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In modern ages, and to a large extent in the past, banks have constituted a vital part of organized society, and governments, both monarchical and republican, have depended upon them for material aid in times of depression and trouble. Their influence has extended over the entire world, and their prosperity has been the barometer which has unfalteringly indicated the financial status of all nations. Of this important branch of business Mr. Morley is a worthy representative. He is now carrying on business in that line in Severance, and has made his institution one of the most reliable financial concerns in this section of the state.

Mr. Morley was born in Butler county, Ohio, November 23, 1852, and is a son of Roger and Margaret (Kilkenny) Morley, both of whom were natives of Ireland. In 1857 the family removed to Doniphan county, Kansas, settling upon a farm in Wolf River township, where they experienced all the hardships and trials incident to life on the frontier. The father is still living upon that farm, which he has transformed into a valuable and productive tract of land. His wife died June 23, 1896, but he is still a well preserved old gentleman.

John M. Morley spent his youth upon the farm in Doniphan county, for he was only five years of age at the time of his parents removal to this state. He attended the district schools, and having acquired a good preliminary education there he supplemented it by a course in St. Benedict College, in Atchison, Kansas, where he pursued his studies two years. On leaving that institution he accepted a position as a clerk in a general store in Severance, Kansas, owned by John T. Kirwan. This was in 1872. The period of his clerkship covered seven years. He then became the assistant cashier in the bank, and in 1890 started in business on his own account, forming a partnership with J. A. Dillon, under the firm name of Dillon & Morley, proprietors of a general store at Severance. This connection was continued until March, 1891, when Mr. Morley sold his interest to his partner, and in August, 1892, he founded the Bank of Severance. Since that time he has engaged in a general banking business, and is now at the head of one of the solid financial institutions of Doniphan county. The capital stock is fifteen thousand dollars and there is a surplus of twelve hundred. He conducts business along progressive but safe lines, and his honorable methods insure the confidence and support of the public, while his keen discrimination and enterprise are the qualities that have brought to him a well merited success.