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Sam Morrison

Melton Mowbray, Melton Borough, Leicestershire, England
Death 18 Aug 1895 (aged 67)
Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie County, Iowa, USA
Burial Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie County, Iowa, USA
Memorial ID 184664269 · View Source
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Omaha Daily Bee, August 19, 1895, Page 3:

Council Bluffs News - Blind Sam Morrison died yesterday morning at 8:45 o'clock at St. Bernard's hospital, where he had been taking treatment for a number of months past. For years he was one of the most familiar figures around the city. He came here in the early days as a stage driver, and in 1868, when the old volunteer fire department was organized, became a member. At that time the department consisted of one house, at the corner of Pierce street and Glen avenue, and the apparatus was as primitive as most of the apparatus found in frontier towns. At length, after serving for years as a volunteer, he became driver of the Bluffs City steamer when the paid department was organized, and later on was chosen engineer.

The last drive he took was about the time the water works system was started into operation, about fifteen years or so ago. For some time his eyesight had been failing, but his fellows overlooked what few mistakes he made. One night an alarm came in from the corner of Avenue B and Ninth street, and he drove the hook and ladder truck to the place. He had to ask one of the other men to drive the truck back to the house, and the next day was given a leave of absence to go to St. Louis and get treatment for his eyes. It was of no use, and shortly after his return he became entirely blind.

Everybody in town knew him and had a good word for him. He made the city building and the North Main street engine house his headquarters for a number of years. He had a bed at the engine house, and almost any day could be seen walking about the streets with the aid of a cane. He knew the streets almost as well as a man with good eyesight, but school children and others who chanced to come along would frequently lead him along.

Several months ago he commenced to fail in health rapidly, as the result of spinal trouble, and he was taken to the hospital. For several weeks past it has been known that his death was only a matter of a short time.

Omaha Daily Bee, August 20, 1895, Page 3:

Council Bluffs News - Sam Morrison, the blind fireman who died Sunday, a short time ago furnished his fellow Odd Fellows the following outline of his life:

"I was born in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, England, June 15, 1828. I came to the United States in 1854; joined the volunteer fire department of this city in 1868; went into the regular service of the department on pay in 1872. Was nominated into Council Bluffs lodge No. 49 Independent Order of Odd Fellows September 27, 1872; did my last days work September 7, 1886; have been blind since September, 1887. My brother, William Morrison, lives at Leicester, Leicestershire, England."

The funeral services are to be held this evening at 7 o'clock, and will be under the auspices of the Odd Fellows and the Veteran Fireman's association.

Omaha Daily Bee, August 21, 1895, Page 3:

Council Bluffs News - Last evening, when the shadows were softly gathering over the city, an immense concourse of people assembled around No. 3 engine house, where the venerable Sam Morrison, the blind veteran fireman, had made his home for so many years. The funeral services were held in Estep's undertaking rooms, Rev. Mr. Hooker of the Trinity Methodist church officiating. The rooms were filled, as was the sidewalk and street. The minister spoke feelingly and eloquently of the long years of faithful service rendered by the dead man, and told again how he was stricken with blindness while in the discharge of his duty. His gentleness and uncomplaining fortitude while bearing his heavy affliction were made subjects for some tender remarks. When the services were completed the casket, covered with flowers and flags, was borne to the hearse by the firemen. The members of the fire department, the Veteran Firemen's association to the number of about fifty, and the Odd Fellow's lodge, of which he was a member, followed the cortege, the fire bell tolling softly as the procession passed. An immense number of carriages joined the cortege as it passed the engine house, and the line reached almost the full length of Oakland avenue. The interment was made in Fairview. The services at the grave were brief, merely the ritual of the church. With the first sounds of the clods rattling upon the coffin hundreds of heads were bared and bowed, and a silent, but eloquent tribute was paid to the brave old fireman.




  • Created by: phillipsp
  • Added: 26 Oct 2017
  • Find A Grave Memorial 184664269
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Sam Morrison (15 Jun 1828–18 Aug 1895), Find A Grave Memorial no. 184664269, citing Fairview Cemetery, Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie County, Iowa, USA ; Maintained by phillipsp (contributor 47611520) .