Chester Stephen Morey

Chester Stephen Morey

Medina, Dane County, Wisconsin, USA
Death 22 Jan 1922 (aged 74)
Burial Denver, Denver County, Colorado, USA
Plot Block 32
Memorial ID 55374559 · View Source
Suggest Edits

During the Civil War, Chester Stephen Morey enlisted 27 Feb 1864, along with 4 other boys from Medina who were Leonard Lafferty, Cassius M. Odell, Charles S. Smith and George E. White. Cassius and George were killed in action June 1864, at the Battle of Cold Harbour in VA. Leonard was wounded 27 Jul 1864. Chester Stephen Morey migrated to Denver,, USA and was founder of the Morey Mercantile Company and also the Great Western Sugar Company.

Indefatigable industry has constituted the basic element in the notable success of Chester Stephen Morey, and combined with this has been an initiative spirit that has enabled him to formulate plans, which have been carried forward through his resistless will power to successful completion. There has been no spectacular phase in his career but a steadiness and a persistency of purpose that has accomplished results and although his youthful days were passed amid pioneer surroundings in a log cabin home that had no comforts and at times almost lacked the necessities of life, he is today one of the prosperous and also one of the honored business men of Denver, well known as the chairman of the board of directors of the Great Western Sugar Company, while for many years he has figured in commercial circles as the head of the C. S. Morey Mercantile Company.

His birth occurred upon a farm in Medina township, Dane county, Wisconsin, 03 Mar 1847. He had only such educational advantages as the district schools of a frontier community afforded and then he could attend only through the winter months, when his labours were not needed on the home farm. His father had secured a claim in Dane county and the family were engaged in the arduous task of developing wild land and transforming it into productive fields. But this meant years of continued and unremitting labour and when it seemed the family had reached a turning point in their career leading to success the father mortgaged the farm to invest in a contemplated railroad that after a time went into bankruptcy and caused them to lose the homestead. This caused the family to seek another dwelling place and with their few possessions in a covered wagon they travelled two hundred miles to the little settlement of Modena, Buffalo, Wisconsin, where they again faced the conditions of pioneer life with the development of a new farm. Their first crop there proved a bountiful one and as prices were high on account of the war this gave the family a little start. Chester S. Morey continued his education in the district schools near the new home through two winters and in the summer months aided in the labours of the fields. In January, 1864, however, the news reached the little town of Modena that it must furnish four soldiers for the army. If these were taken by draft it would probably take the heads of some of the few families in the neighbourhood and to meet this contingency Mr. Morey and three young companions all under eighteen years of age, volunteered, joining Company I of the Thirty-sixth Wisconsin Infantry.

They spent a few days in barracks at La Crosse, Wisconsin, and were then sent to Madison. Mr. Morey became ill there and for a time was in a hospital, but on the 14th of June was able to rejoin his regiment, which was then before Petersburg, Virginia. He found that two of the boys who had enlisted with him had been killed and a third was wounded. Two days after reaching his regiment they went into battle, in which he narrowly escaped death. A contemporary writer has said in this connection: "His knapsack was torn from his shoulder and his waist belt severed by a bullet, which lodged in his bayonet scabbard. He took part in the battles of Strawberry Plains and Jerusalem Plankroad, after which he was again taken with severe illness, sent to City Point and thence to Emory Hospital, in Washington, where he remained until November. Meanwhile his father had been drafted and sent to Sherman's army. As soon as able to march he went to the front and remained with his regiment, which was almost constantly engaged, to the close of the war. He was on the field at the surrender of Lee at Appomattox and marched in the final Grand Review at Washington. Mr. Morey was promoted to corporal and subsequently to the brevet rank of Lieutenant for gallantry in action."

