Winfield Morris was born May 30, 1862, son of John and Louisa Chilstrom Morris, at Morristown, Rice County, Minnesota. In 1864, he was taken by his father to Pueblo, Colo., in a covered wagon drawn by oxen. They passed through what is now called Logan County. Soon after, his mother died, and they lived there until 1869. When he was seven the family made the long trip back with oxen and covered wagon to Duluth, Minnesota, and lived there eight years, where his father, John Morris, ran a lumber camp, teamed, built roads and hauled supplies. In 1877 the family moved to Syracuse, Neb., and moved on a farm, where Win stayed and farmed with his Dad until 1886.
In 1886, Winfield Morris located at what is now Fleming, filing on the first homestead in Fleming Colorado territory, taking up what is known as a timber claim. He then went back to Nebraska and stayed there until Feb. 1887. In the spring of 1888, he and his brother Cash charted out a car on the railroad and shipped his belongings to Culbertson, Nebraska. From there he drove by mule train and wagon to Colorado. He and Cash both took tree claims from the government , three miles west of Fleming. Their post office was the present town of Crook. Fleming was known as Siding No. 29 of the Burlington railroad. The Messrs. Morris broke out five acres of sod the first year and ten the second, for planting of timber. Water was hauled in barrels from the South Platte river and there being no fences, roads or buildings to serve as markers, the two men took their plows and other equipment with them when they left the claims, to set up elsewhere should they fail to find their way back. Winfield Morris later was employed by the Lincoln Land company, which proved up the townsite of the present Fleming. Lumber for the buildings was hauled from Yuma, Colo. by Mr. Morris and others.
In 1889, he married Annie Warren in Nebraska and brought her to Fleming to live. Immediately after their marriage , he and Joe Reed, a brother-in-law of Mrs. Morris, engaged in the newspaper business for one year. The business venture was unfortunate because of extreme drouth conditions, practically all the settlers deserting their holdings. Mr. Morris closed his store and obtained a mail route contract at a salary of $480 a year. In 1893 Mr. Morris was appointed county road overseer, having failed of election the previous year as county clerk. In 1893, however he was a successful candidate for the office of county assessor, and held the office four years. Mr. and Mrs. Morris, meanwhile in 1895 had moved to Sterling. Following his service as county assessor, Mr. Morris was for many years in the real estate business. Mr. and Mrs. Morris have resided at 107 Beech Street for about twenty years. With the exception of a couple of years in California, he resided in Sterling until his death June 25, 1946.
Grandma Annie Morris's 4 year diary said the following: This is a beautiful morning and the day we are going to lay Dad away. There were banks of beautiful flowers all around the casket, which is a bronze steel casket. Win looks 10 years younger, and almost a happy look on his face. Church filled with people. Lovely funeral sermon by Rev. Konkel. Procession over one half mile. The Rebekah's put on a lovely noon dinner for family at our home & out of town families. Ham, beans, salad, but rolls scalloped potatoes jellies coffee cream etc. About 12 present. (June 28th, 1946) Win had died in a Denver hospital, June 25, 1946. Win and Annie lived at 107 Beech Street in Sterling.
GRANDPA'S REMARKS: REGARDING EARLY DAYS IN FLEMING, COLORADO [Dictated 2 January 1934] Mr. Morris states that he knows nothing of importance in his career, as he was not one of the early settlers; but no doubt some of his experiences were typical of those first old pioneers. I, Winfield Morris was born on the 30th day of May, 1862 at Morristown, Minn. My father came to Colorado, passed through what is now Logan County, in 1864 from Minn. driving an ox team. We went to Pueblo, Colo. We did not stay long and any events that happened on this trip would only be "hearsay", so will not mention them. I was just about two years old. !We went back to Minn., going to Duluth in 1869, and lived there for eight years. In 1877 we drove out to Otoe County, Nebraska. In the winter of 1884-85 I came to Pueblo again but did not stay long and went back to Nebraska. In Sept., 1886, I came to what is now Logan County in company with some other young fellows. We stopped at Crook where we met J.W. Ramsey and he located us on timber claims. I then went back to Nebr. and stayed until the following February, 1887, when myself and some of these other fellows who had taken claims came back to Logan County. The bunch of us chartered a [railroad] car and shipped to Culbertson, Nebr. Part of the boys were going to Kansas and part to Colorado, but we only took one car and unloaded at Culbertson. After we had uhloaded and gotten our things fixed up, they all had made up their minds that they would go to Kansas and wanted me to go with them. But I told them, "No, that I had started to Colorado, and that was where I was going." So I took my own mule team and covered wagon and started up the Frenchman River to Colorado alone. The first night I stayed at a small place in Nebr. It was very cold and the wind was blowing a gale. I put my team in the livery barn and I slept in the wagon. I got so cold during the night --and having a lot of baled hay--got up and put this hay around the wagon to break the wind. I did not know enough to get down under.