Morgan Family

EM3 Morgan Lawrence Ervin Morgan was born December 13, 1880, in Kearney, Buffalo County, Nebraska1, to Jacob R. and Catherine Elizabeth (Stemler) Washburn. He was adopted by his mother's second husband, John W. Morgan, after their marriage in August, 1882.

Lawrence served in the Navy, enlisting in 1901. He became an Electrician working in the Dynamo Room. He served in USS Mohican, in USS Concord (guarding trains across the Isthmus of Panama), and crossed the Equator becoming a Shellback, May 19, 1902, in USS Wheeling en route to Samoa.2

I don't know yet if it means anything, but there was a Lawrence E. Morgan living in Cheyenne, Wyoming, in 1910 with a wife, Bertha, to whom he had been married five years, and a three year old daughter, Arline.3 My mother told me once that her father had been married before, but in the 1930 census it indicates he didn't marry for the first time until he was 34.

Alwilda Lawrence married Alwilda Hill at her parents' home, New Sharon, Mahaska County, Iowa, on February 10, 1915.4 Alwilda was born to Valdo Stanton and Adelaide Margretta (Wallace) Hill on January 24, 1884, in Mahaska County, Iowa.

Alwilda had taught school, graduated from nursing school at Mahaska County Hospital in 1911, and done graduate studies in Los Angeles by the time she married.5

Lawrence died of Huntingtons Disease, November 11, 1939, in Hines Veterans Hospital, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. He is interred in the National Cemetery at the Rock Island Arsenal.6

Alwilda died March 20, 1975, in Moline, Rock Island County, Illinois7, and is buried there in Riverside Cemetery8.

Children of Lawrence and Alwilda were:

  1. Laurence Valdo "Porky" Morgan, b. 1/4/19169,10 mar. Christine Ridge 5/25/194410 d. 2/7/198010
  2. Catherine Adelaide Morgan, b. 6/18/19179,10 mar. Mitchell A. Babb 7/7/194311, div. 5/4/1950, mar. Rupert D. Bacon 11/11/1950, div. 6/24/1955, d. 1/20/2003 in Moreno Valley, Riverside County, California12; Buried at Riverside Cemetery, Moline, Illinois
  3. Donald Raymond Morgan, b. 5/17/19199,10 mar. Bessie Studen 7/26/1942, d. 12/25/1960 of Huntingtons Disease. Interred at Riverside Cemetery in Moline.
  4. Miriam Ruth Morgan b. 4/24/192310,13 mar. Laban Leo Wright 2/19/1946, d. 9/12/1992 of Huntingtons Disease, Interred in Rock Island Arsenal National Cemetery14

Porky graduated from United Township High School in East Moline and attended St. Ambrose College. He became an athletic trainer, and then he enlisted on June 26, 1941. While stationed at Ft. Knox, KY he met and married Christine Ridge, the daughter of John Mickel and Bertha (McAllister) Ridge, in Louisville, KY, on May 24, 1944. He was deployed to Europe soon thereafter, and is said to have received a Purple Heart during the Battle of the Bulge. Porky became Kansas State University's first athletic trainer in 1951. He was inducted into the National Athletic Trainers' Association Hall of Fame in 1974. Christine succumbed to cancer on May 22, 1978. Porky died suddenly February 7, 1980. Both donated their remains to the Medical School. They left two daughters.

Catherine graduated from United Township High School in 1935, and from Broadlawns General Hospital School of Nursing in 1938. She was working in the operating rooms at a hospital in D.C. when Pearl Harbor was attacked. She volunteered to become a Red Cross and then an Army nurse. She met and married Mitchell Babb July 7, 1943, while they were stationed at Camp Bowie near Brownwood, TX. They had four children together, one of whom, Henry Martin Babb, died at birth with an enlarged thymus. They separated in August, 1948, and divorced May 4, 1950. She subsequently married Rupert Dean Bacon. They had one daughter together; however that marriage also ended in divorce. Catherine continued to pursue a varied career in nursing. She fell ill early on a Saturday morning and passed away within 48 hours.

Donald attended Central College in Pella, IA. He enlisted in the National Guard on March 5, 1941, despite a perforated ear drum, and married Bessie Studen on July 26, 1942 in Kahoka, Clark County, Missouri. They had two sons together, both of whom died during childhood. Donald worked at International Harvester until his Huntington's Disease became symptomatic in 1951. The marriage ended in divorce. Donald died at his sister, Miriam's, home, and he is buried at Riverside Cemetery.

Miriam took her nursing training at Moline Lutheran, and married Laban Leo Wright, an Army veteran, on February 19, 1946. They left one son.

  1. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, Rock Island County, Illinois, 2, Serial 7209, Order A3753
  2. Handwritten Narrative of Lawrence Morgan
  3. 1910 United States Federal Census, Cheyenne, Laramie County, Wyoming, E.D. 81, Sheet 16A
  4. Marriage Certificate of Alwilda & Laurence E. Morgan
  5. Hill-Wallace Family History, Olive Batcher, p. 27
  6. Laurence Ervin Morgan's Headstone
  7. Memorial Service Program for Alwilda Hill Morgan
  8. Alwilda Hill Morgan's Headstone
  9. 1920 United States Federal Census, East Moline, Rock Island County, Illinois, E.D. 157, Sheet 7A
  10. Hill-Wallace Family History, Olive Batcher, p. 28
  11. Marriage Certificate of Catherine & Mitchell Babb
  12. Death Certificate of Catherine Morgan Bacon
  13. 1930 United States Federal Census, East Moline, Rock Island County, Illinois, E.D. 17, Sheet 12A
  14. Death Certificate of Miriam Ruth Wright