Lake Maxinkuckee Its Intrigue History & Genealogy Culver, Marshall, Indiana

Edmund Morris  



Also known as Ed Morris and Edward Morris born March 7, 1847 died


EDMUND MORRIS. The beautiful banks and shores of Lake Maxinkuckee would seem unfamiliar, and a striking feature taken from its pretty waters, were the figure of Edmund Morris eliminated from the landscape of this locality; for this has been his home since he was virtually an infant, or for a period of fifty-seven years, and for nearly three score years he has been building and renting pleasure boats, and showing recreation seekers the beauty spots of the surrounding country. As his father before him was the pioneer boat builder of the region, the name of Morris is perhaps more closely connected with the development of this beautiful lake country than any other which could be mentioned.

Edmund Morris was born in Union Township, Marshall County, Indiana, on the 7th of March 1847. Isaac N. Morris, his father, was a native of Rush county, Indiana, and in 1836 settled in Union township, on Burr Oak Flats, about three miles from Culver.

In 1850 he removed to the wild country about Lake Maxinkuckee, and became the pioneer boat builder of the region. He died at the age of thirty-nine. His wife (nee Emily Thompson) lived to the advanced age of almost eighty years, being he mother of two sons and four daughters.

Edmund is the third child and second son of this family, and was but three years of age when his parents fixed the homestead on the shores of Lake Maxinkuckee.


He early became an expert at his father's occupation, but, besides assisting him, drove a hack and engaged in other occupations. Later, he became an independent tiller of the soil, and since 1880 has been engaged solely in building and renting boats. As a designer and builder of sail boats, launches and row boats, he is an acknowledged expert in this part of the country, his annual business in this line amounting to some two thousand dollars. He also owns about one hundred boats, which he rents to pleasure seekers. His large acquaintance and pop ularity has given him considerable influence as a Republican, and among other local offices he has served his township as assessor for three terms. Mr. Morris is unmarried - McDonald's History 1908 pg. 527

Capt Edward Morris was born in Union township county Ind March 7 1847 His early education embraced branches taught in the common schools and he early engaged agricultural pursuits on the farm where he was raised and which he still resides As a tiller of the soil he was quite for a number of years He still owns his place but of years has given his attention largely to constructing boats and sailing yachts for use upon the lake upon which he runs a beautiful steamer being both captain and proprietor was one of the first men to advertise the attraction of Lake to the world and has done more than any other toward making it the most popular summer resort in Capt Morris is a public spirited citizen in all that term and is one of the leading men of Union township He is a member of lodge 2 1 K of P at Marmont and in his political belief adheres strictly to the republican party pg 420 - History of Indiana: Containing a History of Indiana and Biographical Sketches of Governors and Other Leading Men. Also a Statement of the Growth and Prosperity of Marshall County, Together with a Personal and Family History of Many of Its Citizens, Volume 2 Brant, Fuller, 1890

1890 Ed Morris, of the steamer Peerless, it is understood, will build a new steamer this winter, which will probably be named "The Climax," as he does not propose that it shall be excelled. - Logansport Pharos Tribune

1899 - Oct 23 Another Big Boat House. Captain Morris is erecting another large boat house near the Palmer house at Lake Maxinkuckee. One will be used for storing boats and the other for a boat manufacturing establishment. The old boat houses east of the Lake View hotel have been torn down and removed and when the grounds are leveled and shaped there will be no more desirable property along the shores of Lake Maxinkuckee- Logansport Pharos Tribune



These views give a uniques view of the Morris boathouse -



Year: 1900; Census Place: Union, Marshall, Indiana; Roll: 392; Page: 14B; Enumeration District: 0082;
Name: Edmund Morris
Age: 53
Birth Date: Mar 1847
Birthplace: Indiana
Home in 1900: Union, Marshall, Indiana
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Head
Marital Status: Single
Father's Birthplace: Indiana
Mother's Birthplace: Indiana
Occupation:Boat Builder
Household Members: Name Age
Edmund Morris 53
Florence L Morris 36 Sister


1903 Apr 3 Culver Herald:
    CAPT. MORRIS.

    There is probably no one in Culver today who__ __ a more con__ __ __ the business career of Culver for the past 40 years than the above named gentleman.

    He was here in Union township when the wild Indian played hide-and-go-seek on the shores of lake Maxinkuckee, and when the lake was only known as a thing of beauty by the few who happened to visit this section in search of game or to fish upom the bosom of the beautiful and enchanting water. For severalyears Capt, Morris carried the mails between Winamaca nd Plymouth, taught school, and was other wise actively engaged in helping to develop the county.

