calculated relationship
**Half-sibling
 
Burial:
Memorial Park Cemetery
Dalhart
Dallam County
Texas, USA
 
Created by: Cory Miller
Record added: Jul 18, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 113982442
Jesse Jess Morris
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Dennis Alan Deel
 
 
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-Anonymous
 Added: Jul. 4, 2015

- Cory Miller
 Added: Jul. 18, 2013
 
 
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