The material in the Morse-Elliott Family Collection provides a picture of early pioneer life in and around Lodi, California.
The collection consists of documents related to family business ventures, including taxes, sales receipts, and various kinds
of land documents, as well as a family history and genealogy.
The story of the Morse-Elliott Family Collection begins with New Hampshire natives Edmund R. Elliott (1804-1884) and his wife,
Sarah S. Elliott (1811-1881), who participated in America's westward migration in two stages. The first saw them move to Compton,
Illinois, where they raised eight children, among them Wilson Edmund (1832-1912) and Eveline (Eva) Sarah (1834-1915). The
second stage started in 1853, when Wilson migrated to California and took up residence on land near Lodi. His father, Edmund,
followed five years later and was soon joined by other family members, which by then included not only Eva, but also her husband,
Lorenzo Marion Morse (1830-1899), and the couple's son, Fred Marion Morse (1857-1881). The Morse family became pillars of
the Lodi area. They initially settled on a farm near Bear Creek, where two more children were born: Edmund Elliott (1861-1945)
and Hattie (1864-1921). Then, in 1867, they moved onto land about three miles south of Lodi on Cherokee Lane, where they planted
watermelons, grain, apricots, and peaches, and were among the first farmers in the area to cultivate Tokay grapes. In addition,
Lorenzo raised thoroughbred horses and with a partner operated a racing track near what eventually became Micke Grove Regional
Park. Lorenzo's son, Edmund, continued the family's tradition of involvement in agriculture and business, not only developing
his own fruit packing and shipping company, but also helping to establish the First National Bank of Lodi, the Farmer's Mutual
Insurance Company, and the Lodi Investment Company. In 1888, Edmund married Florence Heaton (d. 1940), with whom he had two
daughters: Evelyn (1888-1966) and Genevieve (1893-1946).