    Finally he turned his attention to boats, and we understand was the first man to run a genuine steamboat on Lake Maxinkuckee He also commenced to build row boats, sailboats, etc., and in a short time became famous, because of his ability to manufacture and put upon the market boats superior to anything in his line that ever held a pair of oars.

    During the past few years he has owned and controlled large boat houses, and has kept constantly on hand during the summer season hundreds of row boats of the very choicest make, for the use of the public, aside from this he always has sail boats for the use of those who delight to skip over the water by the use of sails as a propelling power.

    Every winter he has manufactured new work and during the past winter he has built about $1,500 worth of new clinker row boats...23 ft 8 in.
    Length water line.........15x5 8 in
    Over hang bow............3x8 8in
    Over stern...................4x7 8 in
    Beam extreme.............7x6 8 in
    at water line................7x1 8 in
    Freeboard bow............2x0 8 in
    Freeboard stern...........1x4 8in
    Freeboard least............1x1 1/2 8in
    Draught extreme..........1x6 8 in
    Draughtboard down......4x5 8 in
    Displacement...............2,432 lbs
    Bailast inside................600 lbs
    Sail area......................380 sq ft

    Those desiring information relative to boats, or desiring to purchase a boat of any kind, should address Capt. Morris, Cuiver, Ind.


1904 - May 12 - Capt. Morris will erect a new building for storing boats. He has three large boat houses at present but his constantly increasing business demands more room The new building will be 75 feet long and 24 feet wide and two storeis high.

1905 - Aug 17 Capt. Ed. Morris has broken ground at his boat factory to erect another store room which will be 24x99 ft

Lot 43 1908 - (looks like) Ed Morris, [by 1922 plat map this and part of the C. Beckman property becomes part of the The Ed Morris Lake Front Plat and where the Morris Boathouse was located


1909 Mar 11 - Capr Morris has bulti 24 row boats in his factory during the past season, and will now put in the remainder of the time before the summer season begins inrespainting the 300 boats belonging to himself and his patrons

1910, Mar 10 - Capt Ed. Morris will enlarge his boat factory plant this season by the erection of another stoarage building on the north of he present buildings. Its dimensions will be 40X100, and till cost in the neighborhood of $1,000
    A Birthday Dinner
      Capt. Ed Morris; 63d birthday was celebrated Monday evening with a 6 o'clock dinner at his home. The guests were Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Stahl, Mr. and Mrs. Tone Shaw, Mr. and Mrs. S. E. Medbourn, Mrs. Bogardus and daughter Irene, and Mrs. E. H. White of Huron S. D. a sister of Ed and Florence Morris


    A New Launch
      Captain Ed Morris has just completed at his boat factory a 20-foot gasoline launch with a 5-horse powe Buffalo engine. It will sell for between $600 and $700


1910 - Apri 14 - Road to be Opened
    The county commissioners have established a new road, 150 feet long and 40 feet wide, in the rear of Capt Morris' boat factory. The present road, just north, will be vacated.


1909 - Apr. 22 - The old boat house in the hollow east of Lake View was taken down last week, loaded upon a car and shipped out of town.

Year: 1910; Census Place: Union, Marshall, Indiana; Roll: T624_370; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 0114
Name: Edwin Morris
Age in 1910: 63
Birth Year: abt 1847
Birthplace: Indiana
Home in 1910: Union, Marshall, Indiana
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Head
Marital Status: Single
Father's Birthplace: Indiana
Mother's Birthplace: Indiana
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members: Name Age
Edwin Morris 63 boat factory
Florence Morris 47 sister


1911 - Sep 14 - A Card to the Public
    Culver, Ind., Sep. 12 - Editor of the Culver Citizen

    I wish to announce through your paper that I have disposed of my boat livery, bathing etc., to Arthur Morris.

    I hope he will receive the patronage the business deserves and that he will be more acceptable to the town people than I have been

    I shall give my whole attention to building, storing and repair work at my shhop and store rooms near the Palmer Hose, where I shall be glad to see all my old customers and as many new ones as feel willinf to trust their work to me - Ed. Morris.


Year: 1920; Census Place: Union, Marshall, Indiana; Roll: T625_456; Page: 12B; Enumeration District: 182
Name: Edmund Morris
Age: 72
Birth Year: abt 1848
Birthplace: Indiana
Home in 1920: Union, Marshall, Indiana
House Number:
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Head
Marital Status: Single
Father's Birthplace: Indiana
Mother's Birthplace: Indiana
Able to Speak English: Yes
Household Members: Name Age
Edmund Morris 72
Flora Morris 56 Sister
2 female Boarders
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1922 - Apr 5 - Ray Stevens has leased the Morris boat factory for the coming season. Capt. Morris feels physically unequal to continuing the manual labor of his business, though he has worked at the job of turning out 16 boats during the past winter. Mr. Stevens has been associated with Capt Morris for 25 years

1922 May 31 The Palmer House has purchased the Ed Morris boat livery

1922 - June 14 - The Morris Boat Plant
    Editor Citizen: I wish to announce the sale of my boat building and storage plant to J. P. Walter and Mr. Shorb of the Palmer House. Old age and sickness have compelled me to give up the buisness. I began this business 42 years ago and I think I have done my share in putiing Maxinkuckee lake on the map. - Ed Morris.


