Morton, Julius Sterling

Morton, Julius Sterling,

1832–1902, American cabinet officer, b. Adams, N.Y. He settled (1854) in Nebraska, founded the Nebraska City News, and served (1858–61) as territorial secretary. In 1872 he originated Arbor Day, which since 1885 has been a legal holiday in Nebraska on Apr. 22, Morton's birthday. He was Secretary of Agriculture (1893–97) under Grover Cleveland. His landed estate at Nebraska City became a memorial park.
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Morton, Julius Sterling

(1832–1902) agriculturalist; born in Adams, N.Y. After college he relocated to Nebraska City where he edited the town's newspaper (1854). Active in the territory of Nebraska's politics, he served on the territorial legislature (1855–58) and was appointed secretary of the territory by President James Buchanan (1858–61). He loved trees and in 1872 he had Nebraska observe an "arbor day" on which to plant trees. In 1885 the Nebraska legislature established his birthday, April 22, as Arbor Day (since observed by other states on different days). In 1893–97 he was appointed secretary of agriculture by President Grover Cleveland. He conceived and mapped out The Illustrated History of Nebraska (ed. Albert Watkins, 3 vols. 1905–13) and began publication of the Conservative, a journal of politics and economics, which was suspended after his death.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.