Morris Daily Herald, September 22, 1876
From Our Patron
The following letter from I.N. Morris, the gentleman for whom this city was named, will no doubt be of interest to many of our readers. We are under obligations of Mr. Armstrong for its publication:
Quincy, ILL, Sept. 18, 1876
Hon. Perry Armstrong–My Dear Sir: I read with great interest your historical and discriptive address on the city of Morris. In these respects and as a literary production it does you much credit. As you pleased to name me kindly in it, I must thank you for it. You were correct in saying there are no town lots upon the records of your county in my name, nor do I believe you will find any there in the name of my associates on the Board of Canal Commissioners -Gen. Jacob Fry, Acting Commissioner, and Hon. Newton Cloud, Treasurer and Umpire, two as pure men as ever lived. They had charge of the work at a time when fortunes were open to us at Chicago, but I can claim no man lost his integrity.
The facts, as I remember them at this distance of time, in regard to the location of the county seat of Grundy Co., are about these: The Legislature passed an act conveying a tract of canal land to Grundy county for a county seat, and the Canal Commissioners were required to select it. We met on the ground for that purpose. Gen. Fry, for some reason I do not now call to mind, had a partiality for a tract different from the one selected. I had no choice. The newly elected county commissioners, your brother William, whom I remember as a noble-hearted man, since deceased, and other citizens of the county were present. All of them expressed a preference for the locality where the city now stands. I held it was a fair and just interpretation of the law to select the tract the citizens of the county desired. Gen. Fry felt it his duty to insist upon naming a tract he thought the most suitable. We differed. Mr. Cloud agreed with me in opinion, and thus your beautiful city of Morris stands where it does. How it came to be named for me I never inquired, but of course I was, and shall always be, justly proud of the compliment and hope I may live and die with an integrity worthy of it.
I am sir, with great respect,