Daniel Webster McMorris

Daniel Webster McMorris
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"History of Seattle From the Earliest Settlement to the Present Time." Vol. III. Charles Bagley, Ed. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1916. pp. 694-697.


Daniel Webster McMorris, court engineer of the city of Seattle, occupies a position of importance in the city government and is discharging his duties with faithfulness and ability. He was born on the i8th of November, 1864, in Coles county, Illinois, a son of Elias James and Martha Ellen (McKenzie) McMorris. His ancestors on the paternal side emigrated from Scotland to America before the Revolutionary war and settled in Virginia. Subsequently members of the family removed to Ohio, where the birth of Elias James McMorris occurred. His wife was also of Scotch descent, her ancestors com- ing to this country from the same section of Scotland as the McMorris family. The McKenzies also settled in Virginia, whence representatives of the family removed to Indiana, where Mrs. Martha Ellen McMorris was born. She died July 2~. 1913, when seventy-one years of age, and Mr. McMorris died on the 27th of April of that year, when seventy-four years old. Both passed away on the Pacific coast, where they had resided for many years, as they emigrated to California in 1871, parsing through Chicago during the great fire.

Daniel W. McMorris received his education in the grammar schools of California and in the high school at Dayton, Washington. In 1887 he was draftsman in the office of the chief engineer of the Oregon & Washington Territory Railroad Company, and during the two succeeding years was chief draftsman for that company. In 1890 he was engineer in charge of bridges and in January, 1891, he became connected with the engineering depart- ment of the city of Seattle. For two years he was draftsman but in 1893 became inspector, which office he held for the following two years. In 1895 he entered the employ of the engineering department of the federal government and was instrument man on topographical surveys at Forts Flagler, Worden and Casey. In 1896 he was made assistant city engineer of the city of Seattle and relocated the Cedar river pipe line from Swan lake to Beacon Hill. From 1898 to 1904 he was junior engineer in the United States engineering department and from 1905 to 1906 was United States assistant engineer in that department. While connected with the engineering work of the federal government he was engaged in the construction of fortifications at Forts Flagler and Ward, on Puget Sound, and in 1906 was in charge of fortification construction on Corregidor island in the Philippines. He was given leave of absence and returned to Seattle and on obtaining a position as district engineer in the city engineering department he resigned as United States assistant engineer. He was later appointed field engineer and superintendent of construction and in November, 1907, was made principal assistant city engineer. He was executive officer for the engineer- ing department of the city during the years of greatest construction activity. In 1910 and igii he was principal assistant to V. G. Bogue, engineer of the municipal plans commission of Seattle, and in 1912 he was promoted court engineer of Seattle, which position he holds at the present time. He is not only an excellent engineer but he also has a detailed knowl- edge concerning the problems that confront the engineering department of this city and the needs of the city. The various promotions which he has gained have been the reward of proven ability and of sincere devotion to the public interest, and his record in his present position is one of which he has every reason to be proud.

Mr. McMorris was married Jaiuiary 4, 1888, at Dayton, Washington, to Miss Ella N. Edington, a daughter of James A. and Ellen (Scott) Edington. Mrs. McMorris is a native of Marshfield, Missouri. The Edingtons came from Tennessee and the Scotts from Vir- ginia. To Mr. and Mrs. McMorris have been born five children. Alfred William, twenty- four years of age, was born in Seattle and was graduated from the civil engineering depart- ment of Washington University with the class of 1915. In October, 1914, he became second lieutenant of Company F, Wasliington National Guard, and is now serving as first lieu- tenant and adjutant of the first battalion. Edith Adell, who is twenty years old, was mar- ried January 4, 1914, to Albert John Krekeler on the twenty-sixth anniversary of the marriage of her parents. Harold Ednigton is fifteen years old, James is five years of age and Daniel Webster Jr. is three years old.

Mr. McMorris has supported the republican party since shortly after reaching his majority although his father was a democrat. He is well known in Masonic circles and lias been identified with the order since 1900, when he became a member of the blue lodge at Fort Blakely, Washington. He was successively senior deacon and master of Renton Lodge, No. 29, A. F. & A. M. He is also a member of Seattle Chapter, No. 3, K. A. M.; Seattle Council, No. 6, R. & S. M. ; Seattle Commandery, No. 2, K. T. ; Nile Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S. ; Lodge of Perfection, No. i, A. & A. S. R. ; Washington Council, Knights of Kadosh, No. i ; and Washington Chapter, No. i, Rose Croix. He has taken a very active part in the work of the commandery and Shrine, being a member of the drill teams and having also held a number of subordinate offices in the commandery. He is also identified with the Arctic Club and the Municipal League of Seattle and along strictly professional lines is a charter member of the Pacific Northwest Society of Engineers and a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Mr. McMorris has a wide acquaintance in this city and those who know him most intimately esteem him most highly not only for his ability but also for his uprightness and consideration for others.

Submitted to the WA. Bios Project in August 2014 by Jenny Tenlen. Unless otherwise stated, no further information is available on the individual featured in the biographies.

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