1926 - During the 1913 Logansport flood Ed Morris sent boats and equipment down to help rescue the stranded residents. Years later he was compensated for boats destroyed during this effort - an accoutning was found in the Logansport Pharos Tribune dated Dec 22, 1926 as follows:
    City Presents $500 Check to Capt Morris

    Payment of Boat Loses in Made to "Savior" by Councilman Strantz and Medburn

    The prospects of a cheerful Christmas is the Culver home of Capt. Ed Morris, "redeemer of Logansport" appear far brighter today. The city of Logansport has presented to Captain Morris a check for $500, as compensation for property losses sustained by him aiding the rescue of marooned Logansport residents during the disasterious 1913 flood. The amount of payment proper covers the cost of boats belonging to Morris swept away while aiding in the removal of flood trapped Logansport people.

    Payment of the money to Capt. Morris was made by Councilman Pete Strantz and Charles Medburn who made a special trip to that city.

    Expression of the apprciation of the financial gift which is greatly needed by Captain Morris who is now in destitute circumstances, can be gained by the following letter which he forwarded to the Pharos-Tribune publicly thanking Loganpsoprt for the remembrance:


December 21, 1926
Editor Pharos-Tribune,
    Dear Sir, I wish to express through you paper my sincere thanks to your Chamber of Commerce, Mayor, City Council and the citizens of Logansport for the settlement of my claim fot the loss of boats sent to your aid during the flood of 1913.

    I also wish to say that the hearty good will shown to me by the city officials and the citizens is more pleasure that the financial part.

    At the risk of being tiresome to most of your readers I wish to send my regard to the Pioneers from Logansport, the ones that discovered Lake Maxinkuckee, the ones that came before the railroad. What a glorius crowd they were, Stewart McConnell and family, W. T. Wilson and family, Tom Wilson, Frank Rice and sister, the Tainer boys, Swift Wright, Quincy Myers and others, I used to take them sailing on the good old ship Fleetwing. Gosh what fun we used to have.

    In 1882 the railroad came and more people came and transportation across the lake to hotels and cottages was limited and I put on a steamboat to helpout. It was a 50 foot sidewheel boat and a dismal failure. Slow hard to handle in rough weather. I ran it one season and abandoned it.

    The next season I built a 55 foot launch, a fine boat which I ran ten years. It was getting old and rather shaky so I built another boat, a 69 foot, fush deck, equipped with a fine fore and aft compound egine. This was as fine a little exersion boat as I was ever on. I only ran it one season. My health was not good so I sold it to Mrs. Lord and Capt. Oliver Crook.

    I now turn my whole attention to building, renting and storing boats and by 1913 had completed a shop and storage pnat at a cost of $10,000. Had a fine stock of boats, some money and good credit. In fact was in good shape financially. Then conditions changed. The World War and hard times. By 1918 with the advance in labor and material of from 200 to 400 per cent I could not build a boat for $100 that I had been building for $50 which made sales impossible. But I had good stock and used boats and still made sales, so with renting and storing managed to keep the business moving.

    But in the spring of 1919 my health gave out and I was forced to quit. It was a bad time to dispose of the business and got but little for it. My expenses were heavy, have spent over $6,000 for doctor, nurse and hospital fees. So at present the settlement of this claim looks very good to me.

    Again I wish to thank Logansport and with it to remember me as pleasant as I remember it. - Capt. Ed. Morris.


In 1931 the Culver Reality and Investment Company was established by Bretram and Edwin II Culver . Through this they bought up the north shore property of the lake between the Culver Town Park and the original acreage H. H. Culver had bought and the academy sat on. This was done to stop speculators from buying it up and decreasing the outside development by other on the area around the academy. All that could not be bought up at the time was the railroad right-a-way. Thus this property became part of Culver Military/Culver Educational Foundation.

Some the structures burnt in 1932. and in March of 1941 he traded this property for a house in town.

Jay Walls of Danville, Indiana found a very uniques boat... he traded for ti in 1986 the original onwer was from Lake Wawasee. The brass plate proclaims the maker "Ed Morris and Culver Indiana placing the boat made after October 25th, 1895






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