In May 1943, Edwin Morris gave the welcome address at the annual Memorial Sunday service of Baldwin Post 6 G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic) at the Centenary Methodist Church in Elmira. His wife Jane urged him to stay home instead of participating in the event. The 96-year-old Morris has suffered a heart attack a year earlier and had never fully recovered. In response to her concern he said, “It’s my duty to my dead comrades to take part in the service. If it causes my death, I will die in the line of duty.” Edwin Morris passed away less than 36 hours later on May 24, 1943 at his home at 356 Walnut Street in Elmira.
|Elmira Star-Gazette, May 24, 1943 (from newspapers.com)|
After the war, Morris returned to Athens where he worked on his father’s farm for 20 years. He worked in the lumber business in Pine Creek, Pennsylvania for many years after that. In 1902, at the age of 55, he married Jane Currier of Waverly, New York. The two had met in 1901 at a G.A.R. encampment in East Towanda, Pennsylvania where she was caring for wounded soldiers. They moved to Elmira sometime in the early 1900s. Morris was one of the founding members of the Chemung County Historical Society in 1923.
|Edwin Morris (second from left) with charter members of
Chemung County Historical Society at July 4, 1923 pageant
|This G.A.R. hat worn by Edwin Morris is |
one of many items that came to the ChemungCounty Historical Society from his estate.
|Ribbon from the 1942 G.A.R. encampment|
|Memorial Day, 1935, from the Elmira Sunday Telegram, May 30, 1943|
|Edwin Morris riding in the Elmira Memorial Day Parade|
In December, 1941, when volunteers were being registered [for service in World War II], a card bearing his name was found among a stack of enrollments; it said, “Will gladly cooperate in advisory capacity or shoulder a gun if necessary.”