[ front ]MorrisOriginally called South Farms, this area was settled in the 1720's as part of the frontier town of Litchfield. The land was surveyed by Captaiin John Marsh in 1715 and was purchased for fifteen pounds from the bantam tribe of the friendly Pootatuck Indians by a committee from Hartford and Windsor.
South Farms built its first school in 1747; the first church, Congregational, in 1764; and established its first cemetery in 1748. The earliest library was opened in 1785. The boundaries of South Farms were defined in 1767 when the Ecclesiastical Socitey was incorporated with seventy families. Although chiefly agricultural, South Farms built saw mills and grist mills on its rivers, had several small industries and stores, and developed a summer resort business on Bantam Lake.
Twice, in 1786 and 1810, the South Farms Society applied unsuccessfully for status as a separate town.
[ back ]
In 1859 the South Farms Society petitioned the Connecticut General Assembly, stating that South Farms "? is in fact a separate and distinct community having little or no connection by its situation and business interest with the northern portion of said town of Litchfield."
The petition, signed by 138 electors, was granted, and the Town of Morris was incorporated in June, 1859. It had an area, later increased, of 10,464 acres and a population of 769. The first town meeting was held june 27, 1859. In 1861 the first town hall was built, now serving as the Morris Historical Museum.
The town was named in honor of James Morris (1752 - 1820), Yale graduate, Revolutionary War captain, selectman, and member of the General Assembly. He was best known as the founder and first principal of the Morris Academy. A pioneer in coeducation, the Academy (1790 - 1888) attracted students from nearly every state and many foreign countries.
Erected by the Town of Morris
and the Connecticut Historical Commission