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Block house at Fort Ripley. 1895

Block house at Fort Ripley. 1895
Morrison Census Information
Estab:  February 25, 1856
Parent County:  Benton
Morrison county with county seat

Southeast region of Minnesota Southwest region of Minnesota Northwest region of Minnesota Northeast region of Minnesota Central region of Minnesota

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Morrison County

This county, established February 25, 1856, was named in honor of William and Allan Morrison. The older of these brothers, William, was born in Montreal, March 7, 1785, and died on Morrison's Island, near Sorel, Canada, August 7, 1866. He entered the service of the XY Fur Company in 1802, coming to Grand Portage, Leech Lake, and the headwaters of Crow Wing River. From 1805 to 1816 he was engaged there for a new company formed by the coalition of the XY and North West Companies. Later, through ten years, he was in the service of the American Fur Company, under John Jacob Astor, and established a series of trading posts on or near the northern boundary of Minnesota from Grand Portage west to Lake of the Woods. In 1826 he retired, and afterward lived in Canada. During his journeys as a fur trader he explored a large region of northern Minnesota. In 1804 he visited Lake Itasca, then called Lac La Biche or Elk Lake, thus long preceding Henry R. Schoolcraft in the discovery of the source of the Mississippi, as is related by Hon. J. V. Brower in vol. 7 of the MHS Collections, with publication of the full text of a letter on this subject, which William Morrison wrote to his brother Allan, January 9, 1856. This letter was forwarded to Gov. Alexander Ramsey, then president of the Minnesota Historical Society, a few days before the act was passed establishing this county.

Allan Morrison, who is also commemorated by this name, was born at Terrebonne, near Montreal, June 3, 1803, and died at White Earth, Minn., November 21, 1877. He came to Fond du Lac and northern Minnesota in the fur trade, associated with his brother William, in 1820; had charge of trading posts at Sandy Lake, Leech Lake, Red Lake, and Mille Lacs; was the first trader at Crow Wing, continuing there many years; and finally removed in 1874 to the White Earth Reservation. He was a representative in the first territorial legislature.