Sunday, May 27, 2012

African American Families In Central Kansas

        Tobe: Father of 11                          Thomas (6 child of Tobe) 

Grandpa Morris’ Paternal Side
First it’s important to note, that if you are an African American from central Kansas you are probably related to me either by blood or marriage.  The Morris family left Eastern Tennessee 1883 and landed in Harper County, Kansas; later settling in Comanche County, Coldwater Kansas. By late 1890’s this family unit moved to Anthony, Coffeyville, Kingman, Iola and every little “white” town between.  They integrated the towns, the businesses, and the schools, and bought land, set up businesses, and married – yes they married black, white and Native Americans.

                                      Sons of Thomas Morris and Ida Martin
After Kansas
During the late 1890’s when marrying Native Americans were in fashion (yes a trendy era for the Morris family), many went “looking for suitable mates” in the Indian Territory (Oklahoma).  They married mostly Freedmen Indians, but they also intermarried. Here they settled in Nowata and Vinita Oklahoma. The children were educated in Coffeyville schools for the “colored” kids.

Many moved to Nebraska, others to Nevada and California,  but mostly they settled in the Midwest never venturing further south than Arkansas or Oklahoma, north to Colorado and Nebraska.

Here are the surnames of Wiley Tobe Morris families. I have to divide the family, since Tobe had 11 children and brother David had 13. 
Bell Cox Davis Earl Gordon Green Griffin Hildebrand Howard Jackson King Martin Morris Morrison Parks Pembleton Porter Robinson Simpson Underwood Vann Wells
Many are buried in Anthony - Forest Lawn Cemetery, Kingman - Walnut Hill, EastLawn - Hutchinson,and Hickory Creek Cemetery (south of Coffeyville in Nowata).

For more information on this family visit Wiley J. Morris Family, 1807 -.

Kathleen Brandt