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Richard A. Morse

Having but recently passed the half-century mark in the number of years, Richard A. Morse of Lander, prominent in business and public life, has achieved more in the way of a successful career than many a man on whom rests the burden of hoary age. He was born on February 15, 1851 in Maine the son of mason W. and Pricilla C. (Rankin) Morse, also natives of Maine and descended from old Colonial stock of English ancestry. The father was a blacksmith and farmer and after pursuing these vocations for many years in his native state he removed with his family to Minnesota, where his wife died in 1880 and he in 1891. Their son, Richard was the third of nine children and was educated in the public schools of Minnesota. After leaving school he engaged in farming for five years at the end of which time he entered upon an apprenticeship to the blacksmith’s trade under his father with whom he worked for seven years. He then came to Wyoming and passed four years as a blacksmith in the employ of the U. S. Government two of them at Fort Steele. The next five years he was employed by the government at Fort Washakie, after which he began operations in the cattle business on New Fork which he continued for three years, but was obliged to suspend after the hard winter of 1890-1891, which froze nearly all his cattle to death. He then accepted employment with the government again for a short time at Fort Washakie, being employed in carrying the mails from and to Meeteetse for three years, after which he conducted the hotel a the fort for two years when he sold out and worked at his trade of blacksmith at the agency for two more years. In 1898 he was elected sheriff of Fremont County and removed to Lander, where at the end of his term he opened and established the City Blacksmith & Wagon Shops since giving his attention fully to that enterprise in which he has built up a gratifying and profitable trade and secured the confidence and esteem of the business community. He has also taken an active and useful part in public affairs serving in the city council acceptably and employing his influence in the development of every good enterprise in the town and county. In fraternal relations Mr. Morse is a devoted member of the Masonic order belonging to the lodge chapter and commandery and exhibiting a zealous and productive interest in the welfare of each body. He is at present (1902) the eminent commander of the local commandery of Knights Templar, which he has represented in the Grand Commandery and is a valued member of Corean Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Rawlins. In October 1872 he married Miss Amanda Fanning of Minnesota, a daughter of Samuel Fanning, an esteemed resident of that state and a native of Illinois. Mr. & Mrs. Morse have an adopted child Rolla Morse. The 1880 census shows Richard living at Fort Steele, Carbon County, Wyoming.

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