Founder of Arbor Day in 1872 1 of 5

Julius Sterling Morton was born April 22, 1832 in Adams, New York. Morton, along with Robert Furnas, was the co-founder of Arbor Day. Morton also served as the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture from 1893 to 1896.

At a young age, Morton knew he loved newspapers and nature. He pursued these passions throughout his life and is today known for both.

J. Sterling Morton as a young boy
J. Sterling Morton as a young boy, circa 1840s.
Courtesy Nebraska State Historical Society, RG1013-1-2
Young J. Sterling Morton and his bride, Carrie
Young J. Sterling Morton and his bride, Carrie, circa 1854.
Courtesy Nebraska State Historical Society, RG1013-6-52

After finishing school at the University of Michigan, Morton married his school sweetheart, Caroline ("Carrie") Joy French in 1854. They left for the Nebraska Territory on the day of their marriage.

Morton and his wife, Carrie, settled in Nebraska City where he became the editor of the Nebraska News. His life-long interest in writing and publishing had begun in his grandfather’s newspaper office in Michigan.

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This module was funded in part by the Cooper Foundation,
Abel Foundation, and the Nebraska Humanities Council.
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