When Mr. Morey returned to his home he took with him two hundred dollars, which he had saved from his pay as a soldier. In the meantime his father had passed away at Savannah, Georgia, and thus the management of the farm and the support of the family devolved on the son. He was ambitious to improve his education and saved from his earnings whatever he could. In the winter of 1865 and 1866 he was a pupil in the schools at Waterloo, Wisconsin, and in the succeeding winter became a high school student at Portage, Wisconsin. While there, pursuing his studies he engaged in sawing wood evenings and mornings in order to pay for his board at his uncle's hotel. During the next winter he became a student in Eastman's Business College at Chicago, where he pursued a thorough course. He did not like farming and had a natural inclination for commercial pursuits, but he recognised that he must have adequate education to serve as a foundation on which to build commercial success. After studying through the winter his capital was reduced to less than fifty dollars and he accepted a position as porter in the retail grocery house of Cobb and Thorne. His ability, trustworthiness and industry won him promotion and he was given a place on the clerical force in the office. In July of that year he went on the road as a commercial traveller, representing the young but growing wholesale grocery house of Sprague, Warner and Company of Chicago, with whom he remained until failing health compelled him to resign. He spent the winter of 1871 at Clifton Springs, New York, in order to benefit his health, and in May, 1872, for the same reason came to Colorado. At that time his capital amounted to twenty-eight hundred dollars, the result of his savings as a commercial traveller, and he entered into partnership with W. L. Beardsly in the cattle business. Securing a broncho, he rode the range and himself branded about one thousand head of young stock, which he purchased. His health improved in the outdoor life and under the excellent climatic conditions of Colorado and in the summer of 1873 he again entered into business connections with Sprague Warner and Company, with headquarters at Denver, his salary to be three thousand dollars per year and expenses. His task was the development of the trade of the house west of the Missouri river. That he accomplished this task is indicated in the fact that his salary was annually increased until he was earning twelve thousand dollars per annum, and during eleven years' connection with the Chicago house he saved nearly twenty thousand dollars. In 1878 he made a very profitable sale of some Leadville real estate, which he had acquired and this rendered him practically independent. On the 1st of January, 1881, he was admitted to a partnership in the firm of Sprague Warner and Company and a branch house was opened in Denver under his direction and management. The business was thus continued until 1884, when it was incorporated under the style of the C. S. Morey Mercantile Company, with Mr. Morey as the president, manager and the chief stockholder. Under his guidance the business has become one of the largest mercantile establishments in the west and the name of Morey is largely to the mercantile trade of Colorado what the name of Marshall Field is in the Mississippi valley. His resourcefulness has caused him to extend his efforts into still other fields and he is connected with various important business enterprises and projects, prominent among which is the Great Western Sugar Company, of which he was the General Manager from the beginning of the corporation, and since the death of Mr. H. O. Havemeyer, in 1907, was president and general manager up to 1916 when, due to age and ill health he retired from the presidency and became chairman of the board. In this connection he controls a mammoth industry, constituting one of the most important manufacturing interests of the state, a history of which will be found elsewhere in this work.

Anna Louise Clough, a lady of many accomplishments, who was a daughter of John A Clough, formerly of Chicago, but who in 1870 established a real estate and loan business in Denver. To Mr. and Mrs. Morey were born a son and a daughter, John W. and Mary L., who with the father, were called upon to mourn the death of Mrs. Morey on 27 Feb 1890.

With the public life of the community Mr. Morey has also been connected. In 1891 he was chosen a member of the board of education of district No. 1 in Denver and-filled the office for three years. He had long been considering the establishing of a manual training department in the Denver schools and brought the matter before the board in January, 1892, offering the following resolution: "Ordered that a special committee be appointed to investigate and consider the subject of a manual training high school, with the view of adding a department of that kind to the schools of this district and report to the board, if desirable, a plan for the establishment of such a school." This was unanimously adopted and Mr. Morey and James B. Grant were made the committee after which Mr. Morey instituted a thorough examination of the practical side of the proposition, visiting many schools of the kind in the eastern states with a view to learning of their methods of instruction and the mechanical appliances required for their conduct. His report was so satisfactory and conclusive that the board of education accepted it unanimously 27 May 1892, and as a result the Manual Training high school of Denver was established and has since constituted an important factor in the educational facilities of the city. Mr. Morey has always been particularly interested in charitable and benevolent projects and is continually extending a helping hand where aid and assistance are needed, yet his gifts are of a most unostentatious character, frequently known only to the recipient. There are many charitable organizations, too, which have benefited by his generosity and for a number of years he was president of the Charity Organisation Society, which numbers about sixteen organizations. He continued to act in that capacity until 1899 and was also president of its board of trustees, in which office he served for many years. His work along charitable lines has, like his business career, been most systematically, carefully and therefore resultantly managed. For many years he has been chairman of the board of the Red Cross and very active in the work of the society. His son is now acting as manager of the Rocky Mountain division of the Red Cross. Successful as he has been, he has never allowed the accumulation of wealth to monopolize his time and attention. He has recognised his obligations to his fellowmen and, remembering his own early struggles, has ever been quick to encourage any individual who has shown a willingness to do. His friends name him as one who stands a man among men.

Family Members

Gravesite Details 2 markers- husband of Anna L


In their memory
Plant Memorial Trees

Sponsored by Ancestry


  • Maintained by: VDR
  • Originally Created by: Joyce Escue Culver
  • Added: 23 Jul 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 55374559
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Chester Stephen Morey (3 Mar 1847–22 Jan 1922), Find a Grave Memorial no. 55374559, citing Fairmount Cemetery, Denver, Denver County, Colorado, USA ; Maintained by VDR (contributor 47292775) .