WILLIAM H. MORRISON
The following was taken from Early reminiscences of Indianapolis : with short biographical sketches of its early citizens, and a few of the prominent business men of the present day by John H. B. Nowland Indianapolis : Sentinel Book and Job Print. House, 1870, pages 216-218.
Compliments of David F. James
|The younger and only surviver of three brothers so
prominent in the early history of this city, was born in the city of New
York. When a boy he came with his elder brother, the Late Judge
James Morrison, to Charleston, Indiana, where he remained until his
brother's election as Secretary of State and removal to this place in
the year 1829. He was then quite young and a single man, and has
remained a citizen since that time.
His first business, after acting for some time as his brother's clerk in the office of Secretary of State, was that of merchandising in connection with John G. Brown, then one of our prominent and wealthy citizens. Their house of business was on the northwest corner of Washington and Pennsylvania streets, where for several years he was a successful and popular merchant, enjoying the confidence of all who knew him. During this time he was a stockholder in and a director of the branch of the State Bank of Indiana in this city.
He possesses many of the fine traits of character so conspicuous in his brother, Judge Morrison. Warm and devoted in his friendship; and when the citadel of his heart is once gained and possessed by a friend, no effort of enemies can change it. He is also strong in his prejudices; but if he finds himself in the wrong he is quick to make the amende honorable, and set himself aright. He never suffers selfish or groveling feelings to mar the cordiality of affection of interfere with motives so upright and honorable.
Like his brother is has contributed liberally, and without stint, of his means for the erection of churches of all denominations, and especially for the construction of those two beautiful temples of worship, Christ's and St. Paul's Episcopal Churches. I understand his house has been the home and stopping-place for ministers for several years.
Mr. Morrison has also contributed tot he growth and prosperity of the city by the erection of a fine residence on Circle street. He also built that splendid business house on the northeast corner of Maryland and Meridian streets, known as "Morrison's Opera House," at a cost of "65,000: but this fine building was doomed to destruction, and it was entirely destroyed by fire on the evening of January 17th 1870, taking fire about 9 o'clock, and while John B. Gough was lecturing to a large and fashionable audience within its walls.
The smoke had scarcely disappeared from the smouldering debris before he had, with his accustomed energy, contracted for the rebuilding on the same site another fine business house. He is now President of the "Indiana Banking Company." I called at the bank a few days since and found him at his desk, giving to his business the same attention as was his want to do some thirty years ago, and with the same dignified and courteous deportment so characteristic of him.