George Pierson Morehouse
George P. Morehouse was born July 28, 1859, in Decatur, Illinois, to Horace and Lavinia F. (Strong) Morehouse. In 1871 the elder Morehouse drove overland in covered lumber wagons from Assumption, Illinois, to Diamond Springs, Morris County, Kansas, and opened a stock ranch, where his family settled. The stock farm gained a reputation for quality.
George Morehouse became an expert hunter and horseman, driving herds to other ranches. At a young age he was active in politics and early railroad matters, and was a frequent speaker and debater. He attended Albion (New York) Academy, and graduated in 1884. He also graduated from the University of New York, where he was elected president and orator of his class. He won three prizes—the Bailey prize in anatomy and physiology; the Coann prize in oratory, and the Inter-Academic oratorical prize. There he studied law, but returned to Council Grove to manage the cattle ranch. He finished his legal education in Kansas and was admitted to the bar in 1889. He was appointed city attorney of Council Grove, serving about six years. Morehouse was also elected county attorney of Morris County. He also served as census enumerator and trustee of Diamond Valley Township.
In 1900 Morehouse was elected state senator from Morris, Marion, and Chase counties. There he served as chair of the congressional apportionment committee, and on the judiciary, elections, education, and public health committees. He authored legislation to regulate automobiles, and to designate the sunflower as state flower of Kansas. In 1903 he was elected president of the Kansas State Republican League. In 1906 Morehouse married Louise Thorne Hull.
During debate over the soldiers' monument bill in the senate, the Topeka Capital, said: "One of the best speeches in the senate on the bill for a monument for Kansas soldiers was by Senator George P. Morehouse. He is one of the most forceful speakers of the senate and his address on this occasion was one of the best efforts of the session." The new Memorial Building, dedicated to the soldiers of the Grand Army of the Republic, opened in 1914 across from the Kansas State Capitol.
Morehouse led a movement to mark the Santa Fe Trail, and delivered addresses for the dedication of historical monuments on the overland trail. He was a president and life member of the Kansas State Historical Society and a contributor to its publications. He became involved in an effort to preserve the language and history of the Kaw Indians. He belonged to the International Society of Archaeologists and studied the Spanish and French occupation of Kansas. He found 150 spelling for Kansas. He was president of the Kansas Authors' Club, a member of the Knights of Pythias, the Modern Woodmen of America, and the First Presbyterian Church of Topeka. Morehouse became a genealogist and historian for his family.
Morehouse died in 1941 in Topeka. He is buried in Council Grove, Morris County, Kansas.
Entry: Morehouse, George Pierson
Author: Kansas Historical Society
Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.
Date Created: January 2013
Date Modified: March 2013
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