This enterprising agriculturist is one of the developers of the reservation and is now enjoying the fruits of his wise labors in his home, about one mile north from Nez Perce, where he has a fine farm, well improved and productive of annual dividends of a gratifying amount.

Samuel S. Morse was born in Delaware County, Ohio, on April 30, 1854, being a son of Ahira and Rosa (Laffey) Morse, natives of Vermont and Ireland, respectively. The father was in the war of 1812 and was first married in 1824. This wife died leaving him a family of seven children. In 1841 he married the mother of our subject, who came to the United States in her twelfth year. Our subject is the youngest of seven children, making fourteen in both families. The father died on September 15, 1854. in his seventieth year. After the father’s death, Samuel went with his mother and stepfather to Chariton, Lucas County, Iowa, where he gained his education in the log school houses, and remained until he was at the age of maturity. In 1873, the family went to Butler County, Kansas, and there our subject entered a preemption.

In 1881 he came to Walla Walla and in 1885 returned to Butler County, where he was married on December 31, 1885, to Amanda J., daughter of James and Emily C. (Yantis) Dunbar, natives of Russell County, Kentucky. They removed to Appanoose County, Iowa, and there on March 11, 1857. Mrs. Morse was born, being the sixth of a family of eight children. Mr. Dunbar died in Iowa and the widow went to Butler County, Kansas, in 1873. She lived with our subject and his wife until the time of her death on September 19, 1902, being then in her seventy-fourth year. She was a devoted member of the Christian Church and Mr. and Mrs. Morse are also members of the same Church. Mr. Morse’s mother died in Butler County, Kansas, on January 7, 1900, in her seventy-seventh year.

As soon as Mr. Morse was married he came with his wife to Pomeroy, Washington, whence he went in May, 1894, to Milton, Oregon, and in the spring of 1896, they came with team and wagon to the reservation country and he secured his present claim, which consists of eighty acres of exceptionally fertile land. Five children have been born to this household, Maud C, born August 12, 1887; Elmer S., born August 26, 1889; Nellie F, born March 11, 1894; Wilbur S., born in Nez Perce, August 17, 1896, being the first boy born in that town; Ora I., born August 8, 1899. Mr. Morse has two brothers in the west. They came in 1868. Ahira, who is an invalid, has suffered from paralysis for eleven years and is now living in Milton; F. B. Morse, now in Walla Walla.

Back to: Nez Perce Biographies

Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903