|Our Sister Company is Morris County Land, Abstract and Title Company of Daingerfield. We present here a history of Morris County as appears in the Court House in Daingerfield.|
Morris county is one of the young subdivisions of the State of Texas, and one of the first areas of the state to be settled by the Angl-Americans. Since it was in the center of Sulphur Fork Country of East Texas, Morris County was probably included in Hermando De Soto’s Expedition in 1542, as they traveled from the Mississippi River toward Mexico. Spain did not make a specific claim to the area but LaSalle, claiming all land drained by the Mississippi River, gave France valid claim to this territory, which included Morris County.
In 1826, General Arthur G. Wavell and Benjamin R. Milan received from the State of Coahuila and Texas a contract from the Mexican Government to settle 400 to 400 families on a grant south of Red River. The Grant included all of what is now Northeast Texas. Governor Pope of Arkansas claimed nearly all of this territory for the United States. As a result, no titles were issued to settlers until after the Texas Revolution in 1836, although some settlers were in the territory before that time.
For administrative purposes, during the days of Mexican rule, Morris County was in the Department of Nacogdoches. In March 1836, Red River County was created with Clarksville as the county seat. Morris County was a part of Red River County until after December 1840, then it became a part of Bowie County. Morris County remained a part of Bowie County until Paschal County was created January, 1841. Morris County then was a part of Paschal County. Daingerfield was laid out by order of the Congress of the Republic of Texas as a county seat of Paschal County. In 1842, Paschal County was returned to Bowie and Red River Counties, Texas, where it remained until the creation of Titus County in 1846. The State Constitutional Convention of 1868-1869 created Latimer County with Daingerfield as County Seat. But Latimer County was never put into operation.
In the 1870's, a movement was made to divide Titus County into three counties. Colonel C. S. Jenkins, a member of the Texas Legislature, introduced a bill to create a new county. The bill became a law March 13, 1875, and the new county was named in honor of Rev. Samuel Morris, Sr., the grandfather of the late Senator Morris Sheppard.
Daingerfield, the county seat of the newly created Morris County, had no courthouse. The first session of County Court opened in an old store building May 30,1985. Court was held in the old store building until the erection of the first courthouse in 1881.
Since 1836, there have been established eight towns or villages in Morris County: Daingerfield, Harris Springs, Wheatville, Omaha, Naples, Snowhill, Cason and Lone Star. Daingerfield is the oldest town, reportedly named for Captain London Daingerfield, killed in an Indian battle on the site of the town. Wheatville, located on a road from Fulton, Arkansas, to Sulphur Springs, began to develop in the 1840's. Naples, first known as Belden Station, superseded Wheatville when the railroad came through the northern end of the county in 1878. In 1910 Naples was the largest town in the county. Omaha began as a mill settlement around David Elliot’s sawmill around 1859. In 1878 it was known as Morristown; in 1881 as Gavett, and Omaha in 1886. Snowhill became a bustling village after 1850 but faded away when the new railroad came through four miles south and most of the businesses, houses and people moved to the new town of Cason. Harris Springs, in the southwest corner of the county, became a thriving health resort before the Civil War, but no longer exists.
The first Census figures for Morris County, 1880, show a population of 5,032. In 1910 the population gradually declined until Lone Star Steel Company went into operation in 1947. Latest census figures (1970 Census) shows Morris County has a population of 12,310.
Four Score, One Decade and One Year this courthouse was the seat of Morris County government for the people, by the people, and of the people of Morris County.