MRS. DAMIE MORRAY. Some of the most highly improved and productive farms of Johnson county are owned and operated by women, and among them are found tracts which have remained in the same family for many years. Mrs. Damie Morray, of Bloomfield township, belongs to the class of women agriculturists who have succeeded in their operations because their whole lives have been spent in an agricultural atmosphere and they have received the same rigid training that has been given to the
male members of their families. Reared on farms, having an intimate knowledge of climatic and soil conditions in their neighborhoods, when these women are given the management of property they are as well prepared to get results as the men, and the standard set by the women farmers of Southern Illinois is something of which the state should be proud. Mrs. Morray was born October 10, 1870, in Bloomfield township, and is a daughter of Mears P. and Annie (Hester) Fort.
Mrs. Morray's parents were born in Tennessee, and in that state were married, January 11, 1847. Coming to Illinois during the late `forties, they settled on a farm situated one and one-half miles northeast of Vienna, and there resided during the remainder of their lives, Mr. Fort passing away May 6, 1882, and his widow following him to the grave July 8, 1897. They had a family of eleven children, as follows: Amanda L., who married a Mr. Hendry and is now deceased; J. L.; Emily F., who is deceased; W. G.; Gustavus, who is deceased; David W., Samuel H. and Margaret V., all of whom are deceased; Georgia, who married Dr. Thomlinson and is now deceased; Albert, who resides in Texas; and Damie. Mrs. Morray grew up on the homestead farm, receiving an excellent training in the duties of domestic life and taking part in much of the work on the farm. It was but natural that she should gain much valuable experience as to farming methods, and this has stood her in good stead in later years. She was married (first) in 1891, to David Pippins, a native of Johnson county and a son of Gilbert Pippins, and two children were born to them: Edna and Auttie, the latter of whom died in infancy. Edna married James B. Garrett, a son of John Garrett and Nancy (Harris) Garrett, the former a veteran of the Sixth Illinois Cavalry during the Civil war. One child, James Brooks Garrett, has been born to them. David Pippins, who was a farmer near Vienna, and died September 17, 1894, was a son of Gilbert Pippins, who served in the One Hundred and Twentieth Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, under General John A. Logan.
On December 8, 1898, Mrs. Pippins was married to Joseph Morray, and five children were born to this union: William Frank, James Floyd, Joseph Eugene, Morris Albert and John Bishop, the last named being deceased. Joseph Morray was born September 20, 1845, and was a son of James Bishop Morray, captain of Company B, Sixth Illinois Cavalry, during the Civil war, and saw considerable service. Joseph Morray was married (first) to Miss Gussie Haley, who died July 2, 1878, leaving three children: Mrs. Minnie Mathis; Gussie; and Ollie, who died in infancy. He married (second) Miss Ola Whittenberg, who died October 8, 1897, there being three children born to this union: Ralph, Mabel and Eulala, of whom Mabel is deceased. Mr. Morray was a successful farmer of Johnson county, and at the time of his death, December 29, 1906, was the owner of six hundred acres of fine farming land, all of which is now owned by his widow and her children, they having purchased the interest of the other heirs to the estate. In the home farm there are forty acres, on which is situated a handsome farm residence; forty acres are located one-quarter mile south; forty-five acres are north one-half mile, and three acres are in Bloomfield, the remainder being in Simpson and Burnside townships, which land is leased to renters.
Mrs. Morray has had considerable success in her operations, and displays a progressive and enterprising spirit in regard to movements calculated to be of benefit to her community. She and her children are faithful members of the Methodist church, and all are well and favorably known in religious and social circles.